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Treating a chemical burn on my horse's neck? (picture added post 13)

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  • Treating a chemical burn on my horse's neck? (picture added post 13)

    Other than admitting that Team Bad Decision rode again, I will not bore you with the details of how my horse got a chemical burn on his neck. The burn area is the size of a large dinner plate.

    It happened last Thursday (7 days ago). The area was immediately and repeatedly washed and rinsed. The horse seemed to be comfortable after that.

    About 2 hours later, his neck was swollen in the exact area of the burn. 2 shots of Dex later, he was fine by the next day.

    He has been totally OK until today when his skin has gotten all wrinkled (like a Shar Pei) and the hair is dull and will not lie flat.

    At this point I am guessing that he is going to lose all the hair in that area.

    What do I do from here on in? Is there anything I can to to limit the amount of hair loss? Should I keep his neck moisturized (and put sun block on it)? I immediately went on Google and it said to not put any antiseptic on a chemical burn -- can I do it now?

    Yes, I will call the vet if it gets worse, but I am doubting that the vet will be an expert in this area, and the horse is not in pain, nor is there any swelling. Just wrinkes and funny looking hair.
    Last edited by Lord Helpus; May. 10, 2012, 03:40 PM.
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

  • #2
    I've had good luck with something called Pavia, good old Vit E, and silver sulfadiazine...(mine are always fly spray related).


    • #3
      I'm guessing the wrinkled skin is due to fluid loss?

      Anyway, I've had excellent luck treating burns with Silvadene. Its a burn ointment, in fact. Here's a link:

      Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.


      • #4
        I'd be thinking you may have some epidermal sloughing. The wrinkly part sounds like dead skin.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


        • #5
          Silvadene is good. Biafine is even better. Rx in the states I think but any vet or doctor can write you a scrip for it.

          Sunscreen if out during the day probably wont be enough... I would turn out at night only.
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


          • #6
            Been there done that accidently before with some overpowered "liniment" that apparently wasnt exactly what the bottle said (public riding stables) on a horses outer upper front leg. The skin and hair did the same thing you describe and we did have skin and hair loss. I used a boatload of corona cream and Desitin to protect and sooth while it healed up. I believe we also used silvadine as well. Healed fine and the horse never seemed too sore. I felt like a heel tho!


            • #7
              When I managed to give my horse Cool a chemical peel (we went past the wrinkled hair phase and on into the hanging sheets of skin, sort of like Spanish moss) the vet said to use water and really dilute Fungisan. I did it using some product that was supposed to help skin conditions and contained eucalyptus which some horses are allergic to. Or so the vet said.

              That was BTW the one time in my life I was able to barter for vet care--I traded for some tomatoes and zucchini from my mom's garden (vet's idea, not mine)
              The Evil Chem Prof


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                I'd be thinking you may have some epidermal sloughing. The wrinkly part sounds like dead skin.
                Me too.

                I'd keep him out of the sun and dirt and consider coating the area in silver sulfadiazine cream or similar if I really wanted to "do something" right now. I don't know that I'd use it long term as there is evidence that it delays wound healing (although I have not personally read the studies but I hear dinner table talk from the human side)

                I'd not be surprised to see the wrinkly area become a giant eschar and fall off to reveal some angry tissue underneath.

                How long has it been since your guy had a tetanus booster?
                Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


                • #9
                  I'd suggest being careful about applying more stuff to this already aggravated area. Your horse's skin is going to peel the outer layer and it does get stuck on the rooted hair. Just leave it alone! Do not apply anything with a petroleum product in it. That means mineral oil. It is another aggravant. The peeling skin will eventually work loose and you'll be able to pick it free of the hair. If you can find a very plain aloe vera gel without additives that should be safe.



                  • #10
                    Kinda on/off topic, but this thread made me think of this local guy:


                    Of course, that was a big case of neglect and improper care (kerosene to treat rain rot, and starved horses)


                    • Original Poster

                      THANK YOU ALL!

                      This is just the information I need -- and could not find after an hour Googling every combination of key words I could think of.

                      A friend has a jar of Silvazine/Silvadine and she will bring it over this morning. But I do understand the poster who said to be careful about putting anything on it at this stage, so I am going to call the vet to get advice about which treatments to use when.

                      (It also makes me feel better to know that others have had similar problems, although I doubt that they had directly caused the chemical burn....)

                      StupidStupidStupid. My guilt knows no bounds.

                      Suffice it to say that one should be very careful of what one uses to get pine tar off a horse..... (yes, I tried rubbing alcohol and GoJo first, before resorting to stronger substances....)

                      I love COTH!
                      "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                      Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                      • #12
                        Actually, having been burned myself, I can tell you that the protocol is to first keep the nerves from being exposed to the air (you are past that stage) and second, to keep it moist as it heals. If it did not blister it is probably not a bad burn, but still, worth tending to.
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                        • Original Poster

                          Here is a picture of Petey's neck. Interestingly enough, The area with the pine tar was a small area up higher on the neck, by the mane. The circular area with the bad skin/hair never had any caustic substance on it.

                          Also, the little "tails" on the right side are new as of today. yesterday, the area was a smooth oval.


                          Does this additional information help anyone with a diagnosis?

                          If not, then I will follow the suggestions made so far. Thanks!
                          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                          • #14
                            I'd just wait and see at this point. If nothing sloughs, leave well enough alone. If it starts sloughing and exposing what's underneath, silvadine is a great option. If you're lucky, you won't have anything but ruffled hair for awhile.


                            • #15
                              ditto Simkie. This is nowhere near as bad as my experience it appears.


                              • #16
                                [QUOTE=Lord Helpus;6305267] I am going to call the vet to get advice about which treatments to use when.


                                This would be the smart thing to do.
                                You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                • #17
                                  I would only put something on if raw tissue becomes exposed. Putting silversulfadiazine all over his neck is only going to make a big mess (and costly for that big of area).

                                  Yes, its a chemical burn, but based on the pictures it might never slough, especially if he is not tender to it at this point.


                                  • #18
                                    From the looks of that, I'd ask the vet about giving him an anti-histamine.