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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick rundown: Harley is on metronidazole (an antibiotic that targets hind gut parasites) for chronic diarrhea. The loose stool is pretty much gone after 3 days @ 25 pills 2x a day (he is a saint for putting up with us). Side effects include loss of appetite which we are seeing. I'm separating him from the herd and basically giving him free choice and extra hay cubes (changing his diet now is not an option). Hoping he can get by until we're done with the antibiotics and then I can fatten him up again (he's normally a pretty easy keeper).

But yesterday, I noticed that on a front leg there is some weird white fuzz. History on this leg: it very badly affected by scratches after which we found alsike clover in a pasture last summer, and the hair has since mostly grown back but it took months to get rid of the scabs and bare spot of skin. The white fuzz it is soft, like soap, and fluffy, like tiny styrofoam balls - you know the ones you can't get off you if you touch them.

I put some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spray on it.

Should I be worried about this? As if I needed something else to worry about.... he doesn't seem to care about, is not showing sensitivity to me touching it and there's no heat coming from it.
 

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How is his fluid intake? Human patients on metronidazole (Flagyl) are placed on iv fluids, 100-125ml/hr

Also might want some blood pulled to check kidney function. Probiotics at least when course is finished or during if approved by vet.
 

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I can't really tell what it looks like from your picture, but are you crushing the pills up and putting them in his food dry? Is he chewing the pills whole? Could it be possible that he scratched his mouth on the leg there and you're seeing little crushed up pill pieces that got caught up in the fur? Maybe totally off the wall but I can't really make out your picture and am just thinking about when my horses were eating hundreds of Lyme pills a day- one chewed on them like candy and that broke them into powdery white pieces.
 

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I hope I can explain this and others may have different opinions.

That looks to me like seborrheal type dander than can often show up after an event like Scratches — even long after.

It’s possible the current antibiotics are affecting something that has never 100% gone away or, even if it has, that area is still sensitive enough to be affected by a drug strong enough to make Harley lose his appetite.

Joker has always had extremely thick hair running down the “seam” of his hind legs. I keep it shaved during the warm months and cut back during the cold months because he will get that funny looking dander either from sweat and dirt build up or just plain sweat in the summer.

As far as the difference in the feel of the hair, I would be willing to blame that on a long-term residual effect of Scratches. Most horses probably don’t get that but Harley is his own person, so after-effects may present differently on him:)

The hair looks healthy, so doing what you’re doing should be enough, unless you see his skin start to turn raw.

Also watch him for butt, chest, or head rubbing, or depression. If depression enters, along with loss of appetite I would call the vet as that may mean Harley needs the amount of antibiotics cut back.

FWIW, depression and loss of appetite can happen with Cushings horses, when first starting them out in Prascend. You mention loss of appetite so I bring up the fact the Harley’s antibiotic is some potent stuff and may need cut back before he finishes the prescription.

When I had Joker on Methocarbomol,when he re-fractured his back last year, I had to take him off of it three days ahead of schedule. It is a powerful muscle relaxer that I had never heard of before.

Joker didn’t break out in hives but his whole body started to itch. Soon as I stopped the Methocarbomol his itching started to subside.

I am really happy to hear the metronidazole seems to be working for Harley. He will likely need a high caliber pre-probiotic after he’s done flushing his system of parasites with this drug:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How is his fluid intake? Human patients on metronidazole (Flagyl) are placed on iv fluids, 100-125ml/hr

Also might want some blood pulled to check kidney function. Probiotics at least when course is finished or during if approved by vet.
Fluid intake is normal. And he's eating his hay right now, so he's just a little less hungry than usual, not completely off his food.

Blood was pulled before starting this course of antibiotics and all organs are functioning well. But I know this drug can affect kidney function. I'll watch for signs. He's on probiotics during treatment (vet approved).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't really tell what it looks like from your picture, but are you crushing the pills up and putting them in his food dry? Is he chewing the pills whole? Could it be possible that he scratched his mouth on the leg there and you're seeing little crushed up pill pieces that got caught up in the fur? Maybe totally off the wall but I can't really make out your picture and am just thinking about when my horses were eating hundreds of Lyme pills a day- one chewed on them like candy and that broke them into powdery white pieces.
No, this isn't it. I'm dissolving the pills in water and syringing into his mouth, then syringing water to wash it all down and rinse his mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope I can explain this and others may have different opinions.

That looks to me like seborrheal type dander than can often show up after an event like Scratches — even long after.

It’s possible the current antibiotics are affecting something that has never 100% gone away or, even if it has, that area is still sensitive enough to be affected by a drug strong enough to make Harley lose his appetite.

Joker has always had extremely thick hair running down the “seam” of his hind legs. I keep it shaved during the warm months and cut back during the cold months because he will get that funny looking dander either from sweat and dirt build up or just plain sweat in the summer.

As far as the difference in the feel of the hair, I would be willing to blame that on a long-term residual effect of Scratches. Most horses probably don’t get that but Harley is his own person, so after-effects may present differently on him:)

The hair looks healthy, so doing what you’re doing should be enough, unless you see his skin start to turn raw.

Also watch him for butt, chest, or head rubbing, or depression. If depression enters, along with loss of appetite I would call the vet as that may mean Harley needs the amount of antibiotics cut back.

FWIW, depression and loss of appetite can happen with Cushings horses, when first starting them out in Prascend. You mention loss of appetite so I bring up the fact the Harley’s antibiotic is some potent stuff and may need cut back before he finishes the prescription.

When I had Joker on Methocarbomol,when he re-fractured his back last year, I had to take him off of it three days ahead of schedule. It is a powerful muscle relaxer that I had never heard of before.

Joker didn’t break out in hives but his whole body started to itch. Soon as I stopped the Methocarbomol his itching started to subside.

I am really happy to hear the metronidazole seems to be working for Harley. He will likely need a high caliber pre-probiotic after he’s done flushing his system of parasites with this drug:)
Yes, I think this is the most likely explanation. I think it was probably there before and we just didn't notice it because he gets very fuzzing legs in winter so it was mostly covered up, and since his hair is light, it blended in. It does look like some sort of dander, I've just never seen it this thick, but then again, this was the worse patch of scratches he had and we battled it for months (vet was involved, don't worry).

He's otherwise behaving normally, but Harley was always cranky in the winter. We assumed the loose stool was causing this, along with his arthritis. I wouldn't say he's depressed, but in previous winters, he has been. It's worse when the cold is bad - he'll just stand in the stall with his head down. This year, he's better, probably because our winter has been very mild so far. He plays with Rusty, chases the two other horses off the hay (even when he's not that hungry - he just wants to prove a point). DD has been riding him this week, and he's very energetic.

It is a very potent drug though, and he's already on a probiotic, but I may well add to it when we're done. Will keep an eye on things and talk to the vet if I feel like it's too much for him. But he's suffered from chronic diarrhea for the last three winters, so that could not have been good for his body either. It makes sense that we need to bring out the big guns to get rid of that mess. If we succeed, then we'll move onto bringing back his gut flora.

Thanks for all the ideas everyone!
 

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I can't see well in the picture but would suspect it's some kind of fungal thing due to the antibiotics. With many antibiotics, fungal or yeast overgrowth is a known side effect. Not sure about Flagyl but it's my first thought. I'd shampoo him with either an Eqyss MicroTek shampoo or an iodine based shampoo, dry thoroughly (hair dryer), clip down to skin and put an antifungal (scratches treatment) on the skin and see if that makes things better. It would also help with a seborrhea type of dander.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can't see well in the picture but would suspect it's some kind of fungal thing due to the antibiotics. With many antibiotics, fungal or yeast overgrowth is a known side effect. Not sure about Flagyl but it's my first thought. I'd shampoo him with either an Eqyss MicroTek shampoo or an iodine based shampoo, dry thoroughly (hair dryer), clip down to skin and put an antifungal (scratches treatment) on the skin and see if that makes things better. It would also help with a seborrhea type of dander.
Thanks! I was thinking it wouldn't hurt to wash with an antifungal shampoo. But I worry about clipping because it's winter and very cold. I don't like to take away his natural protection from the elements. Thoughts?
 

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Thanks! I was thinking it wouldn't hurt to wash with an antifungal shampoo. But I worry about clipping because it's winter and very cold. I don't like to take away his natural protection from the elements. Thoughts?
Not talking the whole leg or horse, just the funky spot. If you don't want to clip down to the skin, then I'd at least use scissors to get real short, it will let the medicine get down to the skin rather than sit on top of the hair.
 
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