Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ack, Scratches...

Yup, they've got it. 

After we got home from the Las Vegas trip Cartman had a slight case of scratches on his hind pasterns.    He had been out in the back field with Dazzby, Girlie, and Draol for six days.  It is very wet here in Western Washington, but he has, what we call, the the largest run-in shed in Cowlitz County  (a 60 x 100 arena) to get out of the weather under.  Apparently he spent the whole time out in the wet grass and muddy spots.

I treated him with Eqyss Microtec spray for about a week and it appeared to be gone.  Then, two days ago Dazzby comes down with it!  Ugh.  These horses come in every night, and have their feet sprayed off religiously. 

We have a ride in three weeks! 

Today everyone got all four feet throroughly scrubbed with Chlorhexadine shampoo.  Hopefully that will do the trick and we can get back to business.

Anyone tried the Q-shot stuff for scratches?  I'm thinking of getting some for future use.



AareneX said...

Jim's mare Hana is prone to scratches, so we learned a lot about treatment to help her. Here's what we know:

* The scratches fungus survives in (wet) soil, so a horse with scratches can give it to other horses in the same area. Also, if you put them into a new area when they are NOT symptomatic, the fungus doesn't seem to transfer to the new area. Hana hasn't had symptoms since we moved to our new place 2+ years ago (knock wood), even though we have mud here.

* White footed/legged horses seem to suffer more from it--Hana only gets symptoms on her white feet, not her brown feet.

* The fungus is closely related to athlete's foot! The spray-on OTC athlete's foot medicine is what my vet recommends. (he tells a story about when he was doing scratches research in vet school and dumped over a petri dish...he and his assistant ended up with athlete's foot on their bellies, where the fungus has gotten onto the worktable and then on their shirts!)

* Clean the affected area with Chlorahex (sp?) and then LET IT DRY. Fungus doesn't like dry. Spray with athlete's foot spray, and let that dry. Keep the horse out of wetness until the scratches clear up (it took Hana about 2-4 days). If the redness/heat/swelling gets worse, call the vet--there can be a secondary infection that antibiotics will kick.

* What helped Hana most: locking her into a VERY DRY environment (a 12x14 stall deeply bedded with dry cedar shavings) each night during the wet season. Maybe set up a paddock in the run-in shelter so he can't run back out into the wet?

Good luck!

CG said...

Thanks Aarene! I hadn't thought about using the spray and was trying to think of something I could put on in the morning before I turn them out. I didn't want to wash their feet 2x a day as I think that might dry the skin out too much.

Thats odd about the white feet, the first time I ever had one get scratches here at this farm was when Taj brought it home from Portland Meadows and it all started on his only white foot!