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Keeping a Gypsy Vanner Clean in Winter?
At the barn I ride at, there is an absolutely gorgeous Gypsy Vanner. He has a long, flowing mane and tail and (had) beautiful feathers, and he's absolutely disgusting . When he's in his stall, he craps in one corner, then slides it up the wall and gets it all over his tail, hindquarters, and back legs. Luckily (for grooming purposes) we've had to shave his legs since he has had an on again, off again battle with scratches.
Due to all of this, he needs to be bathed constantly. As winter approaches and days warm enough to bathe are a thing of the past, what other ways can I keep him clean and scratches-free? Thanks! :-)
I use Orvus Paste to wash the feather on both my Gypsy and my Clyde and then while it's drying I'll spread the feathers and spray calm coat on the scratches and massage into the skin. After the feather is dry I saturate them in mineral oil and work it into the skin. This helps keep the mud and nastiness getting deep in there and also helps keeping the hair healthy. My gypsy doesn't have an issue with scratches but my Clyde does off and on again. There's also a shot to get ride of the mites that cause scratches but I haven't yet talked to my vet about it. A friend of mine who breeds and shows Gypsies swears by it.
I second the Orvis. Stuff is AMAZING and lasts forever.
As for the scratches, use Desitin (diaper rash cream) on them. My best friend's Arab gelding has four white socks and had scratches all summer (ended up that he has a severe alfalfa allergy which was causing them), and she put Desitin on his legs every other day to heal and protect them.
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Since it isn't fly season at the moment, braid the tail. It will be easier to keep clean. Some Gypsies have such enormous and heavy tails, it is difficult for them to raise the tail, when they poop.
Re. feather and scratches.
With any feathered breeds, one need to check the feather, right down to the skin, at least once a week. Gypsies and Clydes seem to have the worst problems, but all feathered breeds are prone to scratches and CPL.
The first thing she needs to do is clip the feather down and clean the area well...dry it really well...keep it clean, and dry, and apply oil and sulfer or MTG. There is a paste called New Stock, that is also an Oil and Sulfer mix..that works too. Main thing is the get her legs clipped and clean, and dry, for a long time, until the scatches clear up. If the case is really bad, she might need some antibiotics to help...she need to really get in there and remove all the scabs and dead skin (carefully, as it is so sensitive)
Some use powdered terramycin mixed with water and spray it on the scratches. It is drying and anti bacterial. Some people also like tea tree oil.
Another treatment to consider is an Ivermectin worm protocol....every 10 days for 6 weeks...helps get rid of mites.
Almost all the horses we import from the UK, some in with mites.
This is VERY important, for every owner of any draft breed to know.
Chronic Progressive Lymphedema
Thanks for all of your replies! Your suggestions are all very helpful! :)
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