Scratching to the point of bleeding!

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Scratching to the point of bleeding!

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    06-28-2012, 11:38 PM
Exclamation Scratching to the point of bleeding!

Okay so i'm not going to lie, i'm about broke down in tears right now. I went out to get my girl to groom her down after we got some rain, and I noticed her face now has bloody scabs that weren't there last night. She hardly ever has a halter on, so that's not the cause. And he girth area has tripled over night! She had two small scabs that I assumed she got from rubbing herself, so I kept som udder lotion on them and would put some medicated spray on them too.
She's always been a somewhat itchy horse, but not to this extent. I've started spraying some med itch spray and it seemed to help with her itching, she was bathed in vetrolin medicated shampoo, about a month ago. Last year I found out that she has IAD - Inflammatory Airway Disease. And the vet gave me some Azium powder to put in her food to help soothe her airways, but its steroids so she doesn't just get it everyday. I give her half a pack when she acts like she needs to cough, but she hasn't even coughed since december, maybe longer. I took her off Alfalfa, which I suspected was a trigger, since she's out to pasture and never stabled, that's about as much as I could manage it without giving her meds.

But now what? Does she has mild sweet itch?? What can I do to not only heal her up but prevent it from happening again? As far as I can tell she doesn't have overly dry skin. Nothing much as changed in her diet or anything recently, for a couple months they were all getting a little flax mixed in with their feed to help get them shining after their winter coats started shedding out. And I read that flax encourages the body to make more of the oils, which causes the shine, but could also help with itching.

Please I need some help and advice, I don't know what to do, i'm calling the vet tomorrow to get some advice, but it seems half the time they just guess and when it doesn't work they go to the next thing on the t\list that could be wrong.

(she is 3yro as of Jan 26) I put some medicated stuff to help start the healing, I got it a couple winters ago when my older gelding cut his leg. Its to prevent infection.

Thank you
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    06-29-2012, 12:22 AM
My mare ended up with scabs like this last year and my gelding this year. I had gone trail riding with a friend last summer. The next day my friend called and told me her mares legs were covered in swollen bloody scabs that itched. At the time my horse didnt show anything like this. About two weeks later I took my mare riding somewhere else. The next day she was covered in the same swollen bloody scabs. I called the vet and she said they were bug bites but she didnt say what type of bug it was. We had to wash her legs with betadine twice a day for almost two weeks. I also used an anti itch medication from the local farm store to keep her form chewing and rubbing herself raw. My gelding ended up with the same bug bites this year..just a couple weeks ago. We are treating him the same way. I'm not saying that is what your horse has..but maybe? Since she is out on pasture all the time. The bugs are bad and just getting worse because of the string of mild winters we have been having. Your main worry until a vet comes is going to be infection. Keep them clean and continue to use the anti itch to help keep her from rubbing them raw. My horses never had them on their faces. It was just covering their legs and bellys.

Keep us posted. I would like to know what your vet says!
    06-29-2012, 12:25 AM
I had heard of sweet itch but never had to deal with it. Its caused by bugs...huh...the little ba$tards.

See what I learn with a little google? Maybe these are the same bugs that caused my horses problems...but again they were only on the legs
    06-29-2012, 01:46 AM
It could be the same thing. But maybe she's just so sensitive to the bug bites because our four other horses are abo****ely fine. Tomorrow morning i'm going into town to take my sis's hrose to the chiro, praying its not a strained tendion, and then i'll go by our vet with the pictures.
I'm also looking into a fly sheet for her belly for when she's in the pasture. But they're crazy expensive, but growing up in the family I did we'll just make it ourselves, which will let us be able to make it specifically for my horse :)

Another thought, she used to be fine being sprayed, she's alway been my rock solid girl even when she was younger. Born bomb proof! (i mean I took those pictures while laying under her, that's how awesome a three yr old she is, she trusts me and its my responsibility to keep her safe and healthy) but this summer she would freak out when I went to fly spray her, she's gotten better if I start from the feet and go up, but do you think there's a chance the spray is also irritating her? This was before she had any scabs.

My dad has suggested using used motor oil, which we had to do on a dog that would go crazy itching, scratch all his fur off and then rub along the side of the house, leaving a trail of blood it was so bad. So my dad would dab the oil on him and it just soothed him right down. And its safe, the used oil is carbon based. So i'll talk to the vet tomorrow, and hopefully if it comes to that it will help heal this, and the sheet will help prevent it from happening again.

My poor girl, she just can't win :( one thing after another.

But please have my sis's gelding in ya'lls prayers, he's been through a rough life as well, and its hard to slow him down even when he's hurt. And penning him just gets him worked up. Hopefully he's just sore and nothing is torn, pulled, or strained.
    06-29-2012, 01:55 AM
If you are going to make or buy a fly sheet - get the one with the under belly and tail coverings.

I just pulled these off Dover, as the first ones I found - pay no attention to the price tags, you can get them much cheaper.

But you want one like this

Weatherbeeta Airflow Standard Neck Fly Sheet | Dover Saddlery

Not like this

Basic Turnout Fly Sheet | Dover Saddlery

Also I love this product - my horse had barely any tail left because of sweet itch until I started feeding this - now the flies barely bother him. TSC sells it.

<B>ANIHIST GRANULES(AniMed)</B>, Antihistamine+AntiHist Granules
    06-29-2012, 02:30 AM
Originally Posted by AlexS    
If you are going to make or buy a fly sheet - get the one with the under belly and tail coverings.

I just pulled these off Dover, as the first ones I found - pay no attention to the price tags, you can get them much cheaper.

But you want one like this

Weatherbeeta Airflow Standard Neck Fly Sheet | Dover Saddlery

Not like this

Basic Turnout Fly Sheet | Dover Saddlery

Also I love this product - my horse had barely any tail left because of sweet itch until I started feeding this - now the flies barely bother him. TSC sells it.

<B>ANIHIST GRANULES(AniMed)</B>, Antihistamine+AntiHist Granules

Well she doesn't need a full fly sheet, I was talking about one that just covers the belly area, her sides and tail are fine. So pretty much like the belly ones that you can either ride in or just have alone for pasture.

Like this
Cashel Quiet Ride Belly Guard -

Seems simple enough to make right? I've already had to modify anf repair a winter blanket, so i've got left over material for the straps, just need to make sure to find the perfect thing for the mesh :)
    06-29-2012, 03:20 PM
Had her checked out by the vet. They gave me more azium powder to start helping with the itching right away and also an anti histamin(?) to mix in her food twice a day. Basically she is just super sensitive to bug bites. Im getting her a mask today and looking at the prices of the sheets w/ belly guards at the store. But may end up getting one off of My concern is the heat? We've been getting high 80s low 90s and she doesnt go in a stall and is one of the darker horses. I don't want her to overheat!!
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    06-29-2012, 03:46 PM
Green Broke
Kool Coat Airstream Combo UV Fly Sheet -

I saw one with a belly strap in one of my magazines. But they are supposed to keep the horse cooler than if they didn't have a sheet.
    06-29-2012, 06:18 PM
I actually talked with the vet about it, and he said it would actually be better if I didn't get a sheet because they can overheat the horses, at least most that arn't an arm and a leg. I went by the farm and ranch store and I got some SWAT ointment to put around her wounds to keep the flies away, and I picked up a mask for both her and our older TB. I also found some fly repelent, 'Equi-Spot, spot-on fly control' and its pretty much like frontline plus, for dogs and cats. You put it on their back, lower legs and at the base of the forelock, its supposed to last for 2 weeks, but we'll see. If anything this will keep the flies off her until her belly heals up and I can use fly spray on her again. I just need to make sure she is COVERED and GOOD! The lady at the store was actually telling me about a really good fly spray Parona (?) (like the fish) lasts four days. But she was also saying that QH tend to be sensitive to fly bites. Like how our Cairns (dogs) tend to be allergic to fea bites.

But she has Azium to get the process started and Tri-Hist Granules to help with the itching.

I just need to get her healed up and know now that I need to keep an eye on this so it doesn't get this bad again, and hopefully not at all again.

Pictures of her and the old man :)
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    06-29-2012, 06:36 PM
Super Moderator
My mare also LOVES scratching herself till she bleeds. Last summer she actually scarred her own patootie because she scratched so hard.

In my girl's case, the things that really help her are getting regular baths during the summer (I find that she gets itchy about week 2.5 after a bath so I try to give her a bath with Tea Tree oil shampoo every 2 weeks, or sooner if I can), cleaning her udder super thoroughly during those baths, and using SWAT fly ointment.
I had never tried SWAT before this summer but after Lacey had started scratching all the fur off her butt again, I had to try. I've found that a line from her chest, down her belly - stopping right before her udders, works fantastic. I also put some on her ears and on her cheeks. It seems to keep all the nasties off for 3 days, then re-application is needed.

I use a plastic bag to apply it because the warning label is super intense but yeah, it works great! And it was pretty cheap - $8 for a little bottle that looks like it'll last for quite some time.

Here's a picture of her butt after she "damaged" it - that gray line is where her fur grew back in dark gray (it's apparently going to re-gray there!). She was starting to rub again this year but after I started using SWAT, all rubbing stopped! It was rather miraculous.

Wow, just kidding. Shows you how well I read! I just re-read your previous post, OP, and I see that you already are using SWAT. Keep up the great work!

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