Medical Mystery? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-19-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Medical Mystery?

Has anyone ever had something like this happen to their horse? Twice now my horse has mysteriously had this occur. It starts off as a bump, but very quickly progresses to large swollen serum weeping lumps. I had a vet out, but they were unable to determine the cause or give a diagnosis. They had my start my horse on bute and antibiotics. The next day it was worse so I contacted the rescue I adopted him from, and they told me to start him on Zyrtec. The Zyrtec made all the difference in the world, but I still can’t figure out exactly what happened to him. At that time he hadn’t been out to graze in the pastures, and had only been in his enclosure. He was fine yesterday, but then today he had the same thing happen again. I’m just curious if anyone out there had experienced this, and if so, what did you do? The picture with day1-3 was the progression of him being on medication last time. The other pictures are from today. I’ve talked to multiple vets who all seem to be scratching their heads about this, but I know someone out there has to have seen it before.
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-19-2020, 06:21 PM
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Have any of the vets taken a skin scraping?

I have had something similar with small spots in the same area which were a type of ringworm. Nothing as bad as your horse though.
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-19-2020, 06:48 PM
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If zyrtec helped that much it was probably an allergic reaction to something- bugs, fungus, weeds...could be anything. My horse does a very similar thing and is on benadryl when it flares up.
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-19-2020, 06:55 PM
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Ringworm is a good thought.

The other thing that came to my mind first, is the horse and is horribly allergic to tick bites and has been itching itself half to death.

I agree to ask the vet to do a skin scraping. You need to know if that really is ringworm, which is contagious, or a severe allergic reaction to something.

Also, you mentioned the horse came from a rescue facility. That means his immune system was weakened, before the facility got him and its highly unlikely they had extra funds to spend the money on extra supplements for him.

Were he mine, I would start him on a Vitamin E supplement that does NOT have selenium added, unless you know for fact your area is low in selenium.

I feed my horses an extra 3,000 IU daily but they can have more, if I ended to up it. I buy mine from HorseTech. The company is great to do business with and knowledgeable. They also custom mix supplements if needed. A five pound container lasts me ~3 months for two horses.

The Vitamin E is a great immune booster and will enhance the coat and hooves over time.

That said, you need get some topical treatment on those raw places. Did the vet give you anything when he gave you the antibiotics?

Please keep us updated and welcome to the forum:)
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-20-2020, 04:19 AM
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Looking at the pictures is that black line running down his leg from the oozing or is it sweat?
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-22-2020, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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The runny looking stuff is the serum weeping out. It’s dark, because dirt got mixed with it.

I really appreciate all your feedback! Just like last time he’s on the mend after a few days of Zyrtec. I’ll talk to my vet about a skin scraping just to be sure. Thank you!
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-22-2020, 02:28 AM
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could it be something like pigeon fever? not sure about the allergic reaction part.
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-23-2020, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thankfully it’s not pigeon fever! We have ruled that out. It’s happened twice in the last month and cleared up very well within a week of Zyrtec. The barn I’m boarding at has decided to close, so he’ll be at a new one within the next month. Maybe a new environment will help shed some light on the situation? He hadn’t had issues at the rescue nor the barn I had him at previously.
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-23-2020, 08:32 AM
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I would say an allergic reaction/hot spot that he's itching raw. I agree to get the skin scraping done, as well.

That being said, some soils have this fungus that only blooms once every few years. My Eventer had it and we had to give him sulfur baths and lots of meds to help his body fight it off so his hair could grow back. It took a few months to get him back to normal and to get him not itching. I would absolutely get your vet to culture some of what's happening so he can get the best care possible!
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-23-2020, 10:10 AM
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Is this from your girth? Last summer my mare got into something when we were trail riding. I never noticed anything until the next morning when I went to feed and she was covered in hives - some eventually opened. I gave her Benadryl for 2 days. Not thinking I rode her again at a different park and the same thing happened although a little less severe. I knew she had not touched any weeds or anything so assumed my tack had some residue from the first encounter on it. I scrubbed and disinfected all of my tack and then sun dried it all. The issue never happened again
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