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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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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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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 it’s 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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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I thought about fire ants. Have you seen any of the mounds around in your area? If your horse laid down in them they would attack an area rapidly. When I got a few on my leg, it left blisters and a swollen area. If I scratched it, then the blisters would pop and then turn scabby. They are horrible. I have heard where a cow has a calf on an ant hill and it killed the calf. I always keep my eyes open for the hills forming and put out the granules to poison them. I do knock the top of the hill before I sprinkle them on the top.
 

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I haven’t ridden him yet, so he hasn’t had any equipment around that area. Smart move on your part to scrub down your equipment! I’m glad that helped the situation.
 

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Roodytoot, better than poison for killing unwanted insects is to use Neem Oil, for ants I use 4 tablespoons each of Neem and liquid soap to a gallon of hot water. Just pour that over the nest.

Safer than poison
 

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We have fire ants on our island, thanks to a rich guy who imported some from Europe... Ours can get very very bad, and we have had luck killing them with orange oil and boiling water. They disappear and do not come back. Well, we'll see this year but it worked well last year.

We have a lobster cooker, we get the water boiling, put a little orange oil in it and pour it around the perimeter of the nest to contain them, then as quickly as we can we scoop up another pitcher and pour it down into the nest. If they know you are coming they go deep, so you have to be fast. I have heard that adding molasses to the mix makes it even more effective, but I've never done that.

Here's another way to deal with red ants: Cast the nest with boiling aluminum...

ant nest 1.jpg ant nest 4.jpeg

ant nest 2.jpeg . ant nest 3.jpeg
 

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I have always been fascinated by the nest castings. They are such industrious little beings. Too bad their bite is so bad.
 

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When I saw where the area was running, it made me think about the fire ants as they cause a lot of fluid build up where many have attacked. It can make the area sort of sluff off and run. It takes them a long time to make a really tall mound, so it may take some time to find them. For a while, the mound looks like where a mole has piled soil up. We have a lot of moles in the pasture, so I have to pay a lot of attention to them.

You must make sure that what you put down kills the queen. If it does not, they will surface somewhere else. They are truly an insect from hell !!
 

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I wanted to add this, that the bites are painful and I have had to take an antihistamine to slow down the itching. There are many people that have been bitten by these little monsters to the point that they become allergic to them and it is much like a bee sting. They become highly allergic to them and the doctor tells them that if they don't have an epipen, that they can die from it.

It makes me wonder if a horse can become allergic to them as well.
 
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