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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have recently purchased a horse with what look like black spots on him, up close they are areas that the hair is finer and seems more brittle as mainly broken off at or close to the skin. On closer inspection the area gets a very fine dust look about it, not sure if this is normal all over the horse as rest of coat is thick and perhaps just can not see. I have had him four weeks now and coat is improving with once to twice weekly bathing and now on a exceptional diet as also trying to put weight on the old fella.

The last owner has had him 3 years and said he had always had the with them and said so did the previous owner. He is an old mustering horse so guessing he didn't get pampered that much which amazes me as to how amazing his soul is.... maybe that is why I fell in love with him.

He is a senior horse and I know he will never look the same as a 5 year old and people have mentioned that he is a waste of effort but if they got to know him he really is one in a million! The poor fella deserves some goodness in his life as sure he never missed a beat when he was always asked to put in the hard yards!

Pic 1 - How I purchased him
Pic 2 - Into 3 weeks on
Pic 3 - Same leg (front) as in Pic one and two but a close up
Pic 4 - Near side and hair has come back was sparse the same as other areas
Pic 5 - Off side hind leg at the start
Pic 6 - Into 3 weeks on.

Would love to know if anyone has seen anything like this before, I am keeping a record of pics each week of his progress and even in a short time there is a huge difference. Again I know he is old and will never be a show pony but no harm in treating him like gold!!
 

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Good grief! I have never seen anything like this but my first thought was that it could be ringworm? I would get him seen by a vet - if it is ringworm remember it is catchy and spreads very quickly. It can spread to other horses, animals and even people.

I read this online:

"A sure fire way of detecting ringworm on the farm/ranch which gives you results right away is shining a UV or 'Woods' lamp on the area in a dark area and seeing 'green' on the hairless area or regions around it. However, only half of the species of fungi that cause ringworm are identifiable with the UV lamp"

However I would trust a vet's opinion first!

Ringworm would be my first guess seeing those photos. I have had it before - it is nasty to say the least. I caught mine from dosing sheep that had it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The previous owners had one look at him with no idea. Smaller town vets with minimal exposure to horses is ofen the case here. I am guessing he has had it for 5+ years if not longer, my thoughts are old scaring to ring worm, but ringworm should correct itself in around 3 weeks, no other horse where I got him from had any signs, it is just patches of weak hair, no sores or scabs or any difference to the actual skin. Has got me beat but diet is improving things alone, next phase will be a coat conditioner like MTG or another one we get here in Australia that I have found. On two coat builders in his diet also. Not sure skin scrapping will show much either. It is all I can figure is some type of scaring to the hair follicle, from what I will not ever know I don't ever think!
 

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Ringworm can rectify itself - I know it should scar people but I suppose with an animal having hair all over its body it might.

I have to admit compared to the first picture he does look quite a lot better
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
guess we see where the next four weeks takes us! he is on a weightlifter feed, Lucerne chaff, equalibrium (minerals and salts) concentrated soy, garlic, and two coat conditioners, one sunflower kernels and the other is Linseed think there was something else but not sure what. Once his immune system is better hopefully the poor old man will be improving from the inside out. Don't think he got a hard feed that often so could just be lacking a lot of things.
 

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I also think its old ringworm and bless you for taking him! That aside, how much water is he drinking?
 

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Since his care has been "sketchy" for alot of years, these spots could be the result of a skin condition, immune system, etc., and show up on his hair coat.
He looks amazing in the four weeks you have him and I bet as long as he keeps getting good feed, you might notice a change in his hair coat once it goes through a complete shed.
Nice job, looks like a really sweet guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Will be a week this Saturday since I got his teeth done and hoping that will make an improvement. Missing a few back ones and front bottom ones look normal but the top ones are worn and more rounded then flat, the bottom matched up though as they had cups in them the the top ones fitted into. We have not had our normal wet season here with no cyclones (think they are equivalent to hurricanes in top half of the world. But we do get the monsoon rains as part of our normal weather systems for this time of year. I did have him rugged in a lighter mesh type rug as when the rain stops and the sun comes out it can get to be a scorcher esp with the humidity. Amazingly with out a full rain rug he did not get a ounce of rain scald and with a little difficulty in getting his feed everyday he has still improved in condition. HORSE POOR why do you ask about the water? He has access to two spots in his paddock of clean water but if you have any ideas would love to hear from you! Please I do not take offense to any suggestions, as a nurse sometimes the more input gives you more ideas to run with to find the perfect solution, and I am far from being an expert on horses and will never claim to be, everyday with them you learn something new and that is what makes it great.

I don't think it is anything active but more scaring or the result of something in his past and if it were active may not have the results I have gotten in the last four weeks. Next step is re worm (done 4 weeks ago) and then some good bacteria paste a few days after that and perhaps he would also benefit from an immune booster, and blood builder. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS I AM ALL EARS!!!

So he will never be a show pony and like I said people think I am wasting my time and money on a horse that is 'old' He last owners dentist said 22, mine said 28 - 30. He has the energy and the one time I took him out for a walk in the area he is not ready to slow down yet, Does he just have poor teeth suggesting he is older then he is, would like to trace his brand which I have done and found someone who is registered to it if I am reading it off him right, perhaps they can tell me! Another week or so on his feed, a few light lunges (which he loves to get into a trot and he just does not stop.... this horse likes moving - and his leg movements are nice - wish I knew him in his younger days!) and he is off to visit my other two boys QHs so that we can trail ride on the 1000 acres, slow and gentle but this is his chance to tell me if he wants to stop, in any case I am not the boss of him, he knows his health and if it is all too much then I respect his word. I am figuring keeping him lightly active will keep him happy and sane. Have been doing some flat work with him and he is one educated horse, so here is to making this horse who's past I know little about full of all the good things for his mind, body and soul!

All I know is I love this fella and will do anything to keep him around for as long as I can! Maybe he is like be, old but the mind of a teenager lol!
 

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That's the weirdest thing I think I have seen on a horse. Looks like he could be beautiful. I hope you find out what is causing it. Sorry I am not of any help. If you love him and he is a sweet horse, doesn't matter how old.

One of the horses I use at my dressage instructor's place is 28 and going very strong. He is actually one of my favorites to ride.
 

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HORSE POOR why do you ask about the water? He has access to two spots in his paddock of clean water but if you have any ideas would love to hear from you!
I asked because the skin wrinkling in the photos reminds me of dehydration. He's sweating in the photos and on condensed/concentrated feeds - he should be drinking ALOT of water. I think you're doing a great job, but I'm concerned that even though he has free access to water, he might not be drinking enough.
 

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I asked because the skin wrinkling in the photos reminds me of dehydration. He's sweating in the photos and on condensed/concentrated feeds - he should be drinking ALOT of water. I think you're doing a great job, but I'm concerned that even though he has free access to water, he might not be drinking enough.
I thought the same thing, his skin condition looks dehydrated. Op you might want to monitor his water intake to be sure he is drinking enough.

He looks like his "polka-dots" are getting better. Good Job!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Will definitely monitor his water, he was like that when I got him, he is around 25 and is of Australian Stock horse with predominately QH I would say so guessing he may have been nice and plump at some point and if he aged as this happened then his skin may not have shrunk back down as I know mine just isn't like it use too LOL. Being a nurse I do take notice of the bodily fluids, Urine is pale straw colour and nil strong odors, Stools are formed and moist nil deviations away from normal there, tongue is pink and moist and will take more notice of skin test. Will be def looking into it though so thank you for pointing it out. Might head to the shop and see what they have to give him to boost him up! Love that shop it is like a horses chemist.

He is on Equilibrium with all of the minerals and vitamins and salts, the later pics are not long after a bath so that is why he may look wet. This time of year is our hottest with humidity that you could cut a knife with, a sweating horse is a good thing for here, those that don't sweat end up with the puffs really bad, but again will check on the water issue of amounts for the day. I do not dry feed him, it is very moist as can only imagine eating a loaf of dry toast.

I did notice that in front of his hips reasonably hollow too when I got him but that is improving, I know I use this as a sign on my other horses if needing a drink or in telling people they need to do something if their horse is suffering from an acute illness but I had not had a horse that was poor in condition like he was so contributed it to not much meat on his ribs/hip region.

Thank you thank you thank you, keep it rolling as I can only learn from this and he can only benefit!!!!
 

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It sort of looks like onchorrias (spelling). you can order paste dewomer that kills tapeworms to help kill the larvae. It is caused by flies. If you have like sulfadyne ointment or cream , you might try that on the circles.
A skin scraping done by the Vet should be able to tell you what it is. It looks like you are doing a great job. Once he is back healthy you will be so glad you took the time to help him. Bless you.
 

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I think you can cautiously add a tablespoon or two of regular table salt to his feed, which I do with my old 33 year old when I think he's not drinking as much as he needs. Works well, and doesn't seem to slow down his appetite!

You might also confirm that your menu of supplements includes a good amount of Vitamin A and Omega 3, both of which are great for skin health and immune system support. Other than that, I have nothing to offer - it sounds like this is one lucky gelding and the pics are worth a thousand words for the good you're doing! Good for you to give him such a great semi-retirement!
 

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Horses skin is different than our skin…you can't tell a horse's age by its skin, you won't see bagging wrinkled skin on a starved horse - you'll see skin stretched over bone, and you won't find extra folds of skin on a fit horse that was once grossly obese like you do in people. It isn't the tongue that tells you what you need to know…it's the gums and capillary refill times. If he's not dehydrated, then it could be a natural thickening/toughening of the skin from years of skin problems. But my personal opinion is that he's dehydrated. That said, I am NOT a vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone, might run a set of bloods on him and check a few different things, lucky for me they are extremely similar to people in that way so wont be too hard to interpret the results. More worried about leading the horse to water but not being able to make it drink. We are now coming into Autumn here and should start to cool, but still around 32 degrees Celsius during the day he has plenty of shade and as close to the ocean gets a nice breeze.

He is very much like the 70 year+ patient will never make them perfect again but you got to give it your all. I would try oral sups but you can not go near his mouth at all, he is a bit head shy and if you raise your arms too quick he will spook. If you go near him with a crop then he freaks out.... poor old man must of got it rough at some point, solution just don't do the things that freak him out. So any sup has to go in feed or as treat!
 

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Im sure with the love and right supps he will soon blossom :) Try and look for an all natural product, it might help. My TB is only a 4 year old but when he came off the track I put him on an all natural supplement best suited to his needs and it has really helped him. It goes in his food in small quantities and he knows no better!
 
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