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Weird Skin Condition

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  • Weird Skin Condition

    my horse has some unknown condition.. it's stumping my vet, so i was wondering if anyone had any ideas that could help us. Here are some pictures (not the greatest quality, they're taken from my phone):

    Edited to add he is 14 years old, no history of anything like this


    as bad as it looks here, it looks 100 times worse in person, its all over his ENTIRE BODY

    if you have any ideas I'm open!!!

    Wednesday (12th) he started getting hives, we gave him antihistmine
    Thursday the hives turned into lumps(they filled my cupped hand and were squishy).. antihistimine didn't do anything
    Friday "saw vet" (he looked at him thru the bars and said allergic reaction to shavings.) said anti-histimine wouldn't do anything. so he was started on dex and shavings changed to pure pine.
    Sunday the lumps were gone for the most part, hives remained and continused to get worse
    Monday he started to get "dandraff"
    Tuesday/Wednesday you started to be able to pick scabs off
    Thursday whole clumps of hair and SKIN is coming off, you dont have to pick at it, just touch him.. yesterday he refused to move, not even for hay. seemed REALLY lame untill you got him moving, we were able to trot him in the end tho and he didn't seem lame anymore. But when the vet picked up his leg for the hoof tests, he fell. he was also having muscle tremors. He actually saw a vet today, she spent a lot of time with him, taking lots of blood, gave him a shot of banamine, tested for laminitis and perscribed some meds.
    Today (friday) his forearms and carpus on both forelimbs are HUGE, and his sheath is VERY swollen, it is hard for him to pee. He saw the vet again, she took more blood and skin biopsies.

    He's now on

    His sheath is clean, I was getting him ready for horse inspections at school so I cleaned it with KY jelly. He has had it cleaned with KY before with no reaction.

    Tests given

    CBC- normal
    muscle enzymes- normal
    HYPP- neg
    laminitis- neg
    skin biopsy- pending

    thanks for even reading this, I'm very worried. Sorry if it's a bit scattered, theres so much going on in my brain right now! Ask for clarification if you need it

    Thank You!!

  • #2
    SOunds like a severe allergic reaction, who knows to what. I had a horse line time, and he kept having reoccurances. Finally sold him to someone in another area, vet was worried he would eventually die of one of these episodes. They were VERY BAD, and we knew he was allergic to something but did not know what.


    • #3
      I haven't a bit of advice and I wish I did. Poor poor boy.
      Nothing has changed, hay, feed, suppliments, ...nothing?
      Please keep us updated.
      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


      • Original Poster

        no, nothing has changed. we got a new load of shavings in, but it was from the same provider as we always get them from, i'm not in charge of the shavings so i can't tell you exactly what it is, but its always a mix of different trees and we double checked with them and they did infact send the normal shavings.

        just in case it was a reaction to the shavings we switched him to pure pine. hasn't helped. but honestly i'm REALLY hoping that there was something in the shavings.. its easy for me to keep buying this new bagged pine if that makes him happy.

        I just want him to be more comfortable, whatever it takes


        • #5
          Have they started blanketing him? Allergy to Detergent in blanket/saddle pads?
          Allergy to yearly shots/ or from worming?


          • Original Poster

            he's been blanketed since september, i use ivory snow and have been using it all year.
            got his shots in late august (they were required before i could move him to school).
            was also wormed in september (we put off worming untill next week because a cold was going thru the barn- and all the horses get wormed the same day here. he wasn't affected by the cold tho. the symptoms were mainly low fever and loose stools.. he had neither)

            thanks for any suggestions!


            • #7

              Right off the bat, the only think I can think of that you haven't mentioned would be a skin scraping. Perhaps he has some bizarre skin parasite like mange or chicken lice.

              I think the skin biopsy results will be interesting.

              How about allergy testing? What about running an ANA to test for auto-immune issues?


              • Original Poster

                oh i just forgot to mention the skin scraping, that was taken yesterday there were no results from that so i assume it was normal.
                I'm not actually sure what an ANA is, is that a blood test? she ran so many different blood tests i can't remember which ones she did. I do remember her mentioning auto-immune tho, so if she didn't test for it yesterday, she might have today.. i'll write that down on my list to mention to her tho. thanks


                • #9
                  Yes, an ANA is a blood test: ANA Blood Test.


                  • #10
                    Did you bathe him or put anything on his body when he first got the hives? What have you put on him topically?

                    I would think if it was an allergy, the antihistimine would have done something. I suspect it is a REALLY bad case of rain rot, which has gotten infected and turned systemic (i.e. cellulitis).

                    I'm glad he's on penicillin now, but he may have to go on a sulfa drug instead depending on the type of bacteria.

                    Good luck and jingles for your boy. Keep us posted.
                    \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo


                    • Original Poster

                      when he first got the hives we diluted vetrolin and gave him a soak, then we made sure we rinsed it all off.

                      topiclly, we tried aloe a few days ago but he was NOT happy, it looked like it stug him. so we stopped trying. He doesn't even want to be touched

                      it does looks like rain rot, but the we're is hesitant to say that is what it is as he NEVER goes out without a blanket and NEVER in rainy/ moist conditions.

                      His blanket gets changed from when he goes in to when he comes out, and he's never sweaty when you feel under the blanket (it's mostly self care here at school, so i'm the one who changes his blankets and checks on him).

                      As well, there was not bacteria in the skin scrapings.

                      As well, I forgot to mention this before, it started on the underside of his belly area, and spread from there, his neck (the only place not covered by a blanket) was one of the last places he got it.

                      *I'm going back over to the barn now, so I'll let you know whats going on when I get back


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BB.MooseCow View Post
                        As well, I forgot to mention this before, it started on the underside of his belly area, and spread from there, his neck (the only place not covered by a blanket) was one of the last places he got it.

                        *I'm going back over to the barn now, so I'll let you know whats going on when I get back
                        That makes me think of the shavings. If the shavings are mixed there is always the possibility that a "bad" tree could be in one batch. I would be sure to use only pine shavings just in case.
                        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                        • Original Poster

                          yep, from now on he's getting the premium shavings everyone in my barn is jealous.. of course only untill they look at dancer.

                          i took some more pictures this morning, i'll post them in a bit.

                          the only real update today is that he's looking more skin/hair.. and he's very uncomfortable walking (mainly the forelimbs, but his hind is swelling a bit now too) he was walking one foot in front of the other (like a tightrope).

                          When i cleaned his stall there was wet shavings which made me happy, i was worried his sheath was going to swell even more. but unfortunately he is still having trouble peeing.

                          he's very sick of needles right now. when i gave him his 3 shots of pennicillian today he was very frustrated, not that i blame him! after all the blood tests, needles and skin biopsies hes gotten lately! he's being really good about everything tho.

                          the good news is he was a lot more alert today, i tried to eat a granola bar as i was holding him and he was trying hard to get it. yesterday he just ignored it.


                          • #14
                            I'd be really alert for changes and have your Vet on speed dial. There are some auto-immune diseases that you may want to test for also. Your biopsy tests, or skin scrapings will take some time to come back from the lab. Good luck!
                            Just because I talk slow doesn't mean that I actually AM slow.


                            • #16
                              Originally posted by BB.MooseCow View Post
                              today's pictures


                              I'm going back around 3, but I have my barn tech watching him till I get back (I have to work on my finals)
                              poor guy!

                              I don't have anything to add other then I have a mystery skin thing going on with one of mine. We are going to allergy test, skin scrape, biopsy and take more blood on Monday. Mine has been more ongoing so I am going to bring up auto immune issues.... good luck to you!

                              just a thought, I did not look to see what climate you are in but, could your horse have been bitten by something? My dad is an allergist and he will get clients with crazy sudden symptoms similar to your horse and they conclude that a reaction from a bite is the problem. You skin scrape might reveal that.


                              • Original Poster

                                We are in eastern ontario. it's been ranging form 0c to -10c for the past month


                                • #18
                                  You may have said but have you washed or changed his blanket since he started with this? If it should be the shavings you don't want to put the same blanket on him that he laid down in the mixed shavings with.
                                  I feel so sorry for him (and you). This is rough.
                                  You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                  • #19
                                    So sorry, it looks awful and painful.
                                    I would try googling for dog/cat fur loss as well as horse. Here is a Merck's definition on types of mange http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...m/bc/72003.htm
                                    and one really different case due to the coloring of the horse http://equisearch.com/horses_care/he...406/index.aspx
                                    but really your horse looks different.
                                    You've certainly provided enough documentation in pictures. Maybe you should change the title to ask for "vet input". It seems serious enough. I hope it resolves quickly!


                                    • #20
                                      Poor guy Although it sounds like an allergic reaction initially, any possibility that this might be a reaction to some toxins, perhaps internally. Was a liver function test done as well? If not, I would request one also.

                                      Using dex can definitely push a horse into laminitis btw! Is he still sore to walk? I would not discount that he possibly has it. Do not feed anything that is hight in starches and sugars at this point - good grass hay only - perhaps add some BP (without molasses)/Hay pellet mashes .

                                      Selenium toxicity also causes hair loss, although I do not think it would present in such a way. However, it is also a posibility, albeit remote.

                                      Also to consider: "
                                      The cause was a rare reaction to this drug, Bactrim. It is a common antibiotic used by millions of people," Lozano explained. "What she has is a condition called TEN -- toxic epidermal necrolysis -- which is an autoimmune reaction to a whole host of drugs."
                                      And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_epidermal_necrolysis
                                      Best wishes!
                                      Last edited by BornToRide; Nov. 22, 2008, 03:00 PM.