Desperate Help on Skin Condition - has anyone seen anything like this! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Desperate Help on Skin Condition - has anyone seen anything like this!

Have recently purchased a horse with what look like black spots on him, up close they are areas that the hair is finer and seems more brittle as mainly broken off at or close to the skin. On closer inspection the area gets a very fine dust look about it, not sure if this is normal all over the horse as rest of coat is thick and perhaps just can not see. I have had him four weeks now and coat is improving with once to twice weekly bathing and now on a exceptional diet as also trying to put weight on the old fella.

The last owner has had him 3 years and said he had always had the with them and said so did the previous owner. He is an old mustering horse so guessing he didn't get pampered that much which amazes me as to how amazing his soul is.... maybe that is why I fell in love with him.

He is a senior horse and I know he will never look the same as a 5 year old and people have mentioned that he is a waste of effort but if they got to know him he really is one in a million! The poor fella deserves some goodness in his life as sure he never missed a beat when he was always asked to put in the hard yards!

Pic 1 - How I purchased him
Pic 2 - Into 3 weeks on
Pic 3 - Same leg (front) as in Pic one and two but a close up
Pic 4 - Near side and hair has come back was sparse the same as other areas
Pic 5 - Off side hind leg at the start
Pic 6 - Into 3 weeks on.

Would love to know if anyone has seen anything like this before, I am keeping a record of pics each week of his progress and even in a short time there is a huge difference. Again I know he is old and will never be a show pony but no harm in treating him like gold!!
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 05:01 AM
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Good grief! I have never seen anything like this but my first thought was that it could be ringworm? I would get him seen by a vet - if it is ringworm remember it is catchy and spreads very quickly. It can spread to other horses, animals and even people.

I read this online:

"A sure fire way of detecting ringworm on the farm/ranch which gives you results right away is shining a UV or 'Woods' lamp on the area in a dark area and seeing 'green' on the hairless area or regions around it. However, only half of the species of fungi that cause ringworm are identifiable with the UV lamp"

However I would trust a vet's opinion first!

Ringworm would be my first guess seeing those photos. I have had it before - it is nasty to say the least. I caught mine from dosing sheep that had it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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The previous owners had one look at him with no idea. Smaller town vets with minimal exposure to horses is ofen the case here. I am guessing he has had it for 5+ years if not longer, my thoughts are old scaring to ring worm, but ringworm should correct itself in around 3 weeks, no other horse where I got him from had any signs, it is just patches of weak hair, no sores or scabs or any difference to the actual skin. Has got me beat but diet is improving things alone, next phase will be a coat conditioner like MTG or another one we get here in Australia that I have found. On two coat builders in his diet also. Not sure skin scrapping will show much either. It is all I can figure is some type of scaring to the hair follicle, from what I will not ever know I don't ever think!
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 05:52 AM
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Ringworm can rectify itself - I know it should scar people but I suppose with an animal having hair all over its body it might.

I have to admit compared to the first picture he does look quite a lot better
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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guess we see where the next four weeks takes us! he is on a weightlifter feed, Lucerne chaff, equalibrium (minerals and salts) concentrated soy, garlic, and two coat conditioners, one sunflower kernels and the other is Linseed think there was something else but not sure what. Once his immune system is better hopefully the poor old man will be improving from the inside out. Don't think he got a hard feed that often so could just be lacking a lot of things.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 09:31 AM
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I also think its old ringworm and bless you for taking him! That aside, how much water is he drinking?
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 09:54 AM
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Since his care has been "sketchy" for alot of years, these spots could be the result of a skin condition, immune system, etc., and show up on his hair coat.
He looks amazing in the four weeks you have him and I bet as long as he keeps getting good feed, you might notice a change in his hair coat once it goes through a complete shed.
Nice job, looks like a really sweet guy.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 10:21 AM
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Good point, after a good shed he might really look better! Sounds like you are giving him the best :) Lucky boy
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Will be a week this Saturday since I got his teeth done and hoping that will make an improvement. Missing a few back ones and front bottom ones look normal but the top ones are worn and more rounded then flat, the bottom matched up though as they had cups in them the the top ones fitted into. We have not had our normal wet season here with no cyclones (think they are equivalent to hurricanes in top half of the world. But we do get the monsoon rains as part of our normal weather systems for this time of year. I did have him rugged in a lighter mesh type rug as when the rain stops and the sun comes out it can get to be a scorcher esp with the humidity. Amazingly with out a full rain rug he did not get a ounce of rain scald and with a little difficulty in getting his feed everyday he has still improved in condition. HORSE POOR why do you ask about the water? He has access to two spots in his paddock of clean water but if you have any ideas would love to hear from you! Please I do not take offense to any suggestions, as a nurse sometimes the more input gives you more ideas to run with to find the perfect solution, and I am far from being an expert on horses and will never claim to be, everyday with them you learn something new and that is what makes it great.

I don't think it is anything active but more scaring or the result of something in his past and if it were active may not have the results I have gotten in the last four weeks. Next step is re worm (done 4 weeks ago) and then some good bacteria paste a few days after that and perhaps he would also benefit from an immune booster, and blood builder. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS I AM ALL EARS!!!

So he will never be a show pony and like I said people think I am wasting my time and money on a horse that is 'old' He last owners dentist said 22, mine said 28 - 30. He has the energy and the one time I took him out for a walk in the area he is not ready to slow down yet, Does he just have poor teeth suggesting he is older then he is, would like to trace his brand which I have done and found someone who is registered to it if I am reading it off him right, perhaps they can tell me! Another week or so on his feed, a few light lunges (which he loves to get into a trot and he just does not stop.... this horse likes moving - and his leg movements are nice - wish I knew him in his younger days!) and he is off to visit my other two boys QHs so that we can trail ride on the 1000 acres, slow and gentle but this is his chance to tell me if he wants to stop, in any case I am not the boss of him, he knows his health and if it is all too much then I respect his word. I am figuring keeping him lightly active will keep him happy and sane. Have been doing some flat work with him and he is one educated horse, so here is to making this horse who's past I know little about full of all the good things for his mind, body and soul!

All I know is I love this fella and will do anything to keep him around for as long as I can! Maybe he is like be, old but the mind of a teenager lol!
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-22-2012, 06:50 PM
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That's the weirdest thing I think I have seen on a horse. Looks like he could be beautiful. I hope you find out what is causing it. Sorry I am not of any help. If you love him and he is a sweet horse, doesn't matter how old.

One of the horses I use at my dressage instructor's place is 28 and going very strong. He is actually one of my favorites to ride.
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