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how do you treat "Scratches"?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    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.
    This is why I refer to it as "summer skin funk" or, in the case of my horse, who is prone to it year round, "general skin funk."

    I am surprised at how many people slather stuff on it. I always feel that it is caused by moisture (which explains why it is prevalent in the summer...lots of bathing plus dew at night). I wash with something like Keratolux (my horse is very sensitive, and this is on his approved list. I try to avoid betadine, etc, as much as possible). I usually leave it sitting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how bad the case is, then get off as many of the scabs as possible. Once we're rinsed, I dry as well as I possibly can, then leave with nothing on it. I will clip legs if needed to help keep them dry. Make sure all boots and wraps are clean.
    Amanda

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    • #42
      If you can buy from Amazon in your area - you should be able to find Desitin on there too.

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      • #43
        Scratches, or whatever bacterial/fungal infection it is that affects our horses legs is one of those things I try to be very on top of. I have found that prevention is the best way to treat scratches.

        ~ try to keep their legs as clean and dry as possible. I try not to soap them up if I don't have to, but if their legs are particularly muddy or gritty, I will wash them usually with a mild soap like ivory. I always make sure they are perfectly dry before they go back in their stall. Towel dry not only the legs, but their elbows to the knee up front and their stifle to the hock behind, to prevent water dripping down onto the part you already dried, because I have found it prevents that water from dripping down to re-wet their legs, which can cause scratches, as well. I also make sure their manes, bellies and tails aren't dripping on their legs, too.

        ~ I do clip my horse's legs on a 3-6 week schedule, including knees and hocks, if I can do it without making the horse look funny (i.e. chestnuts). This helps me get their legs dry quicker and helps me identify any areas that look like they might be starting to develop scratches.

        ~ If there are any tiny areas that look like scratches, I have used Tea-Clenz (http://www.healing-tree.com/Tea-Clenz.html). It does a really great job of of loosening up the scratches and healing them or getting rid of small areas so they don't get worse. I have used it on some pretty decent crud; however, I have been fortunate to not have had to deal with some of the more severe cases, so I don't know if it would work on them as well as some of the other remedies mentioned here.

        For some of the tougher cases, I know of some people who have used a mixture of desitin and furacin to coat their legs to prevent moisture from getting on to the legs when they are in wet or damp turnout conditions.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
          This is why I refer to it as "summer skin funk" or, in the case of my horse, who is prone to it year round, "general skin funk."

          Good to see you can still keep your sense of humor about it

          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
          I am surprised at how many people slather stuff on it. I always feel that it is caused by moisture (which explains why it is prevalent in the summer...lots of bathing plus dew at night). I wash with something like Keratolux (my horse is very sensitive, and this is on his approved list. I try to avoid betadine, etc, as much as possible). I usually leave it sitting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how bad the case is, then get off as many of the scabs as possible. Once we're rinsed, I dry as well as I possibly can, then leave with nothing on it. I will clip legs if needed to help keep them dry. Make sure all boots and wraps are clean.
          I was unsure if I should put anything on i or not, since it was my first time dealing with this (first horse and all that jazz). But i was told to remove the scabs gently and keep the affected area clean and dry and it worked out for me.

          Lion1024 I probably could find Desitin on amazon, but if i can find something similar here I would save a great deal on shipping.
          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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          • #45
            Originally posted by Niennor View Post
            UGH!

            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*
            Perfect Pony is spot on (maybe why Perfect!) It so depends on the area you are in and the conditions. Here in Florida with the high humidity and rain every day plus the grass growing a foot overnight there is a good chance most of the "crud" conditions on the legs are what vets here describe as "dew poision" many times if not treated will develope into a case of cellulitis so besides some topical solutions need SMZ and panalog to get under control.

            When I was up North where we had a true mud season used different treatments for what we did refer to as scratches, if caught early lots of topical treatments worked and everyone had the fav that they swore by!The worst case I ever had was a yearling that was black no white, she was in a stall for a month and lots of antibiotics but finally cleared up in time to be out in the snow all winter and did not have a repeat come spring mud season.

            As far as your horse not being out in the mud, sand in the arena could cause a reaction as could boots on the horse or even being dried off with a towel that had bacteria on it.

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            • #46
              I'm guessing it was the temperatures going up and down like crazy and the wet sand from the rainy days, because it was much worse in the back legs, so i'm guessing its were it started and i only use tendon boots in the front along with over reach boots.
              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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