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Scratches complications or PLV/Vasculitis?

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  • Scratches complications or PLV/Vasculitis?

    AKA "She's going to be the death of me!!!, etc"

    Have had horses with scratches in the past, but none like this current one....my main concern is the reaccuring swelling of her legs.

    This started a few months ago with just minor scraps/cuts on both inside hinds from interfering behind - goofing off outside. Then progressed into what seemed like a fungal thing with thick scabs. Scabs spread and moved around her pastern a bit, would heal in one area and but by then had moved info and was affecting another area of the pastern. Eventually moved to where classic scratches are (back & corners of pastern). While this looked like a fungal thing I tried all kinds of things, nothing worked, so I just tried not messing with it, leaving alone to see if it would resolve.

    Started to get worse, filly started to get swelling in the pastern areas mainly on the left - which had the larger "crusts" of the two. Had vet out - said it's scratches, do an Animax sweat. Also gave KetaChlor shampoo. So, to make a long story shorter, legs went down for like two days, then blew back up, left worse than right, left hock and inside thigh also had what seemed like edema, vet back out. Did another Animax sweat & put her on antibiotics for 5 days (15 pills AM & PM). Legs came down, looking good and tight.

    What looked like a fungus issue now looks very much like your classic scratches. After the swelling came down - I was doing the Animax ointment on the left leg and a Desitin/Furicin mix on the other legs (right) lesions. I watched how they were healing and to me the Desitin lesions looked to be resolving faster than Animax ones. When horse was turned back out, I did the Desitin/Furicin on both legs slathering on any suspicous areas and working into the lesions on the back of the pasterns.

    So, last day of antibiotics was 6 days ago - legs have been nice and tight for a week, I checked her yesterday - perfect. This morning I check her and the legs are blown up again! Cannot find any new cuts/scraps or other reason for them to be swollen. The pastern area is not really that swollen - it's the cannons and inside. WTF!!!!

    Basically, I'm trying to figure out if this is normal for this much swelling to randomly come up with scratches or maybe this is something more comlicated. Vet is coming out tomorrow for other reasons, so I'm going to have her checked.

    This filly did have mild cellulitis about a year ago that resolved quickly with sweating, dex and SMZs. Also her temp, although within normal ranges still is up from normal. Yesterday 99.4, this AM 100.9, this PM 101.4

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Definetly see what your vet has to say.
    But what has always worked for me on even the worse scratches is that I would clip her legs as best you can and scrub her legs down in Ivory and use a small rubber curry comb to loosen up the "crusties" the best you can. Dry them very well- because if you leave them wet the worse the scratches will get . If you have a dry clean paddock, pen, or stall that would be best for her till the scratches clear up. After her legs are all dry, generously apply the Desitin/Furicin on her legs (it sounds like it is working best for her). Do this twice a day (morning and night) so that her legs are always clean and have some salve on them. Hope she get better soon!
    Eventingismylife
    http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by eventingismylife View Post
      Definetly see what your vet has to say.
      But what has always worked for me on even the worse scratches is that I would clip her legs as best you can and scrub her legs down in Ivory and use a small rubber curry comb to loosen up the "crusties" the best you can. Dry them very well- because if you leave them wet the worse the scratches will get . If you have a dry clean paddock, pen, or stall that would be best for her till the scratches clear up. After her legs are all dry, generously apply the Desitin/Furicin on her legs (it sounds like it is working best for her). Do this twice a day (morning and night) so that her legs are always clean and have some salve on them. Hope she get better soon!

      Thanks for those suggestions! I have been keeping the whole lower legs clipped and towel drying after any bathing/water.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have also found that Athletes Foot Spray works good on scratches. I use it as a preventative on my mare's four white legs. I also like Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

        Comment


        • #5
          What works best for me is to wash the effected area with nolvasan scrub (removing all scabs) and let it sit on the leg for a couple of minutes, then rinse off and dry throughly. After the horse is completely dry I put a thin coat of triple antibiotic ointment on the lesions.

          The triple antibiotic ointment will attract dust, dirt, and bedding, that will stick to the area so I wipe the area with a clean soft dry towel often and reapply the ointment.

          Then I repeat the procedure the next day and continue until it begins to heal. Some times in the beginning I'll wash with the nolvasan twice per day. Towards the end when it is healing well, I want to keep it as dry as posable so I wash less frequently.

          If the horse develops cellulitis along with the scratches, I put the horse on SMZ's until the cellulitis clears up.

          I have only had cases of chronic scratches in horses that have come to me with the condition. I find that diligent daily inspection of the pasturns may reveal tiny scabs. If the scabs are picked of and washed with nolvasan scrub and triple antibiotic ointment applied, the scratches will seldom evolve beyond that stage.

          Be aware that reoccurring skin infections in horses can be a symptom of cushings.

          I also find some mares are more prone to developing scratches during the spring when they first come into season.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hopefullly Perfect Pony will chime in with her experience with pastern leukocytoclastic vasculitis.

            Her horse is the one whose pictures are featured on Page 7 of this article:

            http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/do...-1-bkm-sec.pdf

            Don't mess around--get a biopsy evaluated by a veterinary dermatologist/histopathologist.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for everyone's suggestions -

              The "scratches" part of this is actually coming along - the actual skin lesions are healing well. The random coming and going of swelling is what has me more concerned.

              To go from perfectly fine, tight legs to blown up legs in 24 hours with no other reason - that I can find. This has happened now on three occasions. Most of the swelling is from the fetlock to the hock - not the pastern where the lesions actually are.

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