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Endless skin problem--need help!

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  • Endless skin problem--need help!

    One of my horses has had a skin problem on his hind legs since early August. My vet has had me do several things but they have not worked. Apparently this is photosensitivity because of the toxins in the grass and weeds because of drought conditions. None of my other horses has this. There is swelling and crustiness mostly on the white leg. There is also crustiness above the ankle on the black part of this leg. On the opposite hind leg, which is black, there is crustiness above the ankle on the outside. My vet has had me put thuja zinc oxide on this with some kind of antibiotic mixed into it. Can't think of the name right now. I am also giving him injections of Vita 15 once a week and keeping him out of the sun. It has been easy to keep him out of the sun since he was only out at night this summer. I just changed turn-out around to daytime and now I have to bandage his legs when he goes out.

    This morning his legs were quite swollen and sensitive. Yesterday there were open sores so I washed all the thuja off and dried it and tried another topical. That did not work!

    This skin condition has been going on way too long so I am looking for new answers. Apparently the toxins in the grass bother the liver and produce this condition. I have also tried a homeopathic for it. I am also giving him a supplement by ABC's called, "Kleanz" which is for the liver.

    Does anyone out there have experience with this?

    Also, I have recently had HUGE vet bills because of one of my other horses so if anyone has good, but cheap advice, I would really appreciate it!!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Is there a name for this condition where environmental toxins effect the liver and produce this skin condition on the leg??? Did your vet take a scraping for analysis?

    Can you just keep him in? If going out makes it worse by exposing him to whatever toxin effects him? Why not just keep him in or move him someplace where it is not present in the pasture?

    Probably going to go away with the first hard freeze but...it'll be back next spring.

    Really, if it is caused by something in the environment? Change the environment. I di$like pumping unproven $upplement$ into them while leaving them exposed to the environmental cause of the allergy/condition. There is very little clinical research out there to support a liver cleanse in humans, is there is anything concrete about liver supplements for horses to cleanse??? Other then claims by the manufacterer of that product???
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Keep up with the zinc oxide treatment, but do not wrap the legs because that makes them sweat which is very painful!

      Keep everything as clean as possible!

      I had this happen to a horse when I boarded at a place that spread lots of manure over the pasture. Once it cleared up (for the third time) I moved him out of there & he never got it again.

      Bleach everything really good to try to kill whatever is affecting him, I think it is a bacteria causing it, but that is just a guess.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am giving you a link to a thread where people were posting and describing the same symptoms your horse has. It is nothing to fool around with. My horse ended up going on antibiotics to clear it up.

        Please read: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=231905

        Comment


        • #5
          OP...yeah, do NOT bandage it. IF it is caused by an environmental trigger, these things tend to be best left open to the air.

          I have had a few issues with similar crud attacks-including some heat and swelling. Keeping the hair clipped short, Iodine shampoo scrubs (gently) or-better-a perscription shampoo you leave on for 15 minutes and SMZs (oral or injection) have cleared mine up within a week. If it lasts longer? You need an actual diagnosis. Soon too if this has been going on since August.

          I keep coming back to the "toxins in the pasture due to drought". Sounds more like an allergic reaction complicated by a fungal and bacterial invasion that would improve by keeping him OUT of the grass and weeds causing the reaction as well as keeping the leg clean and unwrapped. Try that for a week.

          Make no mistake, I am not saying do this INSTEAD of sending a sample to the lab. It's not that expensive and might save the horse further suffering if it is a medical condition.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is this primary or secondary photosensitivity?

            Are you sure you are dealing with a secondary photo-sensitization rather than a primary one? Primary photo-sensitization is due to ingesting photodynamic compounds that end up in the skin and then react with UV light resulting in oxidative damage. This is different from secondary photosensitivity which is when a toxin damages the liver and renders the liver unable to excrete Phylloerythrin. Phylloerythrin is an end product of breaking down the chlorophyll in plants that occurs in the gut. If this Phylloerythrin is not metabolized by the liver it builds up in the blood travels to the skin and reacts with UV light.

            If this is a secondary photo-sensitization due to liver damage from toxic plants then the liver will be compromised and that is a major concern. Your vet should know which type you are dealing with and be able to advise you accordingly. If it is secondary then the diet should take into account the fact that his liver is stressed. The liver is a major center of metabolism and therefore by feeding carefully you can reduce the work it has to do which is beneficial when it is compromised. The protein level in the diet should not be excessive and the balance of amino acids should be towards branch chain amino acids. The good news is that the liver has amazing ability to regenerate itself so if you can nurse him through this it should be able to recover as long as there is not too much scarring.

            I just posted about the general role of nutrition and skin health on another thread discussing scratches. While this is a different issue nutrition will still play the same role in insuring that your horse has the building blocks it needs to build healthy skin and have an optimum immune response.

            Keep us posted,
            Clair

            Independent Equine Nutritionist
            www.summit-equine.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's the thread Clair refers to
              http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=278864
              It's post #17 with her great info
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Equilibrate View Post
                Are you sure you are dealing with a secondary photo-sensitization rather than a primary one? Primary photo-sensitization is due to ingesting photodynamic compounds that end up in the skin and then react with UV light resulting in oxidative damage. This is different from secondary photosensitivity which is when a toxin damages the liver and renders the liver unable to excrete Phylloerythrin. Phylloerythrin is an end product of breaking down the chlorophyll in plants that occurs in the gut. If this Phylloerythrin is not metabolized by the liver it builds up in the blood travels to the skin and reacts with UV light.

                If this is a secondary photo-sensitization due to liver damage from toxic plants then the liver will be compromised and that is a major concern. Your vet should know which type you are dealing with and be able to advise you accordingly. If it is secondary then the diet should take into account the fact that his liver is stressed. The liver is a major center of metabolism and therefore by feeding carefully you can reduce the work it has to do which is beneficial when it is compromised. The protein level in the diet should not be excessive and the balance of amino acids should be towards branch chain amino acids. The good news is that the liver has amazing ability to regenerate itself so if you can nurse him through this it should be able to recover as long as there is not too much scarring.

                I just posted about the general role of nutrition and skin health on another thread discussing scratches. While this is a different issue nutrition will still play the same role in insuring that your horse has the building blocks it needs to build healthy skin and have an optimum immune response.

                Keep us posted,
                Clair

                Independent Equine Nutritionist
                www.summit-equine.com

                Thank you so much! I don't know if it is primary or secondary and my vet is out of town right now but I might be able to get her. None of my other horses have this and I rotated pastures for the past few months. This horse is retired at 13 because
                of arthritis so he is not under undue stress as I see it. Yesterday I tried washing all the thuja zinc mixture off and putting him out in the sun (in hopes a miracle would occur I guess.) Big mistake as it was really swollen this morning so I put him out with bandages on--dry.

                I don't understand quite how to determine if it is primary or secondary. I will ask my vet if I can though

                I did read your post on the other thread. His diet I think is very good. He gets a four pounds of a high fat and fiber feed, about three flakes of a grass/alfalfa hay and is out on pasture about 12 hours per day. Two weeks ago I started all horses on Omega Horseshine. Earlier this summer he was on an oil that had soy in it but I took everyone off of it.

                I might try the witch hazel/betadine mixture on him. I actually did put witch hazel on it the other day mostly out of desperation. I have to say I have been dealing with several horses with completely different veterinary issues for the past few months and would love to have this one over so I don't have to worry about it.

                I forgot to say that the amount of feed he is getting is less than the feeding rate for that feed so I supplement him with 1 1/2 oz of a very good vitamin/mineral supplement. I hope that gives him everything he needs but I guess it would take a nutritionist or maybe my vet to figure it out.
                Last edited by LookmaNohands; Nov. 1, 2010, 08:36 PM. Reason: remembered this!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Perhaps this is what you are dealing with:

                  Pastern Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis - This problem looks very much like common pastern dermatitis/ scratches... It is not. It is important to know which problem you are dealing with.
                  There is a little known condition called Pastern Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) that initially represents as common scratches. This problem is a relatively common, but poorly understood disease. It generally affects mature horses and causes lesions strictly confined to the legs that lack pigment. Lesions are multiple and well defined to the pink skinned areas only. Initially red, oozing, crusty sores develop. Chronic cases may develop a rough scarred appearance. The cause of pastern leukocytosclastic vasculitis is not yet known, but an immune component is suspected. The fact that the lesions are limited to non-pigmented areas of the skin suggest a role for ultra violet radiation. Drug reactions causing sunlight hypersensitivity may also be a factor. Recent studies have implicated Staphylococcus bacterial infection as a possible cause. Diagnosis is made based on skin biopsy of the affected area, which would show P.L.V., inflammation of the blood vessels with vessel wall degeneration and clots involving the small vessels of the superficial skin layer. Treatment consists of systemic corticosteroids at relatively high doses for two weeks and reduced doses for another four to six weeks to stop the inflammatory response. A reduction in ultra violet light exposure may be helpful by using Equiderma Zinc Oxide Scratches Paste. This treatment will provide sunblock, and has anti- bacterial anti-fungal properties thereby providing external treatment from all angles. Diagnosis is made by taking a skin biopsy of the affected area, and sending it off to a lab to determine which pathogens are present.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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