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Would you call the vet for this or wait?

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  • Would you call the vet for this or wait?

    My gelding has been struggling with a bad case of scratches for months. We have done desitin...didnt make a dent. We got a rx from the vet for some sort of concoction that they make and it seems to be working pretty well. After we went through the first bottle, he had a flare up that resulted in lymphangitis.

    Vet put him on SMZ's for about a week as well as bute for 2 days. Also gave us more bottles of "the concoction."

    We are getting down to the bottom of both bottles (theyre small!) and he has swelling right above his fetlock in his left hind. It looks a lot like a windpuff. It feels like theres quite a bit of fluid in there. I see no cuts, scrapes, punctures etc that would be causing it.

    Horse doesnt mind me palpating it (unless I push on a spot where he has scratches) and is fully weight bearing. He may be a tiiiiny bit off at the trot. I have given him a gram of bute twice daily for 1.5 days now and it does not seem to have any impact on the swelling.

    Can horses get just one windpuff? Or could this swelling be caused by the scratches?

    I'm known for being overly cautious and always calling the vet, but since this isnt causing pain and he isnt lame, i'm thinking about waiting a few days.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    Sounds like antibiotics are needed. I would say call the vet today.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have any pictures of his legs?
      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

      Comment


      • #4
        My gelding was fighting the same thing on both back legs. Did you clip him? My vet recommended clipping all the hair off and keeping it as short as possible. And contrary to everything I've ever heard, he actually had me pick off the scabs, scrub it down with veterinary shampoo, and then left me with a concoction too - it's something he has mixed up specially, smells kind of like camphor, but I hate to say I don't know what was in it. He definitely had a little swelling when they were at their worst, they got borderline infection going on when he was pasture boarded, but a course of SMZs knocked it out.

        Good luck, it is a PITA to fight when you get a really stubborn case like this.
        http://ridingthroughthefear.blogspot.com/
        www.facebook.com/ThaliaFarm

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        • #5
          I have heard of supplemental copper helping with scratches, I'll try to find the article.
          for more Joy then you can handle
          http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            You need to get a skin scraping/biopsy to find out what you are dealing with. Obviously it's not susceptible to the antibiotics the vet had him on or the concoction.

            Comment


            • #7
              Get the vet back our and get a skin scraping.

              Good luck!
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Perfect Pony, no pictures right now. It was dark when I went to the barn this morning and now im at work. I can take some tonight when I go home.

                Would it be a bad idea just to start doing standing wraps at night and then only letting him out when there's low dew? His legs are clipped and get covered in the concoction as well as vaseline during the day when he's out (per vet's suggestion).

                If swelling doesnt go down by tomorrow, I will call the vet.

                Are SMZ's actually prescribed to cure scratches??
                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've used sulfa/urea cream and standing wraps with good results.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE]Are SMZ's actually prescribed to cure scratches??[/QUOTE]
                    Yes, but if they don't respond or it accelerates to cellulitis you might need to step up to Gentocin or another antibiotic. Been happening a lot around here with horses that spend a lot of time out in the wet weather we've been having.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks CBoylen. Yep, we have two with scratches pretty bad since the weather has been so crazy.

                      I guess it's time to put in a call to the vet to see if we can do a scraping or get stronger antibiotics!

                      Would it be okay for me to put him in tonight with standing wraps? That wouldnt hurt anything right?
                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't wrap a horse with scratches. You want air to get to them. Keeping them dry is the most important.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                          I wouldn't wrap a horse with scratches. You want air to get to them. Keeping them dry is the most important.
                          It really depends on what the horse is actually suffering from. "Scratches" is not a diagnosis, it is a catch all term describing skin problems effecting the legs. The horse could actually be suffering from any number of problems that have radically different treatment protocols. Unfortunately even many vets don't understand this, which is why a persistent case of "scratches" really needs to be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.
                          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            My vets have all recommended clipping and wrapping to keep them dry.

                            When this gelding was on stall rest after surgery, the leg he had wrapped (cotton/elasticon/vetwrap) healed completely of scratches, whereas the other leg, even though kept dry, still had some scabs.
                            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                              It really depends on what the horse is actually suffering from. "Scratches" is not a diagnosis, it is a catch all term describing skin problems effecting the legs. The horse could actually be suffering from any number of problems that have radically different treatment protocols. Unfortunately even many vets don't understand this, which is why a persistent case of "scratches" really needs to be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.
                              That is very true. Hence my first suggestion of skin scraping.

                              And also, clipping is another thing vets can't agree on. My vets say to never clip and never wrap. The hair is meant to keep moisture off the skin. When you clip the hair you're just allowing a straight path to the skin. I never clip. I know folks who clip all the time. And the results and length of time battling the scratches is probably the same at least half of the time. At the end of the day it probably doesn't make a big dang difference. Never has for me anyway. I know a case of scratches I was dealing with got way worse after I clipped the leg. As with everything else, ask 5 different horse people, or even vets, and you're probably going to get 5 different answers.

                              Alicat, you say when the horse was wrapped the scratches healed. Were they truly healed or were the scabs just gone? There is a difference. And of course the scabs will be gone when they are kept moist so the horse not having scabs while being wrapped makes sense. That's why so many use the desitin mix. It loosens the scabs. You have to get the scabs off so the medication can get to the skin and do it's job. That's just been my experience with it. I've dealt with many cases of scratches over the years. But I'm just an owner, I'm not a vet. Each case responds differently. Some respond to certain medicines and then don't respond at all to those same medicines the next time (on the same horse). For me it varies horse to horse and case by case.

                              If it DID heal the scratches then why did you stop wrapping? If they came right back after you unwrapped the leg, they weren't healed in the first place.

                              Oh and to answer your original question, horses can both swell and go quite lame from a simple case of 'scratches'. But they also won't want you messing with the leg either unless you just have a super stoic horse. If you're pushing on it and the horse isn't responding I'm going to *guess* it doesn't have to do with scratches. But that's my best internet *guess*.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I use whatever ointment seems effective, Middleburg Equine has given us some brownish stuff that really works well on the ones we've had there, but there is also a zinc ointment we picked up in Ireland years ago called Sudacreme that I've used on some scratches. I'll first treat them with Gentocin spray (this will sting a bit, so watch out), then normally will cover nasty lesions with non-stick gauze and the Sudocreme (very soothing) and vetwrap to keep dirt out.

                                Once the lesions are calmed down, I'll apply a medicated powder after the Gentocin/Sudocreme, and leave them unbandaged. Putting the powder on keeps dirt from sticking to the ointment, and the pasterns stay much cleaner, which speeds healing.

                                Our big jar of Sudocreme finally got used up earlier this year, but I was able to order more online--I just got a little jar in case it turned out to be not the right stuff, but it was the same, next time I'll get a bigger one.
                                Inner Bay Equestrian
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                                • #17
                                  My gelding got scratches this year for the first time (I'm pretty sure I did it with overzealous application of fly spray).

                                  So the vet that looked at it told me to:

                                  1. Put something like Corona on it overnight to soften the scabs.

                                  2. Next day, pull off the scabs.

                                  3. Wash legs very well with something gentle, like Ivory hand soap. He specifically said not to use anything harsh like Betadine.

                                  4. Wait for legs to FULLY dry and apply the Desitin. The Desitin keeps the area dry. Apply Desitin daily.

                                  5. Repeat as needed for any new scabs that appear.

                                  This process completely cleared it up in about 3 weeks!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                                    And also, clipping is another thing vets can't agree on.
                                    Seriously, it's not that vets don't agree on it, it's that most vets haven't a clue what they are talking about. If the "scratches" is actually vasculitis then you want to clip as little as possible, wrapping helps, and you absolutely NEVER want to pick at the scabs. If it's fungus or bacteria, or mites, or allergies, every single one has a different protocol. A local general vet is just guessing most of the time, and throwing crap at a wall hoping it sticks. And it's unfortunately the horse that ends up suffering when they are wrong.
                                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Well, vet is coming out and will likely look at the scratches. Unfortunately, she is coming out because Charlie Brown spooked in his stall and got his leg stuck under the stall door. We're doing radiographs to be sure nothing is broken.

                                      Jingles please.
                                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                        Well, vet is coming out and will likely look at the scratches. Unfortunately, she is coming out because Charlie Brown spooked in his stall and got his leg stuck under the stall door. We're doing radiographs to be sure nothing is broken.

                                        Jingles please.
                                        Oh my goodness, jingles!!!!!!!

                                        Comment

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