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Author Topic: skin conditions  (Read 2124 times)
fairgame
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« on: February 02, 2011, 08:33:58 PM »

We have this horse in our program who has been having problems with her skin.  Started back in the fall with being extremely itchy, especially back by her hips and her withers and tufts of hait sticking up.  We just figured she was getting a little rain rot so I I washed her a few times with a fungicide and that seemed to do the trick.  She is one of the riding horses so i don't work with her that often but the riding instructors said she seemed better.

Comes time to blanket them and after a while when they take her blanket off she is frantic to chew on her sides and back.  I tried the eques spray and no better.  I tried my old standby rinsing her with captan and the only thing is now I see lots of dandruff so I figure maybe I dried outr her skin.  Al this time I have been searching for scabs to pull but no feeling anything.  I even clipped a few spots where she had chewed and tufts of hair were standing up but her skin looked jealthy.

I talked to my boss about adding corn oil to her diet thinking maybe it was just excessively dry skin.  Boss didn't like the idea of corn oil but did like the idea of flax seed oil.  i did some research and we settled on a product, Omega Horseshine which is ground stabilized flaxseed.

Then one day when I took off her blanket she starts chewing and pulls out tufts of hair.  OK time to call the vet.  They sent the wet behind the ears new graduate who insisted it was just rain rot, insisted she felt a few scabs, and refused to do a skin scraping when I asked her to.  She told me to pick off the scabs when I find them and spray her with a product call vetrocyn (very expensive) Also put her on prednisole for 5 days and then hydroxycine starting after that.  Prednisol does nothing for her that I can see. 

Meanwhile this mare is itchy all over and I can't feel any scabs.  So next I body clip her(with little clippers no less) and still don't find any scabs but feel do feel some bumps, but nothing I can get my fingernail under or pull off by pulling the hair.  But then I start really grooming her vigorously and hair starts coming out in a mottled pattern, first on one shoulder,  next day on the other shoulder and some by the other hip, the some on her withers, now some on her back .  Boss came back from vacation and agreed this didn't look like any rain rot she ever saw and allowed me to call vet back.

Called the vet and told them not to send new graduate.  Next vet comes, says it is definitly not rain rot and she wants to take a skin scrapeing. Yay.  I ask about taking blood.  Vet feeels it is not necessary.  Says the only thing she could tell from a blood test is if it was a selenium toxicity and she sees no indication of it in her hooves. Says if the skin scaping comes back negative her next step would be to put her on a months course of prednisolin, treating it as an auto immune problem.

She did mention mites and we had been wondering about that too but I think the other horses who were sharing equipment with her back in the fall or I would have been infected by now.  So far I still have all my hair and am only itchy at the thought of the posibility.

Don't you think she should have taken  blood  to do a full chem screen?  Does anyone have any ideas what kind of problems it might be if it is not a parasite?   



« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 08:36:39 PM by fairgame » Report to moderator   Logged
fuzzypants
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 11:46:19 PM »

JMO Skin scrapping is the best. The blood would probaly show eson up and that could mean alergy.

See what the skin scrape says.
Now what type of blanket???

Also do what you want but I had a mare like that and she had a cough and hives tried every dant thing in the vets truck and then tried every thing the vet could order.

Finally a friend that I would ride with who was a vet says "why didnt you tell me let me do acpuncture on her?"
I said "does that voodoo crap really work , I dont care if you dangle chicken feet over her if the mare will stop itchen?"

She said "you pay buy me dinner after we ride and Ill do it for nothing"

So I bought dinner she spent the night next morning she brings out the needles.
 
two days later she comes by with the needles and we go to dinner three days later same thing.
She was my Dads mare ten more years later and she never ithced again.

Find the best vet that knows acpunture and you will be up town Juile Brown and save your butt lots of money.
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Buggyboy
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 02:09:13 AM »

  Had a few along the way that were itchy for whatever reasons, and first course of action was iodine baths.  Seemed to help most all all them....
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fairgame
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 05:15:19 AM »

I'm glad she took the skin scraping but i really don't think it is mites/mange.  She is a draft cross and most commonly it presents on the legs under the feathers.  Since I clipped her I was planning on iodine batheing her on the next "warm" day. Hah. I had given up batheing her when I saw all the dandruff and thought I had dried out her skin.  Actually her skin looks pretty healthy after I clipped all the hair off.  The vet even had a difficult time getting a skin scraping, had to really dig.

Her blankets are quilted underneath and water repllent on top.  One medium weight, one heavy weight and I talk the boss out of putting any of them on unless it is under 30 degrees.  I have snuck into the laundramat and washed them in lysol concentrate and found some lightweight sheets to put on underneath so i can keep washing them and rotating them.   I have to leave a light sheet on her all the time now or I am afraind she will rip more of her skin.

She has stopped being so frantic to scratch since the second vet upped the dosage of hydroxycine from what the newbie vet prescribed. I am really leaning towards something systemic, not a fungus or parasite.   I read a lot about nutritional imbalances but how can you tell what their imbalance might be? Wouldn't a blood test be the place to start?  Or is the second vet right and it would be a waste of time?
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Buggyboy
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 11:42:42 AM »

  I suspect the reason the iodine baths were successful in my cases was the fact that they were given most every day until improvement was seen, and not so much a once or twice deal.
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BabyFireFly
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 11:53:03 AM »

The only real serious thing I would be worried about since it is a draft cross is lymphedema (sp?)...which usually presents itself as pastern dermatitis.

If the above is ruled out, along with allergies/fungus/mites - I would try a supplement like Recovery EQ (which treats skin inflammation from the inside) along with an oil (we use Cocosoya, but Omega is good stuff, even a rice or hemp oil) and something like MTG or Calm Coat topically. Both of those products are oily, I would rinse them off once a week with plain salt water or Listerene rinses to prevent build up.

I have two horses that are prone to bad skin, but it has been linked to sensitivities to corticosteriods (from joint injections). I initially thought that it was ringworm and was treating it as such - when it responded I thought that the diagnosis was confirmed, but in fact I was just healing up the allergic reaction symptoms that presented as something else.
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fairgame
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 07:22:51 AM »

Buggy boy no doubt one needs to be diligent but I also suspect that the reason the batheing worked for you was because it was the right treatment for the ailment you were addressing

Thanks for all of the info and suggestions.  All I can do is wait for the results of the skin scraping.  I guess I am most annoyed and concerned that the vet said if the skin scrapings come back negative for parasites or fungus her next step would be to assume it was an autoimmune response and put her on a course of steroids and that she would not take a blood sample because that would not tell anything.  I would prefer to look for and address the underlying cause.

I did do some research on the feed program I was left with from the previous barn manager who spent a lot of time researching her feeding program.  The horses are all on Sentinel LS which seems like a perfectly good feed.  However I would not classify our horses as performance horses.  Neither, except for two, are they hard keepers or elderly.  When I looked up the info on the feed I see  they are getting much less feed than the analysis reccomends.  Which on the surface is fine because all of them in my opinion are slightly to very overweight (except for those two I mentioned)  When I scroll down further under comments I see addressed what I always suspected.  That if the horses are not getting the recommended amount per 100lbs of bodyweight they should be given a specially made supplement

http://www.sentinelfeed.com/pdfs/blueseal_sellsheet_LS.pdf

However since the other horses are doing well and my boss was not interested in the info I found
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OldGreyMare
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 08:39:51 AM »

  Something keeps niggling at the back of my head, whether it's something I read somewhere sometime or what.... anyway, I keep thinking B vitamin deficiency.  It may not be the skin, but the underlying nerve endings.
  I always give my horses a vitamin/mineral supplement in winter.  In fact, that's the main reason I even feed grain in winter, so they get the supplement.  I also think a vitamin deficiency may be one cause of moon blindness.  I base that on the horses I've seen come down with it usually get it towards the end of winter, and they are in visibly poor condition. Not necessarily thin, but coat dull and lifeless.

  B vitamin supplement is not expensive, and doesn't hurt to try. Cortisone may initially give relief but may actually aggravate the problem by causing a skin sensitivity on top of whatever this is.
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BabyFireFly
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 05:18:00 PM »

We use Sentinal Performance LS - love it.
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fairgame
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 08:20:46 AM »

Update:

The skin scraping came back posittive for bacteria so the vet put her on SMZ tabs for ten days plus the hydroxycine.  OK, I thought, I should take Buggyboy's suggestion and give her daily iodine baths, especially now that she is shaved and will dry faster.  But the vet then said she didn't want me to do anything topically.

The sulfa drugs worked. From my googling I found a bacterial infection can get directly into the hair shaft itself and though the vet did not specify that was it, that is a condition that would need to be treated with antibiotics.

By Sunday when the sun came out I was able to take off her blanket and she looked like she would leave herself alone but later when I brought her in you could see where she had chewed on the spots on her hips a little.  So I said F-it and put bluing on the areas.  Next day I hit them again and she  left them alone and they are healing.  And she is no longer itchy all over. 

I suspect the iodine baths would have been helpful but would not have cured the problem without the antibiotic.

Oh, I also roached her mane and hit it with lice duster on the senior vet's recommendation over the phone when I called to ask about extending the antibiotic past 10 days since it seemed to be working but not cured yet.   Though she had never examined the horse herself  I figured as a precaution why not though we had not seen any when we looked.  We had a horse that was in that field about 2 years ago that had lice so I still  had the dust.

Thanks for everyone's responses
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