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Discussion on Scurffy mane and tail

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Heather Matthys (Equus)
Posted on Friday, Nov 2, 2001 - 7:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi guys!
Just a general question on mail and tail care here. I have a quarter horse with a beautifully thick mane and tail. However, the base of both are always waxy / flaky / scurffy. I don't know how to get rid of this. I use a "pincushion" brush to brush the mane and tail, but this does nothing to get at the base and the hair is too thick to get the scurf out with a body brush. I dunno what to do. Suggestions?
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Cathleen Androulidakis (Idealwhe)
Posted on Friday, Nov 2, 2001 - 9:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just bought a new mare with this was a fungal infection.

Cathie =^..^=
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Sunday, Nov 4, 2001 - 6:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Heather,
With the conditon of the hair being excellent I do not think you have the same problem Cathleen did. Most horse skin fungal problems cause a folliculitis and hair loss. From your description I think these are likely to be the normal exfoliations of these areas caught up in the thick roots. You also see this type scurrfyness in the mane and tail when horses are pestered a lot by biting midges.

I think your best bet at perserving the beautiful hair AND riding your self of the waxy flakes is finding a brush that will get down this low and not be to fussy about a little scurffyness.

If it really bugs you, you could try any of the antiseborrheic shampoos available for dogs or humans. These shampoos help loosen this material but you still have to work at getting the stuff out when the hair is very thick. I think you will find with repeated washing that both the mane and tail will loose some of their luster.
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marci iverson (Aachen)
Posted on Monday, Nov 5, 2001 - 1:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


What about using one of those flea combs for cats to really get at the scurf? the tines are so close together you should be able to get it all out.

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Raina Turgut (Raina)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2002 - 8:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was asked to keep an eye on a little black foal while he was on grass livery at our yard and weaned from his mum for some friends in March this year .
My concern is he seems to be very slow to lose his foal mane and tail look.

He has a long black mane that is scurfy at the base 2 days after you have washed it. I have tried mane and tail conditoner in it but its just the same. The ends of his mane look burnt and his tail is very thick but like foal fluff a lot.
I noticed some small bald patches on his face and ear and I thought maybe he had lice or ringworm but upon investigation it didn't appear to be.

He was very slow to shed his winter coat which was very thick especially under his belly.
When he was born no one knew his mum (17 yo Shetland) was pregnant as they only purchased her 5 months before. Therefore she didn't receive any additional nutrition. All he got fed on was hay and pony nuts. (they are not experienced horse people)

I think he may have only been wormed once between May 2001 and March 2002. When he came to me he was double dose strongid P then Equest and he had Equest last Sunday as the next one. I plan to do Strongid again in 2 weeks for tapeworm. He has good quality grasss and is out 24 hours. I thought he woudl improvee after worming and good grass but although he has put on weight he still looks a bit shabby. I was feeding him pony nuts and chaff for a while until he started to get a bit fat so have stopped that. He doesn't have a stable so I can't reduce him that way. Droppings have been ok, but where a bit sloppy the other day after he had some sugar free sugar beet.

This bronzing on his mane and tail, is it a nutritional deficiency?

The owners vet recently saw his mum who had deteriorated a lot and was diagnosed with low WBC (neuts) and rather anaemic. Could she have passed this to him?

He now seems to be reacting to midges as he has started to rub his mane and tail in the last couple of weeks.
They want to sell him and I don't know what I can give him to improve his looks otherwise I fear he will end up in an unfortunate home or worse. I dont think they will pay for the vet to come and look at him. He is very sweet natured and only 15 months old and I feel he deserves better. After all it wasn't his fault his mum was a bit of a "loose pony" with what appears to be a cart horse type dad!
Any suggestions anyone?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2002 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Raina,
The problem is that once the damage is done to the hair there is nothing much you can do to "heal the hair". The bronzing is most likely a reaction of the hair pigment to sunlight. Concerning the itching and cruffyness see Equine Diseases: Skin Diseases: Overview of Scratching & Rubbing for suggestions.

I am sure your better care will be reflected in the next coat and it probably will take a few shedding and regrowth cycles for things to return to normal but patience will be rewarded. In the short run, you might try at this time lots of brushing to stimulate and spread the natural bodies oils. Coat conditioners may relieve some of the dry look but they tend to attract dirt so if you decide to use them do so sparingly.

when you post a question you should start your own discussion and not post it at the bottom of someone else's discussion. When you create your own discussion, it keeps discussions easy to read and you will get more responses quicker. The buttons for starting new discussions are at the bottom of most pages with a list of subtopic titles on it. For more on this see the "READ THIS FIRST" topic besides the Add a Message label on the form below. Lets go ahead and finish this here and later I will move it into its own discussion.
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Raina Turgut (Raina)
Posted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2002 - 5:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr O
Looking at him yesterday his coat is very greasy so I'll get to work spreading it around with brushing.
Sorry about the posting error. Am quite new to this so hopefully I'll get it right next time
Thanks again
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