doctor, doctor

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.)

the results were disgusting

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.

Um… wut.

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.

not the grosses view of the RH, but you can kinda get the idea

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.]

you can kinda see the lumpy crud accumulations on the front of this leg

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?!

its important to match your fly mask to your vetwrap

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!


15 thoughts on “doctor, doctor”

  1. Ugh that is SO gross! For skin funk I have had EXCELLENT results using Phytovet CK shampoo. I generally see results in just one use and it only takes a few washes to totally eliminate whatever nastiness that’s grown on my pony.


  2. Yeah, starting really early in the season and spraying liberally after every bath with the Zephyr’s Garden has kept Henry’s funk minimal to non-existent. The key is to head it off before it can ever start, because once it accumulates, it really damages the skin. I go through a bottle of that stuff every summer, but it’s worth it. Henry’s was never as bad as Murray’s but he would lose big patches of hair on his cannons and above his hocks, despite regular use of anti-fungal shampoo. No problems since I added the ZG to our regular routine. Of course, Murray now has open wounds, so I wouldn’t go spraying that stuff on it until it’s all closed up. It’d probably burn like a mofo and he’d murder you. Murder is bad.


  3. Bleccchhh I’ll have to look into ZG. Mine has it but not to that extent. We’ve been spraying Microtek on it and it’s at least kept it from getting worse?


  4. ugh that’s terrible. i’ve honestly had really fantastic luck with using MTG for all skin funk related issues. it has a nice way of cutting through built up crud and softening it to flake off without taking the underlying skin with it. granted some horses don’t do well with MTG so it’s best to spot check…. but all my horses have been fine with it and i’ve basically dowsed charlie with the stuff at various points.

    when isabel had the scratches from hell tho, MTG wasn’t enough and the vet prescribed animax/dermalone. it’s another ointmenty – anti bioticy – steroidy type thing that really did the trick. i actually still have some left over and have used it with great success on other leg funk type stuff, and small wounds too. good luck!


  5. I’ll chime in in favor of Zephyr’s Garden, too. I just started using the stuff (goop, not spray) and I saw major improvement by the next day. I use the Skin Rescue Salve because Eli’s scurffy-ness is minor and it seems to work on his face, too, without irritating him. I don’t think I’ve seen a worse case of cannon crud than Murray’s 😦 I hope it resolves soon!


  6. You can try a mixture of over-the-counter meds that are the same as an expensive vet cream: triple action antibiotic cream (Polysporin); Zinc Oxide cream (for baby diaper rash); Athlete’s foot antifungal cream that has tolnaftate as an ingredient (Tinactin) and hydrocortisone cream. Mix them all together in equal parts and slather over the crud. This with treat and sooth if the problem is fungal, bacterial, or an irritation to bites. It also works for scratches/mud fever. The salve will also prevent future bites and moisture penetration of the damaged skin and won’t burn or irritate the raw skin. Leave it uncovered and apply daily. You can wash in between with gentle soap and water but try not to scrub and ensure it’s dry before re-applying the cream.


  7. The Equiderma did a number on Bobby too, and not in a good way. I’ve got half a bottle of the CK shampoo Allison mentioned that I’m going to try on some scurf he’s getting on his hind cannons (provided it’s not more cancer HAHAHAHA fml). Allison gave me a glowing recommendation for it, but I was only able to try it on the RF which was reacting to everything by just exploding and losing all its skin because cancer. I do loooove me the Krudzapper though. It’s cheap and really mild.


  8. Ugh – I hate fighting the funk. I’ve tried MTG, Microtek, Zephyr’s Garden and recently Equiderma on Val’s leg crud. The first three seemed to help temporarily, but the best (as in quickest and longest lasting) results have come from Equiderma – a thin layer applied to very dry legs. Making sure the legs are totally dry after all bathing / rinsing seems to help too.


  9. Fiction gets the same sort of stuff. Well, he used to. With an improved diet (and I assume immune system) he no longer has the problem. However, I found it was very well combatted by bathing with every day for a week with Malaseb, then bathing every other day, etc., followed by slathering on MTG. Cleared it up within a week or two depending on severity and all the hair grew back quickly and normally 🙂


  10. I have been lucky enough to not have much of a problem with this. Ours get sprayed down with alcohol after every ride if they’re sweaty. If they had boots on and are sweaty, I spray the legs too. This usually puts a halt to anything growing. If I have to treat anything after the fact, fungaway spray.


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