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Re: [RC] Horse Shingles? - Ericka Nelson

i don't know much about "horse shingles", but if they are indeed shingles, be very careful about where you put your own fingers after touching his wounds.  shingles are extremely contaqious...so be sure to really wash your hands after touching him, or anyone else with shingles for that matter.
----- Original Message -----
From: Cathy
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 9:18 AM
Subject: [RC] Horse Shingles?

Okay, here's a weird question.  Do horses get the shingles?
My gelding has developed open sores about the size of an old time silver dollar around his tail every year since I've been in central Oregon.  They are hot and very tender to the touch.  The vet insists that he is being bitten by some thing.  But every year in the same place?  It usually happens during the snow melt in the spring. 
I went out to feed this morning and he had apparently been scratching on a tree because he had a big black spot at the base of his tail.  When I touched it, it was hot and very tender.  Three months early, but in the same area as his normal out breaks. 
Six years running.  I've been convinced for the last three that they are internally generated but both my regular vet and another insist that can't be and so have me put salve on them with no other treatment.  They look and act very much like human shingles.
He is regularly wormed, no change in feed or environment.  He's an easy going alpha Arabian gelding that I used to use for endurance and now use for driving and trail rides.
The sores are very similar to a friends chronic shingles.  They start out itchy (my assumption, since he scratches them to start with), then turn hot and very painful all around the sight, then an open sore that takes weeks to heal.  Always in the same area.  He never gets one of these "bites" forward of the hip.  They are all on the hind quarter, usually near the spinal cord, usually on the right side but last year there was one on the left.  None of the other 5 horses has been "bitten", ever.  Granted, they may not be allergic to the bite and he is.?
Any ideas or help greatly appreciated!
Cathy in La Pine, Oregon

[RC] Horse Shingles?, Cathy