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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

November 2, 2009

Will the scratches NEVER go away?

I've tried about six different remedies so far. It isn't getting any worse, but it isn't getting any better either.

We've done: Desitin, Desitin with triple antibiotic + antifungal + steroid, antifungal shampoo scrubs, spray on antifungal, drop on antifungal, antibacterial ointment with tea tree oil, furacin + DMSO. The horse is over it to the point she doesn't want me picking up her feet, and I am over trying to pick up the hoof, hold the hoof, and get whatever preparation on the scabbed up areas. Okay (deep breath) I've vented.

Any new and improved ideas? ~E.G.


  1. Try smells nasty but it works, at least for rain rot. Cleared it up in less than a week!

  2. I've never had scratches, just rain rot, so take it with a grain of salt. I've heard it's the orgainisms that cause both.

    It sounds like you've tried the cream method. I would try the dry method next. Ie - scrub with a betadine medicated shampoo, pick off soften scabs and then DRY throoughly. Completely. Keep dry. repeat the next day. After the scabs started to get better, I stopped using the betadine shampoo and went with a diluted betadine tincture in a spray bottle. But alwyas dried throughly afterwards.

    Have you searched Karan Chaton's site? That's usually where I go when I'm faced with something like this. Have you talked to her vet? Could it be an allergic reaction or immune thing that causes her to be more susceptible? Is her environment wet? Could it be dried somehow?

    OK - all out of ideas.....keep us updated.

  3. Some cases are bad enough that the vet needs to prescribe something to clear it up - I can't remember now what the medication is called, but it does work.

    Aside from that, don't feed any alfalfa or clover or anything that is high protein for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.

    My horses would always get scratches if they got alfalfa before a ride. Stopped doing that, and it helped a huge amount. Good luck.

  4. btw - some of that stuff is too strong. Tea tree really needs to be diluted as it can really irritate a sensitive skinned horse - so can furacin and DMSO.

    Eqyss products are great, gentle and won't irritate anything further. I used to use the medicated shampoo and their anti-fungal spray with great results.

    Now I use Trail Rite ointment and Bickmore's gall salve.

  5. Karen,

    The tea tree oil is in an antibacterial ointment, not using it straight.

    She has a mild case, and I've consulted two vets. Office #1 said they didn't carry a product for it, office #2 said antifungal shampoo and wanted to give her a drug added to her food that I was uncomfortable with.

    The furacin/DMSO gave me the most headway but I sure don't like the ominous warnings on the container. Used it five days, now on the five day break before we can go at that again.

    We have M-T-G maybe I'll give that a whirl. She has it on three legs (I've cleared one) about the size of my thumbnail on each with very hard scabs. Trimmed the hair off with scissors the best I could on Sunday so the medicine could get to it. The fact that I can't get the scabs off is a problem. I'll check into some of these other products.

    We have had one of the wettest years ever here. She gets to dry out good at night in her stall, but during the day she usually finds the wet sinky spot to stand.

    Thanks for the ideas.

  6. Love the Magical Pink Ointment from Trail Rite. Have to use it like they say, which is to put it on, and wrap, and leave it for I think a couple days. But that worked, when other stuff did not.

    So many different types of scratches, and what works for one horse, might not on the next.

  7. Jacke,

    Just did some checking into the Dynamite products that I use for Doc. I am on a list for those who distribute. And noticed a couple of comments...

    "Bev Gray finally got rid of her endurance horse's stubborn scratches by keeping him on a low dose of SOD. He is also grey, fyi, so evidently has a higher copper need. It is all about helping the immune system to fight the bacteria and fungus that happens with scratches. "

    " had good luck with SOD also when my warmblood was getting chronic scratches every year. I also had EXCELLENT luck with spraying the brown Listerine on several times a day. What a lifesaver that was for me. So easy..and it worked so well for us. I had already tried Desitin/neosporin, Aromaheel, MTG's Shapleys...and a couple of the other usual remedies. Nothing worked as well as the Listerine for this particular horse."

    More info on Dynamote S.O.D.

    Just thought this might offer you a couple of different ideas.

    I have really been impressed with the Dynamite program for Doc. It has helped tremendously with his heaves and overall health!

    Also saw some references to MSM to help with circulation and avoiding legumes.

    Hope you can get rid of this soon!


  8. Of all things...we started on MTG which is made from petroleum, zinc oxide, and VERY WET and GREASY. The crusty areas seem to be slightly breaking up, and the hairless areas are starting to grow hair. So now I'm using antifungal shampoo every three days, and M-T-G once a day and making some progress. She has stayed sound, just touchy on the local areas. Will need to find another bottle of the stuff though...almost out.