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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

You may have seen my previous posts about hairloss under the belly of my horse, He also had what was thought to be cover rub on his neck.
I went and spoke to my vet about this - She gave me some anti bacterial shampoo (she has seen his skin before and its what she prescribed at the end of last summer for his skin - Seemed to work!) and I used that twice as recommended. As we're coming into spring now i've taken his warmer cover off, and stopped giving him grain and chaff - He doesn't need it, also to eliminate the chance of it being something to do with his feed.

I've just been up to the paddock after two days of leaving him to his own devices - As I was kicked and have been on crutches and wasn't able to drive myself up. He's lost all his hair under his belly, I'm talking all of it. There is no blood etc - But all his hair has been rubbed off. His 'cover rub' was also very very itchy. I put him in the yard to wait to talk to my instructor about it - In this time when he was unsupivised he's rubbed his neck completely raw, something that was about 5cm of hairloss is now about 50cm. He's still extremely itchy. So i've had to take him out of the yard and put him back in the paddock - as he can't rub it in the paddock as much as he can on the posts in the yard. I wanted to keep him off the grass as I believe it looks like something in the mud/pollen potentially. Have previously been told its sweet itch by a vet. However it seems to be coming up when there is more pollen. Also he doesnt have any lumps or sign of bites.

I honestly don't know what to do - As the call out vet won't come out as its not an 'emergency' until Monday - (Its Saturday) However i'm going straight in there as soon as they open on Monday.

If I even have any horse left by then.
I'm absolutely guttered and depressed. He's miserable.

I also don't know what to put on the raw skin or areas of hairloss - Have been advised to wait until my vet comes out.

My instructors reaction when she saw it was "Oh ****".

Does anyone have any Ideas?
Right now the raw neck is my biggest worry - I can't have him rubbing that any rawer than it already is. However I then don't know what to do about his areas of hairloss under his belly - as he is itching it in the paddock, It wont be long until this is completely raw.

Sorry this was a bit of a rant -
I'm frustrated and I'm just lost as to what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh geez....I don't know, sounds like an allergy to me, but I'm not a vet. You can give the horse an human antihistamine for allergies that will help relieve the itching and make it more comfortable.. Poor thing! Here's some info about sweet itch if you don't already know.

http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/equestrian/equestrian-features/how-to-handle-a-sweet-itch-attack/46588.article
Yeah I'm also hesitant to do a biopsy as My friend with a horse who has a skin condition did one and it was 900 dollars for some paper saying "your horse is hyper sensitive"

I'll be picking up some antihistamine tomorrow after work and giving him some. I'll be checking on him in the morning also.

When I find out what is going on, and come to a resolution - I will unfortunately be selling him. For financial reasons, I had to make this decision today, it was an extremely hard one to make.
 

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He has sweet itch - an allergic reaction to the bite of Midge Flies. If he's bad enough he made need a steroid shot from your vet.

You can google "Sweet Itch" and get a ton of hits but this one is from your country:)

Cure closer for sweet itch in horses | Horsetalk - get horse advice, and answers to your equine health problems

If you still have the medicated shampoo from the vet and haven't bathed him in the last couple weeks, bath him.

Buy up a bunch of generic diaper rash cream and some antibiotic ointment.

Make a 50-50 mix and put clear down the belly line and anyplace else he has open sores.

He sounds bad enough, you should probably do that twice a day until the vet can see him.

Unless you have a way to wash his sheet, do not put it back on him. Sweet Itch spreads like wildfire.

If possible, keep him in much of the time, just letting him out enough to get some running and bucking time - at least until the vet sees him:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He has sweet itch - an allergic reaction to the bite of Midge Flies. If he's bad enough he made need a steroid shot from your vet.

You can google "Sweet Itch" and get a ton of hits but this one is from your country:)

Cure closer for sweet itch in horses | Horsetalk - get horse advice, and answers to your equine health problems

If you still have the medicated shampoo from the vet and haven't bathed him in the last couple weeks, bath him.

Buy up a bunch of generic diaper rash cream and some antibiotic ointment.

Make a 50-50 mix and put clear down the belly line and anyplace else he has open sores.

He sounds bad enough, you should probably do that twice a day until the vet can see him.

Unless you have a way to wash his sheet, do not put it back on him. Sweet Itch spreads like wildfire.

If possible, keep him in much of the time, just letting him out enough to get some running and bucking time - at least until the vet sees him:)

Hiya, thanks for your I'm depth reply I really appreciate it. I'm on my way to see him now, will put some anti biotic creme on him.
Unfortunately I cannot keep him inside as we have no inside , we have big open outside stables . I'm counting down the hours until the vet comes for him , I feel pretty helpless until I get some medication for him as I feel I've done a much as I can right now.

I've also been having bad thoughts about the vet and I not being a able to help him , I was going to sell him for financial reasons after the season. However doubt anyone will buy him with his skin , and I would hate to sell him to someone I feel like wouldn't try and make him more comfortable. It looks bad enough and he's miserable enough that being pts is an option , obviously a very last resort once I have tried everything under the sun.!
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Here in the U.S. a mega case of Sweet Itch is generally attributed to a weakened immune system. While I have seen one or two nekkid horses from it, there has never, to my knowledge, been a horse that's been PTS'd over sweet itch.

Here it can be conquered and managed but I know it's like a raging wildfire in your are of the world:-(

When I first started researching it, I discovered the UK used to quarantine horses with sweet itch from being shipped in or out for competitive events. I don't think they do that anymore.

I think your climates are a lot more conducive to the midge flies staying active and in large forces.

I wouldn't do this if the vet gives you oral meds or gives the horse a shot BUT:

If you can get your hands on injectable Vitamin A for cattle.

This is what many folks in the U.S. do and swear it works. A lady involved with a 501 (3)C rescue group often fosters horses. She swears this will clear up rain rot and sweet itch and it supposedly doesn't come back because the Vitamin A boots the immune system.

Put 5 CC's of Vitamin A into the horse's feed once a week for two or three weeks max. No more than that as Vitamin A stores in the liver, it does not dump from the system like Vitamin C or Vitamin E would.

Also, if you're feeding sweet feed, get him off the sweet feed. Molasses permeates thru the skin and is a fly, mosquito, bug magnet. I have a friend whose husband can smell it on a sweaty horse:shock:

If whatever the vet does, isn't successful, try the Vitamin A as it sounds like you have nothing to lose:)

Keep us updated as to what the vet says on Monday:)
 

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My Arab has /had the same pattern of hair loss, and his was indeed a reaction to flies (midges, no-see-ums, gnats). I really have to stay on top of things and make sure I keep fly spray on him. I also bathe him with Eqyss Megatek Medicated shampoo, and I've found that Desitin on his abdomen is a lifesaver!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vet was out today - She was great, really helpful coming out on late notice so soon.

He's had a biopsy - Which will hopefully tell us what is causing it - Which will help us find out a way of managing the problem.
He's very sore but eating his hay in the yard at the moment - Will be on anti biotics and anti inflam twice a day for ten days.

Vet and I have worked out a payment plan so I don't get suddenly hit with a huge bill - Which is amazing.

I'm feeling like things are going to work out okay for him - He's become more and more like himself every day again.
He was oh so good for the vet, Especially when we put the stitches in.
I think looking at it made my neck hurt more than his!


I'll keep you all updated on what the skin samples come up with - I hope its something we can manage.
Will also try to take those photos!
 

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You've got enough reading material, so I won't add to it.
Diaper rash cream should work, vaseline/ petroleum jelly also. And yes, no sweetfeed, grain, or high protein feed either.
Best would be to get him inside dusk and dawn, when the bugs are most active.
I found Avon Skin-so-Soft bath oil( has to be the oil, and the " original" scent), wiped on crest, forelock, dock of the tail and everywhere else the bugs bite, keeps them away. Has to be wiped on, not rubbed in, and has to be done daily.
Please don't take away all possibilities for scratching....give him a safe post to do it on, without sharp edges or splinters.
Imagine when you have a bad itch and cannot scratch....you'll go crazy, right? He's feeling the same.......
PTS is really no option, careful management or a move to a bug- less area( coast or mountains) is in order.
It can be managed, I did it with the above mentioned measures
 

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hope your horse , who is a nice looking horse, gets over his itchies soon.
Have you tried hydrocortisone cream ? Vit E oil ? If it is onchoriosis (sp) then it usually a sulfa type ointment (really bad rotten eggs smell) . Hope its just a case of the summer itchies and can be healed quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the in depth replies! I will study up on them all.
I'm currently using vaseline one his current itches - also some filta back to create a barrier - majority of the time he just rubs it off anyway so I re apply twice a day.

Heres some photos of his skin right now (the stitches are from his biopsy)



Closeup of neck -



Patch starting on his side -


His belly - Bad photo

 

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Poor horse! Hope he responds quickly & feels much better soon. The S-S-S stuff really works & smells good. Another thing that works well is neem oil, but the smell-is different. Are you still going to sell him? Good luck no matter what you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been thinking about selling him for awhile now - Now i've got the opportunity to lease to buy an amazing horse - Which would take me quite far.
Its heartbreaking to sell him as he is my first horse - I love him beyond belief. I'd sell him on the condition that I'd get first dibs if he was sold on.

If this skin condition is easily manageable (heres hoping) - I'm sure he will find a great home for a confident gung ho PC rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey guys!
Little update -
Biopsy results are in, Turns out he's got a Bacterial infection - Which has been going on for years, however as he is clipped is more visible/has become much worse.
I'm re vamping my grooming kit (dont want to risk it again), Cleaning all my covers, getting a sheepskin girth etc.
He's still on anti biotics 2x a day, which he's being amazing about. I'm exhausted with these 4am starts to get out and do it though! Worth it to make him better however.

Vets thinking he will be back to himself in the next week - Which is great, turns out he'll be back up and running for the season, and best of all, feeling better!

Any tips or stories on how others dealt with this problem - Please and thank you!
 

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Are you talking a bacterial infection like rain scald/rain rot?
You certainly need to thoroughly wash all your brushes and blankets in something that will kill the bacteria - and wash the brushes after every use, having two sets would be the best way to manage that.
Is the bacteria living in your soil?
Can you get a soil sample done to eliminate that possibility?
We once put two horses on land that turned out to have been used for pigs in the past and as soon as it got just a little bit wet they had the most awful skin infections I've ever seen from E-Coli in the soil and had to spend months in a stable to recover
 

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I have a horse that used to have trouble in August but no where near that bad. He didn't rub himself raw and it was always on his back and a bit on his face. I was told to use children's benadryl which I did as needed. I concentrated on building up his immune system and now this year he is not having any episodes.
 
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