Feathers and Scratches - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 03-19-2015, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: California
Posts: 160
• Horses: 3
Feathers and Scratches

Alright horsey people, I have a Shire mare that I can't seem to keep her from getting scratches on her white legs. Her black, no problem. (feather fanatics, advert your eyes here) I have clipped the underneath side of her pasterns and have a great product to treat the scratches when it appears, but it keeps coming back, in different spots. She gets about 10-12 carrots a day, so I was thinking she was getting enough vitamin A. According to the internet each medium carrot has approx 10,000 ius. Nutrena's website states that a moderately active horse needs about 22,000 ius. Being as she is much bigger than an average horse, pretty active and she LOVES them, she got quite a few each day.

I don't bathe her legs all that often, but will hand towel dry if I do.

Any suggestions?

I don't have a fridge in my barn, nor do I have room in my fridge at the house for a 25 pound bag of carrots, so as we head into summer the carrots are going to be limited. Any suggestions on supplements?

Other than the scratches, her summer coat is coming in beautifully! Getting beautiful dapples on her bay coat.

nitapitalou is offline  
post #2 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 02:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
• Horses: 1
Hopefully Cherie will chime in, because I'm just trying to remember what she says... think it was 5ml per week (check that dosage, I'm not sure) of Vit A in the feed? She uses the injectable one that you can get at a stock feed place. But its given orally, not by injection. If you use the search function on the forum and look up rain rot threads it will be in there somewhere.
VickiRose is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,303
• Horses: 5
Besides vitamin A, do you happen to use a stiff brush or curry on these areas when you clean/groom? Over the years, I've noticed that when horses with very sensitive skin are roughly brushed/curried (e.g. to get rid of dried mud), they are more susceptible to skin problems which I've come to assume is due to irritating the skin too much.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
PaintHorseMares is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 08:56 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,934
• Horses: 0
Farnam's Mare Plus per directions. Loaded with vitamin A.

4oz of Desitin (40% zinc oxide), 2oz of Neosporin, and 2oz of cortizone cream. Generic of each will do fine. Mix them all together, and apply liberally a couple of times a day, while your waiting for the vitamins to kick in. I've also seen variations of that recipe using mastitis treatment in place of the Neosporin. I've used the first one on both of the drafts I had that had mild scratches when I got them. They were belgians so the feathering wasn't as heavy.

If it persists you may have to do the horrible and shave his feathers and treat but I'd sure try that first. Feathers are fun.
SueNH is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: California
Posts: 160
• Horses: 3
Paint. no rough brushing/currying. I am pretty gentle, especially with her feathers. I will see if our local feed store carries Vitamin A or the Mare plus.

Thanks for the input!

nitapitalou is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,999
• Horses: 5
If this is a chronic issue, you need to look at what is causing it because rather than being an actual "disease", scratches is a response to something. It can have many causes including mites (microscopic ones), bacterial or fungal infections, treated bedding or shavings that are irritating, grooming practices, environmental moisture, auto-immune disorders, etc.

Also, reconsider the carrots. They are actually quite high in sugar. If your horse is on pasture in the summer or is fed an appropriate concentrate feed or vitamin/mineral supplement, vitamin A deficiency is unlikely. How much benefit can carrots provide in the case of suspected equine vitamin A deficiency? - eXtension

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Ryle is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 122
• Horses: 0
Shires and Clydes are notorious for having chronic mud fever.

Here's what I do - it does keep it at bay:

Clip the feathers off. And keep them short (less than 1/2" if at all possible).

My guy hates it when I pick the scabby parts so, I use a shedding block - it sands the scabs down so the ointment can get into the scab. And he doesn't fuss.

Apply Tinactin or Special Formula daily when it looks like you have a new issue arising. And I use Tinactin once a week to keep it from getting worse.

One of my friends is into breeding and showing Clydes and Shires at the national level (her one mare just won the Royal in Toronto and her Shire mare is one of the top horses in North America). I was super excited to ask her trainer how he combats mud fever.....hoping he would have a magical remedy.

He looked at me, shook his head and said "just keep on top of it - that's all you can do".
Dapples123 is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 02:03 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 33,487
• Horses: 3
Unless the weather is really wet/muddy the horse probably has mites not scratches
They feed on the horse and burrow under the skin causing really bad irritation, sores and inflammation that bacteria can get into causing infections
I usually find that a spot of Frontline on each heel is enough to kill them but you need to re-apply monthly as new ones will hatch from any eggs until you get rid of them altogether
Benzyl Benzoate spray that you can buy for dogs is also really good at getting rid of mites but avoid using while the horse has any open sores
jaydee is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 03-20-2015, 02:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,934
• Horses: 0
Drafts are fairly prone to scratches. If you go over to rural heritage there is tons of info on including some from their resident vet, Beth Valentine.
SueNH is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 03-21-2015, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: NB, Canada
Posts: 235
• Horses: 3
following :)
clwhizy is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feathers, feathers everywhere! karliejaye Farm Animals 0 09-15-2014 06:12 PM
feathers draftlover Horse Grooming 2 02-20-2012 03:24 AM
feathers? Gidget Horse Breeds 15 10-17-2010 05:51 PM
scratches and feathers drafts4ever Horse Health 4 07-15-2010 02:43 AM
feathers channy Horse Tack and Equipment 1 10-25-2009 09:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome