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FEI level horse with very bad skin condition

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  • FEI level horse with very bad skin condition

    One of my horses has had some kind of scratches for the past 6 months and I can't seem to get rid of it.

    Here's a picture taken today (after I rubbed the scabs off, sorry for the blood) : http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4733/senau.jpg

    He's a FEI level dressage horse, 19 years old, super sound and perfectly going. Gets turnout in a small paddock 2-3hrs/day. He's a stallion so he keeps his stall super clean (and dry) and the problem started in the summer when the paddocks were also dry. I never turn him out when it's muddy since I don't want the scratches to get worst!

    However, I am not sure exactly of what it is. I say scratches because it seems to be a word widely used for many types of skin infections.

    It started on both hind legs (never reached the front legs) with scabs on the pastern. I was washing his legs everyday with iodine shampoo and rubbing the scabs off. After some time, since it wasn't making any difference, I started using a cream made of triamcinolone - neomycin - nystatin - gramicidin compound. It worked really well, got rid of all the scabs on one hind leg and most of them on the other one.

    However, since the horse is showing, I cannot use it anymore (it tests) and the scabs started reappearing lately, on the pastern and the fetlock. It was never completely gone since there was one or two scabs left but now it's getting bad again... I've used Neosporin (triple antibiotics) in the past days but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! I was thinking of trying next Veterycin since it doesn't test and seem to be quite going against fungus/bactera. Has anyone tried it on a similar skin condition?

    Thank you so much for your help!

  • #2
    It might be time for a skin scraping to determine what causative agent you're dealing with and put together a plan to really target therapeutic agents but in the meantime: I just solved my mare's persistent scratches in 3 - 4 days by spraying her pasterns with nolvasan solution before and after riding. I did nothing else. Someone else here posted that they used listerine in the same way with the same effect. Either is certainly easy enough to try.


    • #3
      Has the vet had a look?

      Have you considered a skin scraping so you can treat more specifically?

      Experimenting with stuff and washing legs daily in iodine can make everything even more sensitive and reactive. I'd stop doing that.

      Have you investigated the possibility of some kind of photosensitive reaction? Can be bought on by something ingested or something applied to the skin, or even something in the paddock.


      • #4
        Agree with the skin scraping to diagnose exactly what you are dealing with. In the meantime, leave it alone.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Oil of oreganol!!!!!! Kills anything fungal or bacterial within days. Does not burn. Instantly gets rid of itch. Retains the perfect amount of moisture in the skin for healing and skin cell rejuvenation. totally harmless ( I take it on my tongue for coughs and sore throat, my children too!) No need to wash off in between applications. Only wash legs when dirty. Too much scrubbing prevents healing. Ive been using it for years. A trick from my grandfather and yet to have found a product on the market that equals it! You'll find it at your local health food store in a oil and dropper, or pill form. If you get the pills bite the tip off and squeeze the oil out on your finger to apply!!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Exquis View Post
            Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! I was thinking of trying next Veterycin
            Skip the creams & shampoos & washing & rubbing & have the vet out to actually diagnose - ongoing since last summer is good evidence that nothing you've tried is effective.


            • #7
              Originally posted by alto View Post
              Skip the creams & shampoos & washing & rubbing & have the vet out to actually diagnose - ongoing since last summer is good evidence that nothing you've tried is effective.

              This. Last year, my mare lost almost all of the hair on her rump as a result of a small bite aggravated by the stuff I put on it as a result of bad advice I got from self-proclaimed experts The vet prescribed SMZ and topical Animax (Panalog), and the skin healed in just days.


              • Original Poster

                First of all, thank you for all the replies!

                I did have our vet look at it in the fall. I would have been willing to do a skin scrapping had he suggested it - instead he just said to wash with iodine shampoo everyday and rub the scabs off. Which I did. Since I was not seeing any results, I started putting that cream which definitely helped a lot.

                The thing is, it didn't really start with scratches. We had new shavings added to the footing of our indoor arena in August and I believe (without being 100% sure) that his skin got irritated by that. He started loosing his hair under the pasterns. It's around end of september/october that he started to have little scabs on it. And that's when I started washing with iodine shampoo and removing the scabs. At that point and until January, it was quite stable. Always some little scabs on it but nothing really bad.

                In January, I left for Florida with our horses (not the one with scratches) for two weeks and someone else took care of my horse. When I came back, he had bad scratches on both hind legs... So I do believe that washing with iodine shampoo helped "stabilizing" the problem/not spreading it because when it wasn't done properly, it got worst.

                So in February, I started using that first cream I mentioned which made a huge difference. All the scratches were gone on one hind leg and almost all gone on the other one.

                Until 2-3 weeks ago, it was quite stable with only that one scratch on the fetlock left.

                But then,... again, scabs started reappearing.

                So basically, what the picture shows isn't the skin condition from 6 months ago. I would say it's from the past 2-3 weeks since before, the skin was good and the hair was growing back.

                When the vet came last week, he suggested Neosporyn or Hibitane since those creams don't test.

                However, I doubt the solution is that easy. I stopped washing with iodine shampoo a week ago, all I do is putting Neosporyn on it.

                I will definitely ask for a skin scrapping now (I did not do it earlier was it was clearly improving with the previous cream)... I just wanted to see if any of you had had similar cases and what worked to get rid of it!


                • #9
                  That is like asking how someone had their cancer treated. If you don't know what the problem is, there is no way to tell you how to treat it. Stop messing with it until you know what you are dealing with.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • Original Poster

                    Woah... There was no "random treatments" done here... For any type of fungus/bacterial skin infection, it is recommended to wash with iodine/medicated shampoo on a regular basis to make sure it doesn't spread first and second, to help killing whatever is affecting the skin.

                    And the cream that I have used (after discussion with my vet obviously) has a broad range of action against infections of that type as well, which was perfectly indicated and did work very well.

                    I haven't "messed" with it... I have followed the recommendations from both my trainer and my vet... and now that the problem is back, I am indeed asking advice from anybody who has had a horse with a similar problem...

                    Comparing a skin condition to a cancer is stupid... You can very likely expect two horses with the same kind of skin problem to react similarly to a same treatment.


                    • #11
                      You can expect cancer to respond similarly to the same treatment if you know what kind of cancer it is. Odds are 1-9 you have way more than a skin problem going on. Could be autoimmune for example. Could be vasculitis. And the more you piss it off by putting stuff on it the worse it is going to get.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home


                      • #12
                        It sounds like it could have started with an allergic response. When you get the skin scraping, I'd consider running an allergy panel to see if he is off-the-charts allergic to some kind of wood that might have been in the shavings.


                        • #13
                          Ah yes...welcome to Florida, with all of our skin icks! I have been dealing with skin issues in my draft cross for years.
                          One thing I have found to help is to use half a bottle of Equiderma mixed with 2 tubes of diaper rash ointment. One of my daughter's Thorougbreds had scratches and that helped tremendously and I have used it for a variety of skin issues.
                          Other products I have tried can be found here:
                          Good luck, it can be frurstrating, but I agree that if it hasn't resolved soon, have a skin scraping taken.
                          Lori T
                          www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep


                          • #14
                            Some COTHER recommended making a paste out of SMZ pills and gob it on the affected area. Omigosh- scratches were totally gone in a couple days.
                            "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                            • #15
                              How about diaper cream to sooth it after washing?
                              Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

                              Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


                              • Original Poster

                                So I called the vet and asked for a skin scrapping, as suggested. Should be done in the next few days!

                                I am not washing it anymore since about a week now as I wanted to see if that would help the skin to be less sensitive and heal better. Many people seem to have used diaper cream with great results so that was next on my list of things to try, however I will wait for the results of the skin scrapping before trying anything else! I could probably use that to sooth + whatever stuff the vet will tell me to use based on the scrapping.

                                What is SMZ? What is it usually used for?

                                joiedevie, thanks for the suggestion. I thought about a skin irritation due to the new shavings, but not about an allergy. I will definitely mention it to the vet coming for the skin scrapping!

                                Lori T, that horse has never been in Florida! I brought some of our horses there for the winter but that one stayed home! It's terrible everything they can get in Florida indeed!! Glad I don't have anything else (skin-related!) to deal with. Thanks for the suggestion, will keep that in mind too!


                                • #17
                                  SMZ is an antibiotic used orally for all kinds of infections from cuts to some respiratory infections. But I just remembered what my vet prescribed for my horse was doxycycline, not SMZ. Apparently doxycycline works really well on skin issues.

                                  Edited to correct boo-boo.
                                  Last edited by Jeito; Apr. 10, 2013, 06:36 AM.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Discobold View Post
                                    SMZ is an antibiotic used orally for all kinds of infections from cuts to viruses. .
                                    Um, not viruses. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.


                                    • #19
                                      I put some on scabs/scratches until it is resolved + 5days just in case!

                                      This is what I've used for all of the skin disease my horse had.
                                      It will/could test but at some point, but if ever you'd want to get rid of this problem completely and 'forever' maybe a time off would be good too.
                                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                      HORSING mobile training app


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                        Um, not viruses. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.
                                        Yes, you are absolutely right that viruses do not respond to antibiotics. I meant to say respiratory infections of unknown origin but my brain wasn't working since it was late for me (I get up at 4:00 a.m.) That's my story and I'm sticking to it I'll edit it. Mea culpa for carelessly adding to the wealth of misinformation that's already on the internet, and thanks for immediately catching it