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how do you treat "Scratches"?

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  • #21
    THIS: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/29180...81786972dEWEaB

    Was a really bad case. It prevailed for 2 years until I finally found what worked for him.

    1.) Washing legs with water only to soften the scabs, try to get as many of the scabs off without irritating the leg too much.

    2.) Let the legs air dry.

    3.) The antibiotic/antifungal that actually worked was "Special Formula" mastitis cream. Applied on legs for 2 days straight, then a week break, then one more application.

    After 2 years of suffering, it cleared up within 3 weeks after that treatment.


    I had also had a culture and biopsy done. We had moderate response to gentamycin cream (otomax), but after a second culture the bacteria became resistent. A 2 week dexamethasone trial also helped improve the scratches, but again didnt cure.

    If its a stubborn case, you need to know WHAT antibiotics it will be responsive to - no point using one that wont work! Its amazing how resistent some bacteria is.

    I now rarely shampoo his white socks. I rinse them daily. Apparently them being "wet" for a short period of time isnt the problem, but when they are shampoo'd too often they loose their natural defense to moisture, their natural oils.

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    • #22
      I think it depends how bad they are. Many of these topicals will work, especially to keep things under control of if you see it creeping up again. In my experience if it's bad enough that he has open wounds applying a bandage just like you would with any other wound/injury helps a lot. I use a basic antibiotic ointment or corona then non stick pad, then roll cotton under vet wrap. It seems like once you can keep it clean and dry, and also protect it so it can heal, things improve quickly.

      ps, iodine always made things worse for mine.

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      • #23
        Squishthebunny - the mastitis cream is what is in the Cloverdale recipe.

        Is Vagisil for yeast infections? Might be wht I could rub on my white dog's poor itchy skin. Getting desperate, here. Anybody, but sorry to hijack.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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        • #24
          I went through this with my mare last year. Nothing topical seemed to help. Corticosteroids cleared it up. So far so good this year.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
            If it is scratches, I have always used sauerkraut with excellent results. Buy a can, mix with clay, apply and let fall off.

            With remainder of sauerkraut, put the juice in a squeeze bottle and apply the juice to the area liberally. Should be gone in about 5 days.

            Cost about 89 cents. Effectiveness = priceless.
            horsefaerie: You should write a book -- at least an ebook we can download from Amazon. I always enjoy your wisdom.
            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.

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            • #26
              Cloverdale Antiseptic ointment and Mastitis cream are the to remove old scratches.Applying creams after wash scratch with soft scrub and left legs air dry for few minutes. Natural Dry Eye Treatment

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              • #27
                In my experience, treating scratches is more of an art than a science. Once you get through the first bad case, and realize your horse is prone to develop the condition, the best strategy is to try and stay ahead of them. I start watching/cleaning/treating those white socks early in the year.

                The bad cases I've had, seem to need to run their course and I've also found topical steroids to be helpful. I have never found a silver bullet for scratches. Even on the same horse, it seems like each case is slightly different. Catching any irritation early has been the key for me to avoid a full blown case.

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                • #28
                  Best thing I've ever used for scratches is acne body wash (aka benzoyl peroxide), recommended to me by my vet. Washed the leg with the soap once a day, dried and applied some steroid spray from the vet. Cleared up in a week.
                  Unrepentant carb eater

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                  • #29
                    Nolvasan( chlorhexidene ) cream, Desitin, equal parts, a squirt of dexamethazone (or OTC cortisone cream) equal part. Mix thoroughly. Rub on. If scabs soften fine, if not do not pick. They will eventually soften. Apply at least twice a day.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                    • #30
                      I've had good results with Sulfur8, an African-American hair care product containing 2 percent sulfur, Desitin and antibiotic ointment, slathered together on the sores.

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                      • #31
                        I'm a little confused. Is "scratches" and mud fever the same thing? It appears to have the same origin and symptoms.
                        Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                        Originally posted by DottieHQ
                        You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Niennor View Post
                          I'm a little confused. Is "scratches" and mud fever the same thing? It appears to have the same origin and symptoms.
                          You should be confused. The people who are not confused are wrong. There really is no one condition called "scratches", it's a catch all term for about a dozen skin problems, many that present similarly but are not the same issue.

                          Many people think they know the definition of scratches and spew out their favorite goop or treatment plan, but in many instances following these procedures can actually do more harm than good.

                          The reason no one thing works with every horse is because every horse is NOT suffering from the same condition. The OP needs to figure out what is going on with HER horse and get proper treatment from a vet, although many vets don't know how to properly treat the condition either. IMO skin problems really should be diagnosed by a dermatologist.
                          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                          • #33
                            Buy a can of Athletes Foot powder spray, like Tinactin or generic...I use at the first sign and it quickly gets rid of it. It is good because it is a dry spray.
                            "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Niennor View Post
                              I'm a little confused. Is "scratches" and mud fever the same thing? It appears to have the same origin and symptoms.
                              In common terminologies- Yes! And 99% of the time it is treatable with these combinations. The cortisone decreases the inflammation, the medicated creme, helps treat the infection which is frequently a bacteria/ fungal combo, and the desitin keeps it dry.

                              Not all of us have dermatologist, equine or otherwise, in our back pockets.
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                Not all of us have dermatologist, equine or otherwise, in our back pockets.
                                With the advent of all this new-fangled technology like digital photographs, mail, and the telephone, yes you do.
                                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                                • #36
                                  My horse had what looked like scratches, but after a skin culture we determined it was a pseudomonas infection. It was a major PITA to get rid of. The culture showed that Silvadene cream http://www.mountainside-medical.com/...50-gram--.html would kill it however we had no success and switched to Gentacin spray.

                                  For regular scratches my vet has been recommending Equishield Salve. http://www.entirelypets.com/kineticv...alve-1-lb.html

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    UGH! Now i feel more confused. I hate bacterial infections! Whatever the cause, they're always a PITA.
                                    Well my horse's symptoms appeared to be consistent with mud mud fever: it started off as scabs and swelling of the pasterns and spread all over his legs. I was away from the barn for a week and by the time I got there, the trainer and handlers had already started treating it and i followed the same procedures: rinse the legs thoroughly, disinfect with betadine solution and remove the scabs; then dry the legs and use a powder to keep them dry. one of the trainers was nice enough to let me borrow some of her powder because I wasn't prepared for this situation, until I bought my own.
                                    The swelling and redness disappeared without having to resort to antibiotics. He now only has what seem to be scabs resulting from the haling process bu I'm keeping a close eye on them and always make sure to keep the legs dry.

                                    Funny thing is he a stabled horse, s no contact with mud unless you count wet sand from the arena and his legs are always rinsed thoroughly after workout. Looks like it was the weird weather changes and all the humidity that did him in. And, of course, since he's grey, he's more sensitive to bacterial infections *sigh*
                                    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                                    Originally posted by DottieHQ
                                    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      There's some stuff called "Muck Itch" that knocks down nearly all skin-fuglies within 48 hours; it's got aspirin and tea tree oil in it, and we've had great results with it for scratches and rain-rot.

                                      Once you get it gone, Desitin on the backs of the pasterns is a good preventative.

                                      "Processed stone," aka ground-up road-mix, is a good cheap way to kill your mud holes; the stuff is very reasonable even if you buy it by the tri-axle which we've been known to!

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                                      • #39
                                        Desitin? that's a diaper rash ointment. Pretty sure we don't have it in my area but i should be able to find something similar. Thanks for the tip!

                                        Muck Itch I can get on Amazon if I get another bad case of the fungies.
                                        Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                                        Originally posted by DottieHQ
                                        You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Ive seen great results with just desitin or generic zinc oxide cream. (Dont forget to wear gloves.)

                                          Scrapping the wounds can open them up to more infection. This is something i never do. I just wash the desitin off every few days, with a derma shampoo, dry and reapply if needed.

                                          If this is a serious case, talk to your vet, prescription medication may be needed.

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