Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvey's legs: What worked for his scratches

I have the ointment. Would like to try the spray and shampoo...
Harv has always battled scratches, but now that he is dripping urine continually, his lower hind legs are covered with scars.  I've been trying lots of different things to keep Harv's legs clean and free of urine and to treat the scratches. It's a daily regimen and I'd like to be able to do the work in 30 minutes or less.

What works?
The short answer is, The Absorbine Fungasol Ointment wins the prize as the most effective treatment.  It stays on for up to 48 hours, but when his legs get dirty from turnout, it doesn't defy soap (it washes off well). It is an antifungal and an antibacterial, and it softens the rough areas. Think about whipped, soft, vaseline. It seems to have coconut oil based on the press release I read.  It's a great-feeling ointment, clear, light, easy to apply -- perfect for Harv's problem. Thumbs up!

For what it is worth, I'm a fan of Absorbine products and have written about free stuff they've sent me -- I have a lot of faith in the company and have never had a bad experience or disappointment. But this was my own purchase -- totally unsolicited, and to be honest I was at a tack store that didn't have much else in the way of anti-fungals. I bought it based on the brand.

Here is what doesn't work.
  • Desitin, vaseline, Corona, and generally all things gooey and barrier-forming. Problem is, they block air (which is important to get ride of the icky fungus/bacteria) -- and the paste-gels get gummed up and mixed with shavings and dirt. It's hard to get this off and I end up shampooing it off with Dawn. It takes a lot of scrubbing which you don't want to do with scratches. Also,  when the original problem is scratches, water is not your friend.
  • Iodine gel. Doesn't stay on well, and of course your hands are orange.
  • Fly boots. They work, but Harvey hates them, and I don't like watching my already wobbly horse lift his hind legs in protest at the expense of his balance. He leans pretty far one way or another without seeming aware of it, and it would be awful if he hurt himself because I have these boots on him.
  • Bell boots -- traps moisture, and similar to fly boots, Harv objects.
  • Poultice. I applied one night over not quite dry legs, and it didn't stick that well. It is somewhat more effective with dry legs, but eventually the urine washes it away.
Thanks Absorbine, for helping me out with a problem with this uncommon problem!

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