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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2003
    Location
    Arizona....the desert part.
    Posts
    419

    Default Help...my horse is kicking big gash in his elbow...won't stop. what to do...

    Even my vet has never seen anything quite like this...last fall, my horse came in from turnout with big gash in his front left elbow, at top of his leg. Stitches/drain etc. Looked all over for what he cut himself on, found nothing. 2 weeks later, he starts a minor cut on his other elbow. He is very itchy when shedding/growing new coat, we notice that he is periodically kicking at his belly with his hind leg when he attempts to scratch himself. So, we do antihistimines/ clip 3 times, (we live in Arizona, he was a hairy yak and it was 100 degrees, figured that was not helping). Everything heals up, no problem all winter. NOW....shedding/ growing in summer coat. Starts with cut AGAIN! Antihistamine not helping so much this time. Vet has never had a horse with this problem before....it seems to be getting worse. I am desperate for advice...

    What I have tried so far.....antihistamines. Equiderma lotion on belly...(which seems to help, but horse is boarded and I can't get out every day. Plus, it has not solved whole problem). Kicking chain. Shoe boil boots, just in case that was the problem. Medicated shampoo. Wrapping with elasticon/vet wrap...bad area, cant get it to stay in place. Bute..in case he was having some sort of inflammatory response. Flax seed in diet. NOTHING is working!

    Horse is 21yo OTTB..I have had him for 10 years, this is the first year I have had this problem. He is in good health and good weight, vaccinated and wormed per vet recs. Coat is healty and shiny when it grows in. He is still in work, doing dressage and light jumping, happy and sound. Any advice or experience with this would be most appreciated! I am at my wits end!
    I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert!
    If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,965

    Default

    Wierd. I've seen horses, including mine, use their hind leg to scratch their elbow or neck, but never hurt themselves doing it, and these are horses with shoes.

    You could try taking off his shoes if you think you can still work him without hind shoes.

    Since he sounds like he's being a bit violent about it? Is that right, you said he's 'kicking' his elbow? I wonder if that's almost a neuro thing - like a brain scar tissue or something triggering the movement. It could even be a small seizure - in humans there are seizures which look almost purposeful but then really aren't and they are called "semi-purposefull" like the person bends over the goes through the motions of tying his shoe - only he isn't wearing any shoes, or, he reaches up and brushes his hair - with no hair brush, or scratches his cheek, only over and over, with the same odd motions (turns his cheek, scratch scratch, look down, look away, turn his cheek, scratch scratch, look down, look away. Later, same repetition).

    I don't know if horses can get this sort of thing, but you could ask the vet about it. Get a neuro specialist if he "doesn't know" if it could be that. He needs to be able to say yes or no.

    I'd ask the vet to do a neuro check to rule out anything neurological. It could even be a local thing, like a pinched nerve which makes him feel a pang on his elbow, sharply, which prompts a violent type of hoof scratching.

    Just another thought in a different direction.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,468

    Default

    My guess is that this is systemic. Maybe an allergy. Check him for allergies. I have had two that have been on allergy shots and they have really helped.

    Do you have a vet who does homeopathics? They can work wonders sometimes.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2004
    Location
    La Habra Heights, CA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    Does he need to have his sheath cleaned? Maybe there's something in there that's bothering him.
    --o0o--



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,068

    Default

    Have you tried duct tape or gorilla tape on his elbow? I use it to prevent hock sores when my horse is out 24/7 and the tape is very effective as it gets ripped before her skin does. I replace it daily. Could offer the same protection from a kick - won't stop bruising but may prevent the skin breaking.

    My horses midline is very sensitive so in the summer I slather swat down her midline every day to stop the super tiny gnats from biting. If I don't her midline swells up, gets bitten raw and ends up on steroids.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2007
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Could it be threadworms causing the itch ?

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ht=threadworms



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2012
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    588

    Default

    Maybe slather some grease or vaseline on the area that he kicks so that th slides off instead of sticks and hurts him?

    I also second the neuro thing. Try a chiro? Although it does seem odd that it is during shedding time....
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,563

    Default

    As an experiment, what about trying some Gabapentin? Perhaps he has nerve damage from the old injury. Nerve pain can present itself in odd ways, and may make him kick at the area as he doesn't understand the sensation.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    As an experiment, what about trying some Gabapentin? Perhaps he has nerve damage from the old injury. Nerve pain can present itself in odd ways, and may make him kick at the area as he doesn't understand the sensation.
    Thank god, I didn't have to be the first person to suggest this. I feel like I've been a broken record lately

    I agree that a gabapentin trial would be worth a go. Here's a paper about using it in equines:

    http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs...rnalCode=javma



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,118

    Default

    Somebody posted today about an herbal lotion and it's accompanying food supplement that helped her horse. She wrote about it with pics on her blog. Looked like it worked for her, maybe worth a try after checking out the more serious possibilities others have mentioned here.

    "For those who have horse with skin issues"
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=350358

    Hilton herbs bye-bye itch

    (I have no experience with it, but it looked intriguing on her blog)



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2006
    Posts
    407

    Default

    Are you sure he is doing it by kicking? The reason I ask is I have a horse that has done this but not from kicking at his belly. He's done it while rolling/getting up. It's the hind shoes but not from kicking.

    Mine has done this about five times! Yes, it took me a while to figure out what the HECK he was getting cut by.

    When it happened on one side, then a few week later on the other, then a few months later.....one time the cut was so bad that he had to go on antibiotics and I had to flush the wound for days.

    I tried the duck tape but it's in such a spot that it's a bit hard to do. Instead put the tape on the toe of the hind shoes. Maybe just try doing that at night?

    I would also mention it to your farrier and see if he can rasp the toe/shoe to make sure it's not sharp.

    Good luck! It's so crazy how horses can hurt themselves in such odd ways.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    2,385

    Default

    He's allergic to one or more minerals in his sweat I bet! Some horses are just horribly itchy from sweat (I have one and he tries to roll when were trotting and cantering if I'm not careful ) dexamethazone can help a lot (big step up from equine antihistamines). You may not even see the sweat for enough to be on his skin.

    As a last resort, If you get really desperate for this to heal consider a long term sedative. That wont help with prevention unfortunately.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2008
    Location
    Delaware Valley
    Posts
    1,618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blue&blond View Post
    Are you sure he is doing it by kicking? The reason I ask is I have a horse that has done this but not from kicking at his belly. He's done it while rolling/getting up. It's the hind shoes but not from kicking.
    And some horses do it just from the way they position themselves when they lay down. My mare did it once - a deep gash in her elbow, just as you describe - and it didn't seem to bother her that much until I messed with it, so I just treated it.

    OP, I'm surprised your vet hadn't ever seen anything like this as I've seen it more than once.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,068

    Default

    Just want to add - if it's from the shoes make sure your farrier is using brand new shoes each time he is shod. The very font of the toes of the hinds get worn down to razor thin sharpness quickly. I never let shoes be reused on my horse for this reason.



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