Treating Scratches - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-11-2016, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Treating Scratches

Our horse has scratches lower part of her legs. We have fungal shampoo, fungal spray, and anesthetic wash that we just started using yesterday.
She is boarded in a pasture and we've had a lot of rain in May. Its supposed to rain again this afternoon. Is there a safe wrap that will stay on and keep her lower leg/ankle area dry?
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-11-2016, 01:54 PM
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Don't wrap. Do cut the fetlock hair. Along with your treatments, the skin needs air.

If you don't show, you can shave all that hair back to a crew cut.

Pasture boarding is tough on a horse prone to Scratches. Chronic Scratches is generally an immune issue. A couple of doses of cow liquid Vitamin A might help.

It is injectable Vitamin A for cows but given ORALLY to horses..

5CC once a week for two weeks and that's it, as Vit A stores in the liver, instead of dumping from the system like other vitamins.

If the horse is fed grain daily, especially if it is a sweet feed grain, stop feeding, as all that starch in the system is not helping the issue.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-11-2016, 04:56 PM
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The best treatment we found for scratches for our Belgian gelding was Betadine shampoo which kills both bacteria and fungi. After the leg has dried we dusted it with Caldesene Powder which is for treating diaper rash---that powder was better than any other we tried and worked well.


Definitely don't wrap the leg and try to keep the horse in a dry place during rainy spells.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-11-2016, 04:58 PM
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To add to what's been said already, I actually wouldn't trim the fetlocks, as the hair doesn't interrupt normal air circulation and actually is there to protect the skin from mud. Just keep her in a dry environment if possible.

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-12-2016, 02:43 AM
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clipping the hair, allows medication to penetrate the scabs better, and or, get to the skin better, versus applying it to the hair!
Scratches is just the generic term for pastern dermatitis
The organisms are opportunistic, thus muddy conditions, certain plants, dew and photo sensitization on white leg markings, cause a skin irritation, allowing either bacteria, fungus or even a virus to set up shop
Bad time of the year for scratches here, is when weeds like thistles , combined with early morning dew, cause pastern irritation, ie, late summer

Here is a good article, including treatment and management

Understanding Scratches | TheHorse.com
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-13-2016, 06:44 PM
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You'll probably get a whole range of suggestions as there are many ways to go about treating scratches. Our old mare had it and our vet told us to wash it thoroughly with betadine soap and then gave us a special concoction to treat it - pretty sure it was an anti-fungal cream of some kind. I was lucky because after scrubbing it down and a few applications of the cream, it was completely gone. She was kept in a dry lot too which definitely helped.

I've heard other people have success with Monistat (or other yeast infection ointments) and something else that I believe is called MGF (not positive on the name), but I've heard it is also a cost-effective method.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-14-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. A dry lot is not possible as she is pasture boarded and there are no stall openings at our boarding place. We had more heavy rain on Sunday and Monday which isn't helping. We are cleaning it daily with antiseptic wash and putting fungal meds on it. We've been putting Corona over it to keep it dry and keep meds in there. Thankfully, no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days. We usually go into a drought in the summer so there shouldn't be much more rain if any. It may take a few more days for all the mud to dry up.
The scratches isn't better, but it's also not worse. I'm hopeful with the dry weather this week!
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