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Horses now w/scatches coming home;Ima scratches free zone. Concerned herd getting it.

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  • Horses now w/scatches coming home;Ima scratches free zone. Concerned herd getting it.

    My horses have never had scratches on my farm. At least not in the 11 years since I've had this farm. They and their stalls are kept really clean. It is like my place is a scratches free zone.

    Couple of my horses went to trainers barn were most of the horses there have scratches, and my horses might be coming home for a bit. It is like the norm there for the horses to have scratches, but I was a bit shocked to see puffy legs and crust, when I am used to normal healthy legs. :-( My horses now either have scratches or have come in contact with it, and I am guessing are carriers? I am worried that if these horses come back to my farm, the rest of my horses will get scratches.

    Is there anything that I can do to prevent everyone from getting it? Isolate? Quarantine? Disinfect or sterilize?

  • #2
    It doesn't work like that. Scratches bacteria is everywhere, it just needs an entrance.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
      It doesn't work like that. Scratches bacteria is everywhere, it just needs an entrance.
      My horses will get it in specific paddocks, and not others. It is especially worse when the field is wet or damp (in my experience). Also, my mare with three white socks gets them REALLY bad on the pink skin, but none on the black skin. I've seen some theories say that they get them on the black, just not as noticeable; however, I'm dowm there looking and feeling every day, and I know for a fact there are NO scabs on my mare's black, only on the white.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Interesting. Weird that most if not all horses that live at that barn have it chronically. Wonder why? My horses (the ones at my house) do not and have not.

        They did say something about some of them getting it from leg boot rubs. Well if that is the case why not get boots that fit right and dont rub?

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Sucker, that is interesting too. I have always had some horses here that live out 24/7 in rainy damp OR and they do not get it. Big pastures with really good drainage and barely any mud.

          Right now, two young horses who have lived out all winter happen to have 4 white legs. Their legs have no problem. They have rambos with necks attached. No scratches on any part of their body even though legs and heads have been exposed to wet weather. Good immune systems or something?

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          • #6
            My 23 year old TB with 3 socks has had 'average' issues with it.... seasonally and depending on how muddy/wet things got. Not a big deal and easy to treat.

            The past few years he has it year round, gets much worse in the warmer weather (higher grass, more sun???). As he ages it gets worse and it's impossible to get rid of completely. Our stalls and pastures are clean and dry, non of the others have had it. The vet says it's an aging immune system issue.

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            • #7
              Wet/dirty conditions just give the bacteria/fungus an opportunity.

              If you have a whole barn full of scratches, then it's a management issue. Whether it's diet, environment (and yes, the stuff that causes it is everywhere, it's not just at this farm and not that farm), or whatever.

              It IS an immune system deal. The issue is - can you fix it (often yes) or do you just have to manage it (not usually the case, but some horses, just like some people, simply don't have strong immune systems.

              It's also much more common on pink skin, making it likely there's also the photosensitivity component.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                Interesting. Weird that most if not all horses that live at that barn have it chronically. Wonder why? My horses (the ones at my house) do not and have not.

                They did say something about some of them getting it from leg boot rubs. Well if that is the case why not get boots that fit right and dont rub?
                Because all of the horses are living in such an environment to allow the bacteria to thrive...therefore, they all get it. Just speculation, but that is what I would assume.

                It's not from boot rubs, although creating an "in" for the bacteria can help.
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've found that sand, whether in paddocks or arena footing, seems to contribute. When I've been in barns with sand footing, I was always diligent about washing AND DRYING (critical factor, and often missed) my horse's leg after working in that footing.

                  Was this the horse that went to Thermal? I remember seeing you mention that in another thread. I only ask as my vet told me about horses coming back from Thermal with horrible scratches. Scabby, nasty fat legs...yuk.

                  I guess I would be inclined to at least keep things separate, so that horse goes only in a certain paddock and stall, and no sharing of grooming items especially towels, until cleared up. Whether to disinfect and how...I guess I'd be asking my vet for advice on that.

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                  • #10
                    I wonder if they share boots. Dark, moist, warm, ill fitting and bacteria laden...that would do it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd be really vigilant about checking every day for something that might be incipient scratches. Some people swear by Gold Bond foot powder as a preventative.

                      Does the barn have horses on dexamethasone? It suppresses the immune system. I've heard this is a reason why there are supposedly so many scratches cases during the long circuit type of shows.
                      The Evil Chem Prof

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                      • #12
                        Scratches is essentially "dish pan hands" in horses--wet legs + abrasion (sand footing, muddy legs) = cracked, sore, bacteria infected legs. I've always tried to keep legs dry, here in PNW a critical issue.

                        Treat those horses who come in with a mix of triple acting antibiotic and baby butt creme. Keep legs dry. Avoid picking scabs and getting legs wet.
                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                          Wet/dirty conditions just give the bacteria/fungus an opportunity.

                          If you have a whole barn full of scratches, then it's a management issue. Whether it's diet, environment (and yes, the stuff that causes it is everywhere, it's not just at this farm and not that farm), or whatever.

                          It IS an immune system deal. The issue is - can you fix it (often yes) or do you just have to manage it (not usually the case, but some horses, just like some people, simply don't have strong immune systems.

                          It's also much more common on pink skin, making it likely there's also the photosensitivity component.
                          Any thoughts on what sort of dietary changes might help? He's on 1 cup Omega Horseshine, 3 lbs TC Senior, and Smart Flex Senior, free choice grass hay in winter and pasture in summer. I recently added Smart Vite Senior, thinking maybe it would help... desperate since I'm out of ideas

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            3lb TC Sr is short of where they'd like you to be from a nutritional standpoint, so either add 1-2lb more, if the horse can take the calories, or add 1/2lb of TC 30 (their ration balancer).

                            IME, copper and zinc are often a missing dietary component. it's not that they're getting NO cu/zn, it's that *that* particular horse isn't getting enough, regardless of what the numbers crunch to.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have one horse who is prone (but he goes out when it is SUPER muddy) and I have found Zephyr's Garden Anti-Fungal salve to be extremely effective.

                              A good clean diet is imperative to preventing scratches. I leased him out several years ago for a year, and he developed a really bad case (he had never had it before). He now gets little bouts when it is really muddy and I can't wash and dry his legs every day. Zephyr's Garden Anti-Fungal is seriously a life saver. Almost all gone after 1 application and it seems that he likes how it feels. I try to put it one once a week in the "wet season" to prevent it.

                              Here is a link:

                              https://www.zephyrsgarden.com/store?...&category_id=1

                              I don't sell this product or anything, but it's probably one of my favorite things to have in the barn

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Try Simple Green (natural cleaner from home depot) for scratches.
                                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

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