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We *think* it might be ringworm... ??

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  • We *think* it might be ringworm... ??

    I'm devastated. I tought we were taking good care of our horses, they have shelters, blankets, mares and babies are bathed weekly in summer, they get in for the nights in winter and for the day in summers, in daily mucked boxstalls with deep cedar (yeah!!) shaving, frequent grooming, etc. We are a breeding farm and take great pride of the high standards of care and attention we are giving to our babies and broodies.

    Saturday, we went to deliver a mare we have sold, to her new owner who is VERY excited to finally get her, after the weaning of her 2012 filly. Bathing her and pampering her for her grand-arrival on Friday, I found 3 round spots of hair that I took off the scab thinking it was at first, weird bites from the alpha mare she was turned out with (but they never fight, they get along well, otherwise they would not be together, so it was strange). It was very circular. I tought it was weird, and told the new owner about it - I have never seen ringworm in my life, so I did not suspected this was it. I disinfected with iodine several time on Friday night and Saturday am, like I would have done with any wound. New owner speaks about it to her BO as I told new owner I tought it was strange to get 3 scratches of the same size and shape on the same horse. BO says to bring the mare anyway and then they will see what it is and treat if needed. Mare is delivered on Saturday afternoon. Sunday they speak to their vet to book a visit (it's Thanksgiving, so vet won't come before Tuesday) to see what it is, and he suspects... ringworm! Gee. I might just have sent a mare with possible ringworm to a new owner. That's very bad. I'm feeling so guilty.

    Then, back home (and all the 6hrs drive to get back home), I started to re-think the little spots on one of the babies. Waiting for the vet's visit tomorrow or Wednesday, the baby is isolated (with his dam, he's not weaned) and I have started to disinfect all the brushes, tack, blankets etc. that I own. Foal got a bath yesterday and today with Chlorexhidine, and dried up and then I put some iodine on the tiny spots. It's fall here... Temperature is dropping to the freezing point at night. It's a very bad time to bath a foal daily.

    I think I get it for the treatment of the affected horse(s), tack, blankets, grooming equipment while waiting for the vet's visit to confirm it is indeed ringworm or, if I'm lucky, somethin else less PITA... But what about the stalls?? And how do you disinfect leather halters and leads? And should I treat (bathe) all the other horses that might have or had contact with the mare and or the foal for the last 1-3 weeks??

    How could they got that??
    Last edited by Spike; Oct. 8, 2012, 07:08 PM.
    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
    Visit EdA's Facebook page!

  • #2
    If it's ringworm, RELAX. It is NO big deal, really. Lots of young horses (and young humans) get it. Shoot, my gelding just cropped up with a big patch on his jaw, same environment as all my other horses. I simply bought a tube of Lotrimin cream at Rite-Aid, applied AM and PM for a week, and now it's just about gone.

    It's not a scourge, a plague, a disease, a sign of poor horsemanship, or really very much of a big deal at all. It happens. It's 100% treatable. Forget iodine, just get some Lotrimin cream or any topical antifungal at the drug store and glob it on there a couple of times a day. NO biggie.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      Holy crow, that was certainly not worth posting three times! Sorry--weird iPad behavior there.

      BTW, I don't bother "disinfecting" anything other than brushes. The ringworm beastie is fairly ubiquitous in the soil and on our skin anyway. Our healthy immune systems stay ahead of it for the most part but every now and then the fungus gets a bit of a toehold and sets up shop. Treated, it goes back to being a non-issue. No need to boil the entire barn or anything.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        I had it pop up on one of my weanlings right after I brought in a load of straw from a cattle guy. My vet said it most likely came in with the straw, since his stall was the only one that got that straw & apparently it's often transmitted from cattle.

        While it might not be the plague, it is ugly & itchy, so it's best to take as many precautions as you can to keep it from spreading to everyone. Oh - & humans can get it too.

        I simply made sure that the weanlings stall was the last one I did, & his soiled bedding was deposted far far away into the hinterlands of our 22 acres. And little guy got turned out by himself. He didn't like it, but he survived without any trauma. In addition, I bought him his own set of plastic sterilizable brushes that I'd be able to disinfect without ruining them. And twice a day - per my vet's instructions - I gently scrubbed each round scab with Nolvasan scrub. It's anti-microbial/fungal & is gentler than iodine scrubs like Betadine (although I'm sure Betadine would work as well). My little guy was clean & clear with new hair growing in all those awful little spots after about 2 weeks. And our diligence prevented it spreading to the other horses as well.

        Oh - & don't be "devasted" OP. My vet said it pops up at the best of farms - usually riding in on some hay or straw. It just happens - has nothing to do with care or cleanliness.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
          While it might not be the plague, it is ugly & itchy, so it's best to take as many precautions as you can to keep it from spreading to everyone. Oh - & humans can get it too.
          Yes, yes they can. I can vouch for that, having contracted it myself while deworming a barn cat. It was itchy, but some anti-fungal cream (I think I used Ting) cleared it up pretty fast.

          A friend of mine had a horse that got it years ago, and I think they also just dabbed athlete's foot cream on his spots, too. I don't think you need to bathe unless it's so widespread that that's the most efficient way to get all the spots.

          As far as disinfecting goes, I'd probably wash brushes, and halters of horses who had it on their faces. And maybe water buckets, but I do those periodically anyhow, so that wouldn't really be a big change in routine for me anyhow. Generally I keep a big jug of udder wash on hand for washing those sorts of things.
          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
          -Edward Hoagland

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          • #6
            My 4 year old gelding is just clearing up a case of ringworm. 7-8 quarter-sized spots on his right stifle. I felt like an awful, horrible mommy! But he lives out 24/7, comes in only to eat and be ridden. He's clean, blanketed appropriately, and groomed daily. But he still got it! My mare, living under the exact same conditions, has not a spot on her.

            I tried treating it with nolvasan wash when the first two spots appeared, but that didn't work...several other spots cropped up in the same area. At the advice of a friend and pro groom, I started spraying it with Tinactin once or twice a day. I'm happy to report that it has died, scabbed, and started to grow hair a week later. The smaller spots never grew to full quarter-size. If you read the label carefully, Tinactin does say it's effective against ringworm, as well as athlete's foot fungus. Pretty easy cure.
            “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
            ? Albert Einstein

            ~AJ~

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            • #7
              Tinactin does say it's effective against ringworm, as well as athlete's foot fungus
              Pretty much it's all the same fungus: ringworm, jock itch, athlete's foot . . . a pleasant thought, no? Most of these products are interchangeable, the one caveat being that the sprays can "sting" a little when used on . . . delicate areas.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #8
                It's a very opportunistic fungus and not really anything to freak out about.

                I got it 2 weeks before my wedding (stressed immune system, much???) from an auction "rescue" horse... lovely...

                I had to go out and find an outfit with long sleeves.

                The best thing I found for clearing it up on me in a hurry was the very careful application with a Q-tip of neat chlorox. I'm assuming the anti-fungals have improved vastly in this length of time, though.

                I've been married to my saintly, animal-loving husband for 23 years now, so it wasn't a disaster

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                • #9
                  Are your horses anywhere near cattle?

                  I got a spot of it on my arm, and contracted it from a little jersey steer I had as a pet, and he had a spot on his neck. He was my little buddy, I was always loving up on him. I got a spot on my wrist, itched like crazy, the doctor was useless (had no idea that's what it might be), finally got to the dermatologist, and she knew exactly what it was by looking at it, but took a scraping anyways. That's exactly what it was. I actually had to be on an oral medication (can't remember the name of it) because the topical creams weren't getting to the bottom layer of it, and it would look like it was going away, and then it would flare up again. As soon as I got on the oral meds, it went right away and never returned.
                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                  • #10
                    I would guess pretty much anyone who handles lots of animals has had it at least once in their life.

                    Dab cream on it and it will go away before you know it.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks for your support No no cattle around, no new hay, no new straw...

                      Atr: that is a great wedding story lol!! Your husband really loves you when you spend your honeymoon with ringworm. I bet you were very very upset of it back then!

                      I'll continue the Chlorexidine body wash each day, and I'll go at the drugstore to get some anti-fungal cream or treatment that works for ringworm, to apply after the bath. Vet is supposed to call me back this am to give me an appointment.

                      I'll use a different fork and wheelbarrel for that boxstall, and will wash water and feed buckets daily instead of weekly. I think I am trying to be very carefull (using gloves, changing clothes and washing hands after contact with the baby and or his dam, and before attending to any other horse), and then I guess I just have to pray my dogs, cats and family does not catch it haha!!

                      Keep suggestions coming in! And jingles that it is just me who is a little paranoid.
                      Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
                      Visit EdA's Facebook page!

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, no time to read everything, but a black light will tell you if it's ringworm or not -- no need for a vet. If it glows in the black light, it's ringworm. Also, easiest/cheapest treatment is yeast infection cream

                        Ringworm is no big deal.
                        "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

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                        • #13
                          I'll continue the Chlorexidine body wash each day
                          Overkill! You will be doing more harm to the beneficial friendly organisms that PROTECT the animals from opportunistic infection than to the itty bitty spots of fungus.
                          Click here before you buy.

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                          • #14
                            These weekly baths in the summer, are you using soap each time or just water? Because that could possibly be setting you up for something like this too, weekly bathing is overkill really unless you're showing and can't avoid it. If it's for training purposes for the babies I'd just use plain water.
                            It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mosey_2003 View Post
                              These weekly baths in the summer, are you using soap each time or just water? Because that could possibly be setting you up for something like this too, weekly bathing is overkill really unless you're showing and can't avoid it. If it's for training purposes for the babies I'd just use plain water.
                              Completely agree. Our guys do NOT get bathed unless they are getting prepared for a show. Bathing them constantly can cause them to lose any good bacteria and oils that helps keep their skin and coat healthy. As well, constant bathing can end up causing a whole shwack of skin problems. With our show horses that are showing every other weekend, I will use shampoo first show of the year and usually just use plain water after that and just a whitening shampoo on the legs if needed.
                              www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                              Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                              Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                              • #16
                                It's not the end of the world. I'm a good horsekeeper, too, and one of my horses got ringworm. It's a fungal infection.

                                My vet gave me a tupperware container full of 4x4 gauze squares soaked with chlorhexadine, and that was an easy way to clean the affected areas. I did not bathe the horse.

                                OK, here is my cautionary tale for you. WEAR GLOVES. RINGWORM CAN BE CONTAGIOUS TO HUMANS. I say this because I was very casual about it, and I wound up this fungal infection under my wedding rings. This spread to between my fingers. Then spread (because I probably scratched myself) to underneath both breasts and around both earlobes. This was an issue for me for several years, despite medical treatment & diet changes, and it still flares up when I'm tired and stressed.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  These weekly baths in the summer, are you using soap each time or just water?
                                  I tought that question would come, because I tought of it too, but as I usually just use water, and soap only when needed, I'm not very worried about taking off the good oil and bacterias. We have lots of biting flies here and the mares likes to get a cool down. And when they are too "sweaty" it attracts more flies. Sometimes I use a citronnella shampoo. They can skip a week once in a while, and when it is very hot, they can get more than one shower. But it is more like a "rinse" than a big scrubbing bath Foals gets no shower when they are young, and the first few ones are usually not very "complete" (legs only, then legs and chest, then lower neck, etc...) And they don't get shampoo very often neither.
                                  Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
                                  Visit EdA's Facebook page!

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                                  • #18
                                    Well, I personally shower every day, with soap, and sometimes twice. I'm fairly certain my skin bacteria can handle it.
                                    Click here before you buy.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      Well, I personally shower every day, with soap, and sometimes twice. I'm fairly certain my skin bacteria can handle it.
                                      But have you gone a few weeks/months with only water showers to see the difference in your skin/hair? Oh, and are you a horse?
                                      "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

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                                      • #20
                                        No and no, of course. My point was that soap and water are not terribly harmful to the flora on our (meaning mammals in general) skin. Chlorhexidine baths, that's another story!
                                        Click here before you buy.

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