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Discussion Starter #1
I'm dealing with a horse (not Scout) who is really rubbing his tail badly. He has been recently dewormed with a product that handles pinworms, so I highly doubt that that is the problem. His tail is rubbed bald, and is scaly and dandruffy, so my current assumption is that he's itching from the dry skin. Once the weather breaks to the point that water will stay comfortably liquid his sheath will be cleaned in case that has any bearing on the issue. He does have some very raw patches on his hindquarters around his tail from the rubbing.

I have put MTG on his bald tail where the scaliness is the worst. According to their website MTG will do something for the itching sensation. My question is basically, How careful do I need to be about getting the MTG on the really raw areas? Will it burn, or otherwise be an issue?

Are there any other topical products that will kill the itch without burning? How about other anti-equine-dandruff products that don't need to be rinsed? I don't have access to running water in the winter, hence the concern about rinsing.
 

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I'm not sure if MTG would burn or anything, but you can use a wound lotion-type product. I have some at my barn, it rubs in like lotion and it made for wounds. You can also use Vitamin E. Buy the capsules, poke a hole in them, and squeeze the liquid out onto his tail. It may seem like a pain, but it's the best when it comes to healing things up and moisturizing at the same time. =]
 

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It sounds like it might just be bacteria. If thats the case, MTG will not work. My gelding had this, nothing worked so I got using apple cidar vinegar. (you can look it up for more uses on horses) this stuff is amazing. It will kill off anything that is going on and its cheap!
 

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I personally am not a huge fan of MTG. I know at least one horse who actually got itchier after the owner used MTG in her tail. I like the EQyss products, the Micro Tek spray or gel, or the premier spray, for itching, and bacterial infections, as well as dry skin. The Micro Tek rebuilder works really well in helping the hair grow back faster. I know that a lady at my barn puts A&D Zinc Oxide diaper rash ointment on her horse's tail. It works pretty well from what I've seen. And they are all less oily than MTG, which is a big bonus.
 

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The problem with itching is it often starts for one reason but then the irritation created causes it to continue being itchy after the initial cause is gone. You're right that you need to cool it off and get him to stop itching. Most importantly though you need to figure out why he's so itchy- it could be ringworm in which case you'd need a skin culture to diagnose it. It is also the time for lice which can often irritate the tail head and cause rubbing. If you can't get him to stop itching with some topical creams (have you tried a simple hydrocortisone?) It might be time to call the vet for a fungal culture, or at least check him very carefully for lice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for your replies!

Last night the owner and I put triple-antibiotic cream on the most raw areas, plus bag balm. Hopefully as sticky as he is any itching he did overnight will have left evidence on whatever he's rubbing on and we can fix that aspect of the problem... The horse has been on stall rest due to a severe laceration on his hock, and is about ready to be turned out once his shoes are pulled, something the owner has been putting off due to the position of the injury and the amount of flexing that the joint goes through to pull the shoe.

We are definitely looking for a reason for the itching. riccil0ve, my mom, an RN, really liked the idea of the Vitamin E. Easily gotten in town and probably not going to irritate further.

paint gurl 23: I actually have some apple cider vinegar on hand, the health food store stuff with the "mother" in it. I kind of thought that that would burn. Dad has a fairly new blister and tried pouring a little of the vinegar over it and said that it burned like mad until he rinsed it off. I'll bet that it works, but there is truly no way to get it off of the horse quickly if it does hurt him. No running water in the barn, much less anything warm. Did you dilute the vinegar, or use it full strength?

dressagebelle: I'll definitely mention the EQyss to the owner. I didn't think about it, but I can never remember that they have a spray for about anything that ails. I thought of the diaper rash ointment, but my mom wasn't sure that it was OK for horses. Now that we have a testimonial, we'll look a little deeper into that as an option. :D The horse has watchful eyes on the area where the MTG has been applied; he's broken into giant hives from oil based fly spray before, and as I said above he can be pretty sensitive to some things.

tealamutt: This horse has had ringworm before up on his back; not diagnosed by skin culture but textbook presentation. I wouldn't be extraordinarily surprised if something similar could be at work now, hes a thin-skinned QH, and pretty sensitive to about anything under the sun. The stuff on his back was cured with medicated shampoo and a spray-on antifungal. Have not tried hydrocortisone, again weren't sure about how safe it is to put on a horse. My philosophy is if I'd put it on myself it can't be too bad if used with common sense/okayed by a vet. Never thought of lice, but will definitely give him a once-over, probably more like a twice or three times over.

Thank you all for your responses. I'll forward your suggestions to the owner, as well as suggesting a phone call to the vet to get her take on some of the human intended remedies for itch and rawness.

What do you guys think about sponge-bathing the bald/raw-rubbed areas with warmed water and then blotting him dry with a towel? Could it help at all or would it be a waste of time or too risky? It is 8 am and 17 degrees F outside, 25 F in the barn. Maybe we could try that once the temp gets as high as its going to?

Thanks again, all!
 

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Scoutrider,
I would second the use of Eqyss Microtek. If you are going to sponge bathe the horse, use the MicroTek shampoo first. Use the gel or spray daily after this. I'll throw out a wild idea for you, that I have been forced to use.

Fudge was fine when he was test riden and purchased, but when we picked him up two weeks later, he had very bad rainrot under the blanket ( I don't think he got ANY care once he was paid for.) It was January 3, and the temps were low. Hubby set up a propane bullet heater outside the small trailer, pointed thorugh the side door. We heated the trailer, then brought the horse into the trailer - with the heater still running. We closed up the back except for one top door. We worked quickly to fully wash him, but the Microtek shampoo needs to stay on the skin for 5 or 10 minutes to work. We used a hose to get very warm water from the basement to the trailer. We left the horse in the trailer to blow dry in the heat.

I am aware of carbon monoxide poisoning when using propane. I did stay with the horse to make sure that it did not get too bad in the trailer. The side door was open, and the rear upper door, and there was constant flow through the trailer. For an emergency wash rack, it worked fine, and dried the horse somewhat.

You may not like this idea, but maybe it will spark another idea for you to warm up a wash rack for winter use.
 

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Scout- hydrocortisone is very safe for humans, you can even use it on infant's sensitive skin. It is a mild steroid that can help with itching, no matter what the cause and it can help break the cycle of itching and rubbing he is stuck in. However, given his history of ringworm, that is a prime suspect and you don't want to use a steroid in that case. Ringworm can live in wood for years and can take months of treatment to fully resolve. If he had it before, it makes it more likely that he's got it now. It loves to break out in the dark damp winter months.

I like the idea of sponge bathing with a mild soap and making sure you pick all the crusts off. Rinse the soap off well, pat him dry and apply a triple antibiotic as your biggest danger now is secondary infection of the raw skin by bacteria. If you can't get it under control/ at least looking better in a few days, it is time to call in the vet. Horses like to slough skin and to avoid scarring/permenant damage you need to make sure you can break his cycle of itching and prevent secondary infection. Good luck, keep us posted, poor kid must be MISERABLE!
 

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Personally, I find that MTG makes tails worse in the flaky/itchy department.

You might want to try witch hazel or as EPM suggested, the Eqyss Microtek line does absolute wonders for EVERYTHING. I have yet to find something fungal, itchy or otherwise gross that this stuff doesn't take care of. It is expensive though, which is why I suggested the witch hazel.

You may also want to pick up some orajel, or other kind of numbing paste and apply that just to eliminate itching and allow whatever you are applying to work.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just did the final check for the night, and the rawness does seem to be improving. The worst spot was a little shiny yesterday before anything went on, and is now a dull pink. The MTG had "dried" away, and the scaliness was far improved. I reapplied the triple-antibiotic cream and bag balm, as well as the MTG. No sign of any of the ointment around the stall, so he seems to have gone all night and day without rubbing. The owner's keeping a sharp eye on him, making sure that he continues to improve. If the healing stalls or backpedals we'll look deeper into the possibility of recurring ringworm. As of now attacking the dry skin and treating the rawness seems to be doing the trick.

Thanks again to everyone! I'll be back to school for the week, leaving tomorrow, but I'll be sure to relay updates as I get them.
 

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Scoutrider- I use it on every cut, bite, rub, bald spot...its recommended to use by all the equine therapists also for sore muscles, strains etc. You use it full strength in a spray bottle..it does sting but not for very long. If your horse doesnt like the full strength you can dliute it. I like it because its natural and every cut small or big my horses ever had, it cleared it up without a scar. Its great for bugs like lice, mites etc and for bacteria and fungus.

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