Murray has some wild cannon keratosis this year. He’s gotten it to some degree or another every summer. Usually I curry some off, piss off the horse a bit, and then give up and leave them alone. The clods always seemed to fall off by fall (tried to pun that but couldn’t make it work, gah), and then I could gently curry his legs back into shape.
This year it was not to be. The scurf started early and got very irritated on cross country at Twin, when his boots ripped off the bits of crud and hair while we were running really, really fast. I have been using Equiderma fly spray since April, and bought some of their skin lotion to get the crud off. The protocol seemed amazingly straight forward: apply lotion, wipe crud off in 24 hours, apply in future as needed.
So I did it for the first time about a month ago and it kinda did… nothing. Some of the cruddy bits came off and some didn’t, so I put the lotion aside for a while. Until Sunday, when I took a look at Murray’s cannons after hand walking him and realized that I really needed to do something about the scurf. It had built up to the point where the accumulated crud was actually 2-3mm out from his skin, making his legs look funny. So I put on a thick layer of the Equiderma lotion and waited. (Like… a really, really thick layer.)
On Monday, I was picking Murray’s feet out and bumped his right hind and a HUGE chunk of skin fell off of the cannon revealing sad, weepy, slightly bloody skin beneath it.
I gently picked at the flappy scabby bit a little, but a lot of it was still adhered. On the advice of one of the many lovely vets who I ride with, I applied some triple antibiotic lotion and wrapped the site.
The next day the wrap was intact, but all of the hair and some of the skin on his LF had come off (see above). All on its own. It just… fell off.
It’s really weird that the keratosis is only hitting hard on the LF and RH. It’s pretty unpleasant though, even the little spots are pulling off skin with them. And poor Murray is getting them beyond just his cannons — the cruddy bits have spread in small sections to the tendon side of his LF.
As one would expect, Murray takes the doctoring so well. As in, barn manager had to have discussions with him on two consecutive days re: leg wrapping, then re: accepting a twitch for leg wrapping. But when you leave him loose in the barn aisle to slather lotion on and then dry and ointment and wrap the leg? Perfect (after a bit of a reminder). [Resemblance to Bobby grows, including fungus leg!!! Oh no.]
I’m wondering if the huge number of bugs around this year have something to do with the irritated bits. Murray is pretty cranky and stompy about flies, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually gets bitten by them or reacts to the bites.
For now, I’m avoiding the Equiderma lotion and sticking with the triple antibiotic my vet gave me. We’ll see how this goes in the next few weeks. On the up side, wherever Murray’s hair falls out from this it grows back white — so at this rate, we’re in for at least two new white socks. I’ve always wanted my pony to dapple and have a little more chrome — and since he figured out dapples this year, maybe this is just my wish coming true?!
PS Advice always welcome — this is my first gross horsey health issue, so if you’ve got ideas on skin soothing, skin healing, loosening that disgusting accumulation of dead skin and sebum, I’m all ears!