Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

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Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:40 pm

My horse had a touch of this last summer for the first time but he really got it bad this summer. These are large, raw sores that scab over and bleed like a MOFO when you pull them off to put meds on them. The largest sore was about 2 inches across the entire back of the left pastern and was cracked and bleeding.

I don't know whether this is scratches or what. It is just on the back of the hind pasterns and occasionally tiny scabs along the hair line in the front and sides. I think it is a crazy reaction to bug bites. He has lost most of the hair on the back of the hind pasterns so I think the whole area is reacting to something.

Anyway I have been putting triple antibiotic or desitin or tinactin on it and it was getting worse. It finally occurred to me that fly strike was involved so I started wrapping the pasterns with a minimal amount of vet wrap (pink) after scratching off the scabs, dabbing the blood until it stopped, and putting on the medicine (triple antibiotic is what I settled on that works best). Enough to cover and stay on but not too much so that the air can't get through. The sores are shrinking greatly. The large sore has skin growing over it and he is not getting new sores. There are still a few sores that need to close but they are not getting bigger.

A vet wrap set lasts a day or two. If it is still on after 2 days which is usual I change it anyway. I apologize to everyone for driving up the worldwide price of pink vet wrap but I foresee keeping him wrapped the entire summer even after the sores are healed to prevent new ones.
Last edited by Tsavo on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:52 pm

Whether it is scratches or something else, I swear by Panalog. It requires a script though.

https://equimed.com/drugs-and-medicatio ... ce/panalog

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:08 am

That sounds like it would work given the ingredients. I was using an OTC topical steroid also but that didn't seem to help.

As usual, I took a slow stroll down the pharmacy aisles to see if there is something else I could try. The last time I did this I bought antibiotic mouthwash for the itch my horse had over his whole body last year. Tonite I bought liquid bandage. i think that will work to avoid fly strike but I am not sure how long it will last.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:35 am

While I hate the fact that we don't have enough water to keep the outdoor ring in good shape though the summer, snd wildfires are a constant worry, posts like this remind me why I like living and keeping horses in the high desert .. few bugs, no dew, no skin funk unless you own a Clyde, sweat evaporates before you get to the barn aisle...

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:52 am

"Sweat evaporates before you get to the barn aisle"

Wow--now that offers me some perspective. :o

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:13 am

Calgary Alberta is the best place I have had a horse. Dry and cold. The land that thrush forgot.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby demi » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:18 pm

Shoo fly leggings. Valley Vet Supply. I tried all different kinds of leg protection for Emma and these were the best. I was very skeptical at first but they turned out to be way better than any of the others. I leave them on 24/7, turnout and in the stall. I can easily lift them up every day to check underneath. They don’t fall down, they have the best ventilation, shavings don’t stick to them. And the best part is that she has had only a couple of fly bites on her legs this year.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby kande50 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:50 pm

I very vaguely remember treating my horse for scratches on his lower hind legs once when he was about 2, and again about 5 years later. Not sure it was the same as what you describe though, because I don't remember any bleeding, and I think I probably would because both his back legs are white.

I did a lot of reading when I was trying to figure out how to get rid of it, and the treatments seemed to be all about scraping the scabs off and keeping the area drier. I tried a lot of different antibiotics and fungicides, until I read that once treatment was started it takes about 3 weeks to clear up no matter what kind of goo we put on it.

Each time he got it I couldn't pass up the opportunity to put something like triple antibiotic on one leg and maybe tea tree oil on the other, and I think they were right about the goo because both legs healed up in just about 3 weeks.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:52 pm

My trainer swears that sauerkraut will heal scratches. It has to be the fermented kind, but it seems like that would be painful with open sores.

Manuka honey might be worth a try since you are wrapping anyway. Yeah, I'd get some fly boots to use once the lesions are healed.
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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:55 pm

36427222_10212906777484215_7835430093609500672_n.jpg
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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:58 pm

Those will stay on at least two days usually. I did not try the liquid bandage yet as I want to know if will last at least 24 hours. I will try it at some point though.

I will try to get pictures of the sores at some point. The largest one is healing. Some of the smaller ones have healed. Some are not healing.

Demi thanks for the suggestion of shoofly leggins. I will look into that. This is looking so much like a bad reaction to fly strike.. It only started healing when I kept it covered.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Abby Kogler » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:39 pm

We used to do the sauerkraut trick and it always helped. Its messy though and stinky.

You might try a mix of the triple antibiotic and ivermectin. Yes, Ivermec out of the tube. If you are getting fly or gnat eggs/larva in those scabs that will get them. It works very well.

I have used DryCow tomorrow mixed with ivermectin. Works great.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:42 pm

Some very good tips in this thread! I've been fortunate to not have these issues in the south, but many horses do.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Hayburner » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:05 pm

My older horse gets some knurly looking white scabby growths on the back of the pasterns too. Like your horse he has white hair in that area.
They don't seem to bother him unless I do try to pick at them, so I don't do it. I will brush them up and down and some of it just comes off in my brush. Since I just let them be, they don't get better but they don't worse. I have friends that do scrub them, pick them off and treat them, but they do reoccur.

My guy has Cushings so I try to avoid any open wounds that could let infection set in.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:07 am

Hayburner, I am not sure we are talking the same thing.

These sores will be open, cracked and bloody or scabbed over with a dark scab if left unwrapped. The scabs can't be brushed off except possibly with a very stiff brush. They worsen overnight if left unattended. They will bleed and bleed and bleed when the scab is removed which I do every time because that seems to hasten healing. I sometimes leave some blood to help anchor the vet wrap when it dries though it stays on pretty good without that.

I will be keeping him wrapped all summer whether they heal or not as I don't trust they not to recur.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tuddy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:59 pm

Buy a bottle of Well-Horse, it is a resin texture and I put it on anything that has a sore/scab/open wound.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:03 pm

sores.jpg
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Not the best picture. The large sore that extended across the entire left pastern that was cracked and bloody is largely healed. The smaller ones not so much. Overall this state of affairs is 90% better than at its worst so I am winning this war.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Josette » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:51 pm

This reminds me of chiggers if your horse was in an infested grass area. My guys have white legs too and that is what I thought they had last year. Same location with these bite marks that get really nasty and can require antibiotics.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:59 pm

Josette wrote:This reminds me of chiggers if your horse was in an infested grass area. My guys have white legs too and that is what I thought they had last year. Same location with these bite marks that get really nasty and can require antibiotics.


Hey you might be right. I will investigate that.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Chisamba » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 pm

I use tube socks with the toes cut out. I slide them on over clean feet and let them gather over the tetlock and pastern. I toss them when they get dirty or full of weeds. My vet makes a fabulous mix that destroys bacteria, fungus and softens scabs and protects, has some panalog to promote healing.

His heels look good Tsavo.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:27 pm

Okay I read up on chiggers. The description I read does not quite match. The description and pictures match scratches perfectly. This is scratches I am sure.

That said, I hit it with tinactin for the first several days and they got worse. I think it is because they were not covered. Once I started covering them, it didn't seem to matter whether I used tinactin or triple antibiotic. The key was keeping them covered.

I will hit it as some point with my steroid cream when the sores are mostly healed.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:28 pm

Chisamba wrote:I use tube socks with the toes cut out. I slide them on over clean feet and let them gather over the tetlock and pastern. I toss them when they get dirty or full of weeds. My vet makes a fabulous mix that destroys bacteria, fungus and softens scabs and protects, has some panalog to promote healing.

His heels look good Tsavo.


Thanks Chisamba. The tube sock idea is better than the vet wrap. I can wash socks and I don't have to drive up the world wide price of vet wrap for other people. :-)

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:21 am

LH.jpg
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Left hind.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby heddylamar » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:33 am

That looks just liks scratches to me.

My vet recomends pulling off the scabs, lightly washing, drying (I use a clean cloth and then a hair dryer on no heat), and then applying a 50-50 mix of furazone and desitin. Furazone shouldn't touch your skin, so I use two popsicle sticks to grab a clean dab of each, roughly mix together, and apply.

The scab won't re-form as extensively, and this stuff is impervious to sweat, damp grass, etc. Just wash and repeat until the scratches are gone.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:47 am

After reading up on it, this is classic case of scratches. So I agree with you on that.

Early on I used desitin a lot but that never seemed to move the needle. Also, the anti-fungal didn't seem to work any better than triple antibiotic. What worked was religiously pulling off the scabs, putting some ointment on (doesn't matter what), and then keeping him wrapped 24/7/365.

I am winning this war but it is going to drag out the whole summer as far as I can tell.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Melody » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:43 pm

I have a mare that has had scratches a good part of her life. I have a huge list of stuff we have tried. Vet cultured and hers is a very resistant bacteria. Started using just this now: https://www.equiderma.com/collections/f ... for-horses
Cleared up one back leg and just a few scabs left on the other. My husband puts it on every other day. We don't do anything else any more. No washing, no picking. I read tons of threads on this over the years and vets involved with no luck until we started using this. Have no idea why this seems to do the trick with her. Had other zinc mixtures I made myself with the stronger zinc and other stuff mixed in. I don't remember how to post pics on here or I would show you just how horrible it was with her.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:35 pm

Another boarder told me she cured scratches in a few days with a strict regime of pulling the scabs off, scrubbing with betadine, and slathering with a 1:1 mixture of neosporin and desitin. No wrapping. She said the lesions were healed in 3 days and gone completely by a week. They have not returned. She has a pinto with all white legs.

Yesterday I started using betadine but continued with triple antibiotic and wrapping. If it is improved I will go to that boarder's protocol.

I have little confidence that this is one thing given all the things scratches is claimed to be by known quantities. I think there is some component of abnormal reaction to fly saliva combined with intrinsic skin physiology especially since it mainly if not only affects white areas with pink skin.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby musical comedy » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:47 pm

Melody, as far as I know, the equiderma is a relatively new product. It wasn't around when I treated my cases of scratches. I have used it on cannon bone crud and some other things and it worked great.

Tsavo, it really depends on several things and how bad the scratches are. Pulling the scabs off IS recommend by most vets because you want it to be exposed to air. It seems counter productive to wrap, but that was advise given to me for one bad case I had. To put on gooey stuff like desitin with no wrapping is going to be a mess. I'm not an advocate of desitin for anything, including prickly heat. I would never again use betadine on scratches. I did that once and it burned the leg bad and the horse was lame.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:02 pm

Wow thanks for the input, MC. This stuff is just so dicey.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby khall » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:31 pm

I've dealt with scratches over the years. One thing you may look into tsavo is if your horse is cushings. The cushings horses get stuff easier, I know my mare did until I put her on prascend.

What works on my farm is destin and hydrocortisone mix. One of my vets recommended it and it has done the job here. Not too much issue with it this year. Keeping shorter grass helps.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby musical comedy » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:16 pm

Tsavo, I forgot something. The last time I dealt with them the vet had me use the sheath cleaning gel to soften and remove the scabs. If you google on scratches, you're going to find various recommendations and some conflict. Those people that have dealt with them and cured them stand by their methods. While the scabs are best removed, only do so when they are soft; do not force or pick them off. Also, make sure the leg is bone dry before applying any cream. The purpose the the creams is to keep out moisture. I still firmly stand by Panalog. I think you don't see so many people using it because it requires a R/x and is pricey. It's amazing stuff.

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Re: Scabby bleedy sores on the back of hind pasterns - winning the war

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:41 am

Thanks khall and MC.

I have to say I was using desitin for the first while and it didn't seem to help at all or even hold status quo. So I stopped using it and went with tinactin. That didn't seem to help so I went to triple antibiotic which did move the needle somewhat though not jaw droppingly so. I started wrapping and that seemed to correlate with healing of the sores so I kept doing it.

He is almost healed but this last bit is very stubborn. He is not getting new lesions which I consider a huge win at this point even if I can't quite close the oldest ones. They are shrinking and drier though.

Today was a gym day so I didn't see him but I will see if the betadine did anything when I go there tomorrow morning to ride before work.

If I can't close the lesions I will try to panalog I suspect though i can buy all those ingredient OTC at the drug store, albeit not at he same concentration necessarily. I will look up meds and concentrations in the panalog and see if I can't mix up my own batch.


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