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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning horse butt images

Highlander is a purebred Arabian gelding who is turning 30 this month. Since September, he has been dealing with itchy butt cheeks that won’t go away. He lives 6 hours from me at a stable where I use to live. The stable owner and I are at a loss of what to try next. The vet is out of ideas.

Highlander facts:
  • Turns 30 years old this month
  • Rescued him May 2018 with body condition of 3, prior was used as an endurance horse
  • Daily turned out into dry pasture with horse friend, large box stall at night
  • Fed twice daily with the following mixture soaked in a 5-gallon bucket: 1 lb. Purina Equine Senior and 1 lb. alfalfa pellets with 60g SmartFlex Senior Pellets (only once a day with the pellets)

Timeline
July 17 – worms found in boy’s pasture, both treated with Ivermectin. Both were Pulte wormed in May with Quest.
September 29 - noticing he was swishing his tail a great deal and thought he needed his sheath cleaned. It’s not his tail that is being rubbed but under his tail and the sides of the cheeks.
October 10 – fall vet visit. During the regular vet visit on October 10, the vet saw nothing wrong with him, got his fall shots as normal. Forgot to do the sheath cleaning.
October 25 - dewormed twice by this date, no worms seen within scat of either horse
November 19 - He got his sheath cleaned on. His sheath wasn’t dirty. The vet did blood work and found his Equine Endogenous ACTH2 levels were 522 levels to be extremely high. Scrapped for mange but came back clean.
November 23 – started on Prascend for cushings
December 5 – still itchy and trying some topical treatments. Vet said it could take a few weeks for the Cushing medication to kick in and we should be seeing a reduction of itchiness. By this point, the stable owner has tried shampoo, antifungals, antibiotics, triple antibiotic ointment, gall salve and put him on Equishine. He also has gotten 3 treatments 10 days apart of dewormer. See complete list below.
December 28 – itch seems to be 20% better
January 19 – butt is looking better but still itching. Did blood work to see if his number has dropped.
January 29 – still itching trying diaper rash ointment on, vet and stable owner are running out of ideas
February 4 – itching still there and at a point in which he can’t be left inside his stall in case he rubs his butt raw. See video
February 10 – trying new anti-itch foot cream to

Throughout this entire time, Highlander has been acting normal. Eating and drinking normally and being his energetic and happy self.

Tried the following medications, ointments and treatments
Monistat cream
Athletes Foot Cream
Desi Cream
Antibiotics
Benadryl
Steroid
Mite treatment
Lime sulfur dip for horses
First photo from January Janary 19 2021.JPEG
Second photos from today February 10 2021.jpeg
sorry only have video from earlier dates
 

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Pinworms - already mentioned - are the only things that you don't seem to have treated for though mites are really hard to get rid of once they move in.

When feathered horses get mites one of the most successful treatment seems to be Ivermectin via injection. Topical treatments need to be applied every day as new ones are hatching all the time plus they live in the bedding. Id be expecting to see more tail rubbing though.

You mention Cushing's Disease, has the horse got an overly thick coat? He might just be too hot and thats making him feel itchy and that area is a convenient spot to have a good scratch at?
Maybe try clipping some hair off him?
 

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have you tried just generic dandruff shampoo ? I had one horse that scratched and rubbed , and dollar store dandruff shampoo stopped it. Also if you changed bedding from straw to shavings, it could be that.
 

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I'm inclined to think pinworms or such too, but could be nutritional. Lack of Mg can cause extra sensitivity & I've heard it said, itchiness too. If he has Cushings, then there's a reason he could be Mg deficient even if he's getting a fair bit in his diet. Omega 3 is called an 'essential' fatty acid because we need a dietary source of it to get enough - horses are generally deficient in it, unless they're getting a good supp, and excess Omega 6 & 9(common) in the diet can also sort of cancel out O3. This is a common cause of skin probs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. We are doing another blood test to see if he is missing anything or over. He has been dewormed for pin worms with three different types of dewormer 10 days apart. So a total of five dewormers since July. Due to the weather we can’t wash him right now.
The barn doesn’t have a heated bath stall. We will try a dry shampoo and conditioner. When the weather was warmer he was getting butt baths with little response.
The Cushing number has gone down from 500+ to 38. We’ve also tried MTG, calamine lotion and probiotics. When scaled for manage they checked for mites as well with negative on both (which I didn’t know they had done) Checked his coat thickness and is normal.
Right now we haven’t put him in his stall. We are afraid that he would scratch himself open and cause larger issues. He’s got a thick blanket on with two warm mash mixtures a day. And getting hand walked around the arena after a steroid cream has been applied. Hopefully the weather will warm up soon.
 
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