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RE: Scratches

My point revisited.  Same article that was in EN!


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 12:29 AM
Subject: RC: Scratches

A few yrs. ago, one of the distance-riding mags. had this article re:
Has anyone tried this?  If so, what were the results?

"Remedy for Scratches",  by Heather Smith-Thomas

"Scratches is a skin problem on the lower legs of horses caused by a
fungus.  The area becomes crusty, scabby and thickened.  In severe
cases, the affected skin may ooze or the the lower leg may swell (and
the horse may become lame). 
It usually affects unpigmented skin (white legs) more readily than dark
skinned legs."

"Traditional treatments for scratches were astringents like methylene
blue, iodine, and glycerine mixes, or ointments made with zinc oxide,
nitrofurazone and steroids."

"A newer, better treatment was recommended to me last year by my
veterinarian sister (Dr. Heidi Smith) when one of my mares needed
treatment for scratches.  The area should first be scrubbed thoroughly
to remove all dirt, then apply a mixture of one part nitrofurazone
ointment (an antibiotic ointment), one part cattle dewormer paste
containing thiabendazole ( a drug that is a fungicide as well as a good
dewormer) and one part DMSO." 

"The DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) helps reduce swelling and inflammation
and also helps the fungicide penetrate the area thoroughly and deeply,
taking the medication internally into the underlying tissues.  The
nitrofurazone combats any bacterial infection and helps buffer the DMSO
so it will not burn or irritate the skin.  The cattle wormer paste kills
the fungus."

"This paste is the safest fungicide to use in conjunction with DMSO
according to DR. Smith, since it is an oral medication, safe to use
internally.  NEVER use a harsh or poisonous fungicide like iodine with
DMSO since the DMSO carries the medication into the body."

"Clean the area before applying the medication because you do not want
dirt and outside contaminants carried into the deeper tissues by the
DMSO.  I had good luck cleaning my mare's lower legs with warm water
from a well-rinsed dishwashing detergent squeeze bottle, using my
fingers to remove any dirt that was clinging to the ointment from the
previous medication.After the area is cleaned with warm water, dry it
with a towel (you do not want the skin wet) and then apply the mixture.
I prefer to mix it up fresh each time - just the amount needed -
stirring it wih my finger in a wide-mouth jar.  If you do not want your
skin in contact with the DMSO, use rubber gloves to mix and apply it."

"Mixed with nitrofurazone, DMSO does not burn or irritate like it does
when used by itself.  But wash your hands immediately after applying the
mixture if you use your 
bare fingers!"

"If applied daily, this mixture clears up scratches much faster than the
old medications.  Bandaging, even in severe cases is unnecessary and
actually detrimental.  You do not want to hold the moisture in."

"With this treatment you can clear up a bad case of scratches even if
you have to keep riding the horse.  Last summer I had to keep using my
mare every day for riding range and working cattle and I just washed and
medicated her legs each day after getting home after the ride.  Even
though I had to use her hard and travel through mud and bogs, diligent
use of this medication cleared up her serious skin condition."

By Heather Smith-Thomas



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