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Discussion on Dew poisoning on the nose?

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Susan K. Mangus
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 47
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 - 11:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O,

Three youngsters (weanling, yearling and 2 YO) have recently done the following and all within the same time frame: first the 2 YO one morning had tiny bumps on his nose. After a day or so he also lost pigment on his poor nose which was swollen. We figured some type of contact dermatitis. Then a week later the yearling started the nose bumps and then a week later the weanling. The 2 YO cleared up on his own within a week. The yearling's bumps progressed over her neck, sides, and front legs. Bumps had a crusty top and were very sore for her. We tried the Betadine washing but it continued to spread. Home vet thought it was some sort of allergic reaction and NOT Dew Poisoning. After 10 days her condition continued to worsen and we gave 3 cc Dexamethasone, bumps reduced about 85%, but came back 48 hours later. Another 3 cc Dex which helped more. We continued to wash with Betadine and slather her legs (almost hair-less at that point) with Furasone salve, which has helped an old mare in the past when she got Dew Poisoning on her pasterns. Now almost 3 weeks out the filly is about healed, the hair on her legs starting to grow back, but we have aged 10 years. We also started her on Trihist 2x/day, it hasn't helped much in the past but we wanted to try anything at this point. BTW the weanling was gelded just when his bumps were starting, this included some Dex - he was a ridgling and needed the more extensive surgery. His bumps disappeared while at the vet and have not come back. All 3 are in adjoining paddocks which my husband mows so they look like a golf course. All 3 go out for about 2 to 3 hours in the early morning before the heat and bugs come out, and then are in their stalls for the day in this summer weather. No other changes in diet or shavings etc. etc.
We are the same folks whose stallion had the TERRIBLE hives attack a few years back and we absolutely panicked on this.
So what do you think - can Dew Poisoning start as bumps on the nose?

Thanks so much - Susan Mangus - Springledge QH Farm - Hickory, KY
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 25913
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 - 6:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

First let's discard allergies: 3 horses don't develop allergies to the same substance all at the same time. Next let's be clear: dew poisoning is not one disease but a mixture of a number of different infectious and/or photosensitive disorders that look very similar, see the article associated with this discussion area for more on this. To answer your direct question, yes these problems labelled as "dew poisoning" start as bumps on the nose.
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Susan K. Mangus
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 48
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 - 7:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you so much for the quick reply !! I think we can rule out a photo-sensitivity as the youngsters go out at 6:00 AM and are back in the barn by 9:00 AM, when the heat and bugs become a problem. That leaves us with something or other in the grass in this particular area at this particular time. None of the 3 have "relapsed" in any symptoms at all since recovery.... nor have any older horses shown any problems. If the 3 stay symptom free, it will be interesting to see if they have any "bumps" next year at this same time !
Thanks again for the help, will re-read the main article posted.

Susan Mangus
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