I have a 5 year old chestnut hanoverian mare with some SERIOUS tail and mane issues. Let me preface this by saying I am extremely frustrated and at my wits end, as we have been dealing with this issue for months on end now.
I cannot get her to stop rubbing her tail raw. And I mean missing layers of skin raw. We have put her on antibiotics, cortisone shots, tried cortisone cream, baby shampoo/cortisone shampoo/any anti-itch shampoo under the sun and nothing seems to help. You name it, and we probably have tried it. She is on smartpak supplements and I have stopped those as well for the time being, but without any signs of improvement. She is kept as close to spotless as any horse can get, always has clean bedding, and goes out in the morning for turnout.
Please, is there anyone out there with some tried and true solutions for this problem? So frustrated!
Her mane and tail in general are very dry, for some strange reason. She is fed high quality feed and hay, so I'm not sure what kind of nutrition deficit that could be from. The skin does look very dry and irritated..perhaps in some places almost fungal like but nothing I do seems to make it get better. Particularly the skin on her tail seems very sore. Especially now that she rubbed it raw last night.
Last edited by Vetvivi; Feb. 12, 2013 at 06:01 PM.
Reason: more info
What is she fed? What smart pack supplements was she on? Does she get fresh grass? Have you tried flax, or a supplement like Omega Horseshine?
What part of the country are you from? Here in CA, we have to make sure our horses are getting enough selenium and vit. E, but too much selenium can cause hair loss (a thing to look for if supplementing).
Copper and zinc also have to be properly balanced for a healthy coat.
It does sound like you have something skin related going on, and I'd think a skin scraping would be an excellent next step, but I'll throw this out there: I have a mare that rubs her tail bald because she's got some arthritis in her neck, and best as I can tell, it causes some tingling or something that causes her to rub her tail. I have tried EVERYTHING to ease it, and about the only thing that does is turning her out 24/7 with as little as possible to rub on.
Some mares also rub because they've figured out that rubbing their lady bit on stuff feels good.
Thank you everyone for the replies! A skin scraping does sound like a really good idea. I will definitely bring that up the next time I see him. I am pretty worried about what I should be putting on her tail right now since it is so raw and ouchy looking. I want to put something to soothe it but I also do not want to exacerbate the problem.
Appsolute- We recently (within the last week) added flax oil to her diet so I am hoping that will add some moisture and nutrients to her skin that she desperately seems to need. She is on a supplement called 4 in 1 HA..I will definitely check the nutritional info for any selenium issues.
Simke- I would not put that last part past her LOL..damn mares.
after discussing with your vet re a skin scrapping I would try washing with nolvosan scrub than a light spray of calm coat or tea tree oil to sooth
also with a wet washcloth wipe everyday under her tail dock, and between her teats, no scrubbing and no soap, don't want to dry her skin out or irritate it further
my guy had started to rub due to a tick and the healing afterward but then it became habit so I had to be diligent to make sure there was nothing to tempt him to want to rub
Try taking her off of any grain/supplements/treats etc for a few days and see if the rubbing stops or improves. Sometimes skin issues are allergy related. Also stop using any products on her for a couple of days. It could be a food allergy or a topical related allergy.
I second the Chlorhex suggestion. *Most* external derm stuff can be fixed by washing with Chlorhex (or Betadine) scrub, leaving it on for TEN MINUTES, and washing off. If that doesn't help in 7-10 days it's either something super resistant or the problem is systemic.
Again, thanks for the replies! I am going to take her off everything but the bare minimum to try and hopefully narrow it down as to what it could be. I was using betadine in the beginning but perhaps I will try that again, or the chlorhex. I'm unsure of whether I should keep washing it to keep it clean, or not wash it so often so it doesn't dry out..any suggestions on which way to go? Just trying to figure out how to end this cycle..so frustrating.
Also, has anyone had any luck with a product called GenOne? it is an antibiotic/corticosteroid spray. looks pretty good, might give that a go too.
Reay- I have not heard of that, but I certainly will look it up now. I appreciate any and all suggestions as what I have been doing thus far has not worked!
A little bit on the mane, but absolutely nowhere near to the degree of rawness on her tail. I'm pretty worried about it now that it is so raw. I don't want to irritate it but I also don't want her to continue rubbing and potentially cause an infection or scarring.
i would be tempted to not touch the tail or put anything on it and see what happens.
is she rubbing her mane raw also?
I agree with Frag. Stop putting ANYTHING on it or doing anything to it. If you're worried about her continuing to rub, wrap it.
Skin scraping is a good idea. Could be a fungus, could be mites. I had a dog that was scratching scratching scratching like a madman, losing hair, etc., and we couldn't figure it out - had a scraping done.....SCABIES.
Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.