Pretty Thoroughbred mare with very odd skin problem

Chestnut

Chestnut

Learning new ways to understand better horse care never ends. I had a pretty Thoroughbred mare in my care a couple of years ago while her owner was away for four months. The mare lives in a cool stall in an old, well kept wooden barn with swamp coolers, large overhead fans and overhead bug sprayers. It is usually more than ten degrees cooler inside the barn than outside on 100+ degrees days.

Imagine my unhappy surprise to see her one morning with a palm-sized, blood-red sore on her side just back of where the square dressage pad covered. She had been fine, absolutely fine, when I left her the day before. She was not rubbing herself or acting itchy, but the sore just appeared.

I washed her with shampoo that day, dried her in the sun (very, very hot by now in the summer), and applied some prescription skin ointment that I had from my veterinarian. Two more spots appeared in the next three days, smaller but very blood-red and raw looking, despite what I was doing. Nothing was healing, so I called my vet. Her advice turned out to be perfect.

First, thoroughly wash the mare ALL over with any anti-dandruff shampoo found at a drugstore, being sure to lather the mare all over, head to tail, and let the suds stay on for at least five minutes.

Then, rinse her thoroughly, dry out in the sun and apply my horse prescription skin cream which includes a steroid, an anti-fungal and an anti-inflammatory. My vet stressed that I was to look carefully for a dark ring just around the edge of a wound because this would be fungal and the skin cream would not be strong enough for this. She advised me to buy any athlete’s foot cream I wanted and to use that around the edges of the wound.

With this regimen, in three days all the wounds were almost gone and hair was growing in five days. In three weeks you couldn’t see where they had been. I thought to myself that this was certainly a wonderfully inexpensive way to treat these disgusting-looking skin wounds. Friends told me the mare was having a very good summer with me. I did get teased about how long it took me to bathe her, but I was very pleased to have the mare looking unblemished when her owner returned.

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