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New Magic/Scratches

Okay, I have to jump in because, I work a lot with systemic fungal and bacterial infections. I'm wondering if anyone with the "scratches" problem has ever got a wound culture done, to find out specifically what they were dealing with.   Someone mentioned that their "fungal infection had morphed into a bacterial one." This is a little bit correct and a lot wrong.  Just for fun, remember the old classification systems thrust upon you in biology classes?  Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species (Domineering King Phillip Can Order Five Green shirts)    Well, Fungus is in the Domain "Eukarya", and Bacteria has it's own domain. Fungus has it's own kingdom, as do plants and animals.  Now that we have the genome mapped though, things may get wierd. The problem with treating Fungal infections is that they are closely related to us humans, genetically. Also other animals.  Fungus being smarter than a bottle of antiseptic, can "hide" itself, as part of the host animal. Treatments to root out the fungus, can make the patient feel very sick.  The bacterial infections are coming along to ride piggyback on a a compromised situation.  Or visa versa!  One organism sets up shop, causes infection and tissue breakdown, and the second organism  finds it very easy to grow in that disrupted tissue.  The fungal infections can become chronic, some of the organisms may become resistant to treatment.  This is similar to antibiotic have to give all of the medicine, or a few organisms  may survive the treatment, and then reproduce themselves as a new improved family of organisms that cannot be touched by the same old Rx.
  I liked reading about the treatment with nitrofurazone, thiabendazole and DMSO. Since you can't (and really wouldn't want to) treat the animal with IV therapy, this sounds good.  It mystifies me though about all the lotions people are putting on their animals.  I suppose some of them may create a waterproof barrier, but I sure will not put organic (fish oil) creams on the creatures I care for, prefering inorganic creams such as  Pure zinc oxide for instance. 
   Generally, when we do wound care, we like to keep wounds dry and open to air and light. Which may be impossible in ankle deep mud.  (If I had that as a problem, I would search for a way to let the"patient" achieve dryness. In desperation, I may even try bringing the animal into a building, using a lamp or a hair dryer perhaps.)  We have been very happy with Dakins Solution, for suppurating wound infections.  It is 10% sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach) in sterile saline (salt water 9%) You could make up an approximate of that solution, keep it in a jar, and carry it out to the barnyard, paint it on with a paintbrush. Clean the paintprush in boiling water afterward. Make a new fresh batch of Dakins daily, don't put the dirty old brush in the same jar for a week. 
     Another question to ask yourself, when your equinne friend got infected, did you throw away the old brushes in the horse trailer that you used on him, or even clean them very well in a bleach solution, or are the dirty old things still out there, being used on every creature in the barn.  It may be a good idea to use individual grooming equipment for each animal, put their name on it, and keep them disinfected.  Then you won't spread or reinfect with disease.
       Another interesting treatment is the use of teatree oil.  This can be found in Miracle coat, waterless horse shampoo spray, or other grooming products.  We got some in a soap base from Trader Joes market.  It supposedly has antifungal, and antibacterial properties.  It does work really well to get greasy crud out of tails, and udders and such, but rinse it well because it can be irritating, also to the groom!  
   Good luck to all, and thank you for the interesting and informative chat!  Beth

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