Scratches! Treating in the winter...

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Scratches! Treating in the winter...

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    11-17-2011, 05:37 PM
Scratches! Treating in the winter...

We had a horse just come up with scratches on all four of his (white) legs. I've researched a bunch on how to treat it, but most of the treatments say to wash the areas first with a fungicide shampoo or something like it. The issue I am worried about though, is that it is extrememly cold here, and I don't want him to freeze if we are getting all 4 of his legs wet to do this...(the scabs need to be softened up to pick off)...Anyways, my question is, is there an easier cold weather method to cleaning the legs and/or picking the scabs off without getting him all wet, or do you think he would be fine as long as we dry him off good when he's done? Thanks!
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    11-17-2011, 06:29 PM
Welcome to my life lol. My horses skin is irritated by the snow and the melting snow on his legs when he comes inside at night then provides the perfect place for fungus to grow!
I have a cream from my vet that works really well, I put it on at night so it has time to soak in.
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    11-17-2011, 06:31 PM
The best way to get the scabs off is to cover the leggs in baby diaper rash cream. I Dealt with the same issue with my horse and tried all kinds off different things, and that's what worked best for the scabs.
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    11-17-2011, 06:33 PM
Okay, I've been recommended that too. Do you just let that soak in for a little bit then start peeling them off? Or do you wrap it or anything and let it soak overnight?
    11-17-2011, 06:34 PM
One more thing, sorry. Is it very important to wash the scabs with a fungicide first? Or just go straight to the diaper rash cream?
    11-17-2011, 06:38 PM
What I did was put the cream in very thickly, and leave it to soak in and soften the scabs for a few hours. Then wipe off the cream, with a dry towel. The scabs will come off easily. Then apply the fungicide to the whole leg. Be careful, as it might sting your horse a bit.
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    11-17-2011, 06:43 PM
I use an betadine or chlorhexidine scrub/wash and ichthammol or desitin ointment.

There is an ointment you should be able to get from your veterinarian as well.

Scratches can be such a pain to deal with. In my opinion treatment depends on how severe the infeciton is. If he or she is very painful (you will know when you try to remove the scabs) or any swelling or lameness then I would call in a veterinarian.
    11-17-2011, 06:51 PM
Green Broke
Scratches in the winter always means more work

If you have a place to get him inside, I would:

1) Take my least favorite blow dryer to the barn.
2) Shave most of the hair off his legs, including fetlock hair, coronary band, and the "seam" down the back of the legs starting from the hock down.
3. Wash his legs in the medicated shampoo.
3.1 Towel dry.
3.2 Finish drying with the blow dryer on a low setting.

If the scabs want to come off, take them off. If they are difficult to remove, leave them on because things are not healed under the scab yet and the sore will bleed when the scab is picked. The horse won't bleed to death, it just makes a bigger mess to try and put medicine on.

Creams and ointments are great but, depending just how cold your area is, they might make a big mess that will clump up and be tough to clean the next go-round<---- which should be once daily but twice would be better if the scratches are really bad.

I have a mix of tetracycline, DMSO and ? The vet gave me when two of my horses tangled either with an ant hill or a condominium of chiggers.

I use that if it's too cold. Point-being, maybe the vet could mix something for you?

If DMSO is involved, the legs do have to be thoroughly washed (and you need to wear surgical gloves) because DMSO is a carrier and carries anything into the skin with it.

Hope this helps
    11-17-2011, 06:57 PM
Ok thanks for the help!
    11-17-2011, 07:15 PM
I love the ichthammol ointment because it doesn't cause a big messy clump up in the cold and it does well to remove the scabs without sitting there and picking at them. I purcahse this from a local pharmacy.

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