Better information makes for healthier horses,
Horseadvice.com is where equine science and horse sense intersect.

Discussion on Scratches and swelling

Use the navigation bar above to access articles and more discussions on this topic.
Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 1067
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 - 9:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Scenario.
Filly has a very mild case of scratches on both white pasterns.
Has cut herself on white hind leg three times this spring. In each case the cuts were very minor, just enough more than a scratch to be called cuts.
One of the cuts, located on the outside, slightly lower than middle of her cannon, is u shaped and very slightly puffy.
This is the oldest of the cuts.
I have cleaned all cuts(as they happened) and treated with a topical ointment.
This filly is a bit reactive and this leg must be here stamping/kicking leg.....
The other cuts are healing just fine but this u-shaped cut has healed, in that there is no scab and the edges are smooth but it remains slightly puffy.
Over the past month when I groom I have been trying to treat the scratches with an ointment perscribed by local vet for this purpose.
About four days ago when I was tacking her up I noticed a new, very small slice just above her coronet, now when I say small I mean it wasn't bleeding and the flap of skin was perhaps 5 mil in diametre.
Since I was going to be working in a dirt (opposed to grass) environment I applied a coating of vaseline after cleaning and appling ointmnet to the cut.
At that time I also decided to put the vaseline on the scratches, I thought it might help soften the few remaining scabs so I could remove them.
What is it about scratches that make them so ouchy? I could easily remove a similar scab from a different part of the horse but the scratches scabs are ouchy.
(we had a long wet, cold spring that did not appear to exacerbate the scratches)
After the ride I washed her leg and applied MTG both to the new cut and the scratches scabs,I was able to remove a few of them, I was out of ointments I usually used, I have used MTG on surface scratches and itchy tails with apparent success.
The next morning her leg is blown up, from her hoof to about two inches below hock. It was quite firm but not hot.
I was perplexed about what to do since you are supposed to keep scratches dry but cold hose swelling.
I decided it best to cold hose, which I did for two days.
She is not lame, does not appear tender anywhere she is swollen.
The swelling is going down, nearly normal this morning.
Finally my questions! I know this has been a long history but you never know what bit of info is useful to a professional.
Could the MTG have instigated the original swelling?
Would just a couple days of hoseing (oh-the scratches has gotten much, much worse, increased in area and at least tripled in scab size)be responsible for the increased growth?
If this happens again what should my course of treatment be?
Is there a medicine I can give to reduce swelling and pain?
Since it wasn't painful I let her stay in pasture, should I have kept her stalled?
It seemed when I ignored the scratches they stayed minimal, once I started trying to treat them they got worse.
Additional bits of info, her feed hasn't changed, the exercise she had the day before the swelling wasn't any harder than her normal workout but was longer.

Thank you for taking the time to try to make sense out of all this.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1204
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 - 11:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori,

There are, I am sure a great many resources on here about treating scratches and what works and doesn't.

You can do a search and check for the most recent enlightenments.

What will work and how well will depend upon how quickly and seriously you get the treatment underway and stick to the program. As allowed to grow worse, the necessary treatment period will be greatly extended.

I seem to recall someone saying to use the cow stuff that is for mastitis, which is also good for thrush in the frog but I haven't had occasion to try that yet.

I have typically used Betadine scrub or a Nolvasaan-based scrub, rinse and dry thoroughly and apply Panalog or triple antibiotic ointment. Then coat the area thoroughly with a Desitin type of diaper cream.

If the scabs are still tiny, sometimes it is possible to get away with Betadine (Povidone, generic) on a cotton pad to rub the scab off before progressing to the next steps.

A horse of mine gets scratches badly sometimes (and sunburn can be involved too), especially on the pink pastern skin.

Applying Desitin (or generic) thickly will protect from moisture, scratches and sunburn.

I keep several boxes in my barn at all times.

If the scabs are bad, you may have to go through treatments a couple of times daily until you get this under control. When I had hired someone to care for my horse and a case was allowed to progress badly it was so painful to pick up my horse's foot that he would fall to his knees when I did so.

If the scratches and scabs have worsened, I would think that certainly could cause swelling though I have never had a case progress to that stage.

Have you used MTG elsewhere on this horse and had a reaction, because perhaps allergy could also?

Scratches can become infected, which can be serious, and I suppose could even progress to a case of cellulitis, potentially very serious.

Underneath the scabs are ulcerated openings in the skin, which is very painful for the horse and I also think they begin to be very uncomfortable prior to the scabs appearing.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 4436
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 - 2:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

2 things have cleared up a stubborn case of scratches for me

#1-Tommorow...dry cow stuff OR

#2 panalog Or demavet

Neither one has ever failed me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1314
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 - 12:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree with Diane, my vet gave me an ointment called privalan and a package of Dexamethazone to mix in when I was treating what I thought was scratches. But it wasn't. I struggled for nearly 3 yrs. in pasture time, with what I thought was Scratches. It turned out to be a photosensitivity problem due to an Alsik Clover bloom in my pasture. I see you have her in pasture, you might check for clover if there is no response to scratches treatment....or if there is some abatement of the condition when it is cloudy.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 2068
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 - 10:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori, I've used the same treatment as Vicki Z with good success. The one different thing I do, and this may address your concern about cold hosing/keeping the scratches dry, is that after scrubbing with betadine and before applying the triple antibiotic and then Desitin, I blow dry the affected area, making sure I get it completely dry, so that the greasy ointments of the antibiotic and Desitin don't prevent the remaining water from evaporating quickly.

You may have to first train your filly to accept the blow dryer as you would for clippers.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23304
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori, if after hosing you left the legs wet that may have contribute to them being worse. For much more on this subject see, Diseases of Horses » Skin Diseases, Wounds, and Swellings » Hair and Coat Problems / Itching / Irritated Skin » Scratches, Grease Heel, Dew Poisoning, & Mud Fever.

If you are ruling out food related sensitivity it is not that common so that may be reasonable but would note that if your horses are on pasture there food source is changing constatntly: maturity, amount of water, growth of weeds are all changing the nature of your pasture.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 1068
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 - 1:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for the ideas.

Yes, I did leave the leg wet, won't do that again.
Would that have caused so much swelling?
I have used MTG on this horse with no adverse reactions.
I would really like to know what caused so much swelling.

If it was clover poisoning wouldn't both white legs be affected equally?
If it was a clover issue how much clover would it take to cause a reaction?

Is there a test to find out if the clover is infected?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1206
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 - 6:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori,

If you have used MTG without reaction before it does not seem to me that this would be what caused the unilateral leg swelling.

I agree with you that a clover reaction would show up in both legs.

What you describe sounds to me as an infection that made its way under the skin into one leg.

I don't know about a test for clover as that is not a big problem where I live.

Good luck with this trying problem.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

leslie645
Member
Username: leslie1

Post Number: 864
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 - 9:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Lori
Aha, here you are!! (as per the other post)
I have clover in my pastures. Got worried after hearing some of the post about it. Here is a good link to describe the differences between regular white clover and Alsike.
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/forage/alsike/alsike.htm

Hope you find out whats going on with your filly
L
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 - 12:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori: After 3 years of agony ( mine ) treating scratches, my Alsike clover problem ( symptoms identical to scratches....except there is no abatement during drought ), that I was so slow to discover, is responding nicely to shipping boots during sunlight hours. My Appendix QH mare with bad problems on two tiny white patches on her back feet, is finally coming around. One back foot was horrendous with swelling encompassing the fetlock and slightly above. The "smutz" on the back foot with the swelling was thick, scabby and oozing....on the white haired area. The fetlock was HOT. The other back foot was not as bad, with small areas of oozy scabbing. THAT foot is clear, now, and the other foot is MUCH better. Don't go down the scratches path, without considering photosensitivity and Alsike clover.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23329
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 - 8:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori, in general, yes plant toxicity photosensitization effects all white areas on the horse though early on there may be some asymmetry to the lesions.

As explained in the article I reference above surface infections and inflammation of the skin on the lower legs can cause remarkable swelling Lori. You will find further explanation about how swellings develop at Diseases of Horses » Skin Diseases, Wounds, and Swellings » Swellings / Localized Infection / Abscesses » Diagnosing and Assessing Swellings in Horses.

Though the article is in the middle of a major update we also give information on separating out Alsike clover from other types at Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Mouth, Esophagus, and Liver » Plant Poisoning and the Liver: Hepatotoxicity we also discuss other plants that might cause photosensitization.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 1070
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 - 8:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for your replies.
The swelling is nearly gone except for right above the pastern.
I am soaking the leg in cold water then using blow dryer to dry the scratches area.
It is off and on raining but with the pasture so short it appears to be staying dry.
The leg does not appear to be causing any lameness but is quite tender to touch.
The scratches/scabs have decreased also.

I will reveiw the articles on clover, photsensitivity and plant poisoning.

I spoke with the local area vets, there is a week waiting time to get a blood test from the closest vet and 5 days with the second. (To test liver to check for clover poinsoning)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23336
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 - 10:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori, there is no liver test for clover poisoning. But there are tests for signs of liver stress (enzymes) and dysfunction (bile acids, ammonia, etc). You can read more about this at the article above on Liver Toxic Plants and more specifically at Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Mouth, Esophagus, and Liver » Liver Disease and Failure.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 1071
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 - 1:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

thank you
Post a Message to this Discussion
Posting
Instructions:
Full Service Members may post to this discussion and should address the orignial poster's concerns or other information posted here. New questions about your horse should be started in a new discussion. Use the navigation bar at the top of this page to return to the parent article and review the article and existing discussions. If your question remains unanswered "Start a New Discussion", the link is under the list of discussions at the bottom of the article.
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username:
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:
Home Page | Todays Discussions | Search | Top of Page Administration
  http://www.horseadvice.com
is The Horseman's Advisor
Helping Thousands of Equestrians, Farriers, and Veterinarians Every Day
All rights reserved, © 2014
Horseadvice.com is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Horse Training in Stokesdale NC