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Re: [RC] Scratches - Karen Everhart

From my experience in 'rescue' it is obvious that there are numerous conditions of the dermal layer (skin), with as many causative agents.  No remedy works and it can be very frustrating for the owner. 
Most recently, local law enforcement seized 4 horses.  They arrived with the worst cases of rain rot I have ever seen.  The rain rot extended to the ears, the face and then there were scratches on the white portion of the legs.  Probably everything was the result of malnutrition and since the agents are opportunists, when the systems are compromised, the opportunities exist for the agents to move in.  Fortunately, MTG is working wonders on the outside as we address the malnutrition on the inside and they are recovering but are losing huge patches of scabs/hair so have to be blanketed due to the cold temps.
I personally own a stunning pinto; 7/8 Arabian.  Each year, after moving to our ranch she developed large (softball to dinner plate sized), oozing, red, raw patches on the white on her back, loin and haunches.  You can't touch it, let alone consider riding her.  The only thing that worked was Dex which, of course, removes her from competition (if she were competing) AND puts her at risk from the side effects of Dex..  The 2nd year I decided to try Dex preventatively.  It worked and she only had the slightest reaction to...........pretty sure it is a clover/photosensitivity.  I did that again the 3rd year, with even better success;  5 mg Dex once per week for 2 weeks before her sensitive time and through the sensitive time (late summer/early fall).  This year we had a "cool" summer.  So, no reaction what so ever to the clover/sunlight.  Hence, no Dex.
So the lesson for me is that horses are, as the genome project tells us, very close to us genetically and we have skin issues too, and simply need to be provided the needed time to heal with the "right' thing that works for the particular condition being addressed.  And, as frustrating as it is for "us" to find out what ails us and then treat it, it is more frustrating for us as horse owners because we have to "guess' how uncomfortable the horse might be and whether they feel any sense of relief from our efforts.  But, we must try!
Karen Everhart MEd
Co-founder and Executive Director
Rainbow Meadows Rescue and Retirement, Inc.
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