Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beware! This stuff is disgusting...

A week ago I posted about a skin problem we were having with Bay. We tried all kinds of things to clear it up. Shapleys MTG, a fungicide, T-zone…it started out small and annoying. Needless to say we finally called out the vet. It’s ringworm. Don’t know how or why he got it. No one else has it. We are in for quite the ordeal, however, to clear it up. We have to bathe him with a prescription shampoo daily (every other day if we must) and spray it 2-3 times a day with a medicated spray. He has to be isolated from the other horses and all of his grooming supplies, blankets, and tack have to be disinfected. We have to do all of this wearing gloves so that we don’t get infected ourselves.

This started out as bumps we could feel under the hair. The bumps could be picked off like scabs and the hair would come with them. Then the skin would dry and flake. It is a silvery looking flaking. When I saw it today I thought it looked like he had mold in the hairless places. He doesn’t appear to be itching it. That’s a blessing. It’s a nasty business. I suggest that if anyone has even a glimmer of suspicion that a skin condition on their horse might be ringworm they should begin treatment right away. This stuff moves fast.

On the upside it is treatable and non life threatening. I did some reading on the subject and I’ve read over and over again that the young (under 3 years), the old, and those with stressed immune systems are most vulnerable. Bay isn’t under 3, and at 12 I wouldn’t call him old. He does come down with hives every spring and seems to be allergic to just about everything, so perhaps his immune system was stressed and that allowed him to pick up this organism that is “just out there in the world” as the vet said.

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