We have a new horse,3 years old, very skinny. when we got him he got all these fly bites and scabs, we put lots of

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Customer: We have a new horse,3 years old, very skinny. when we got him he got all these fly bites and scabs, we put lots of minerel oil on him. It cleared up a lot exept on his legs where he can bite on it him self. I think he is very itchy. Is there anything for itch?
Answered by Equine Vet in 19 mins 11 years ago
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Equine Vet
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Specialities include: Horse Veterinary, Large Animal Veterinary, Small Animal Veterinary

Thanks for your question. Although it would be impossible for me to diagnose your horse without examining him in person, I can offer some suggestions that will hopefully guide you a little better. Without seeing it I can't be sure if the scabs on the legs are from bites or if they are "scratches", the common term for dermatitis that may be caused by repeated exposure to moisture +/-bacteria. In horses that have feathers or hairy legs this can be worse as the hair traps in the moisture, keeping the damage from healing. These can be itchy and horses will sometimes rub their legs or bite at the affected areas. It would be best for your veterinarian to examine the horse to determine the cause of the scabs and then she/he can direct you in the proper treatment. Sometimes an antibacterial shampoo is needed and must be done several times a week, removing the scabs and rinsing/drying well, these are generally prescription products. I will often wash the legs of horses with "scratches" with a chlorhexidine-based shampoo (brand name is Nolvasan) or scrub that is non-prescription, leave on 15 minutes, remove any scabs, rinse and dry well. I do this every other day for at least one week, then decrease based on results. There are creams that can be used that are either steroidal or antibacterial and steroidal, depending on the issue. Again, your veterinarian would need to be involved to make the proper choice and dispense the best medication for the problem. If the horse is still worrying his legs, you may need to keep them wrapped until they are healing and are less irritated. I would avoid mineral oil, it is not very beneficial in most cases of dermatitis. Horses that are in poor body condition and generally immune-compromised and will be more susceptible to skin infections as you have described, especially scratches and rainrot in the Winter.

I hope this helps, please let me know if there is anything I can clarify of if you have further questions.
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