Death To Scratches

We had a pretty wet early summer and luckily Annie didn’t get the full body skin funk she had last year but did end up with minimal scratches like scabs. I was able to keep them at bay using a line that is pretty new to me by Zimox. Come August I clipped her in anticipation of the GOV inspection and her scratches EXPLODED. Like holy crusty legs bat man. I was still able to treat with the Zymox products though and all seemed to be well.About a week ago Annie’s legs got really bad again. I decided to try this product that a friend has used by Carr & Day & Martin called Killitch. I was able to score 2 bottles really cheap on clearance at our local tack shop. The recommended use is 2x daily but I can’t go to the barn 2 times a day and her legs weren’t bad enough to warrant it. I don’t know what happened or if Annie had a bad reaction but Monday night I got this picture texted to me: Fat legs are fat… Given how puffy they were despite being turned out all day I spoke to my vet who advised that we do 7 days of antibiotics. I have been told that Desitin can work wonders on scratches so on Monday night before I made my way out to the barn I made a stop at Dollar General. If I have to buy diaper cream I want it to be cheap! Hopefully her legs will continue to improve. In the meantime we wash, slather, and wrap!

Do you all have any special tips or tricks for killing scratches? And other fungus issues?

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  1. Scratches are the WORST! The vet my barn manager uses has some sort of magical concoction that knocks them out, but no idea what’s in it 😔 hopefully you get it under control asap!

  2. If the desitin alone isn’t helping, I do a mixture of desitin, antibiotic ointment, and cortisone cream. I add a couple crushed SMZ pills too if I have them. Also, depending on what you are using you can sometimes then wrap the leg with saran wrap and regular wrap (I make stamp his funny vetrap booties, lol) and the heat helps get the scabbies off faster. Since Annie doesn’t have the weird issue Stamp has these things should take care of it if the desitin alone doesn’t. I do also have a concoction I get from the vet that I use for serious flairs – expensive but it works wonders. If you continue to have issues I can probably get the recipe from my vet for you to have yours make.

    PS I’ve been testing Zymox and the spray has worked well on cannon and stifle crud but no big results on Stamp’s permacrud. I do really like their soap for washing his permacrud though, doesn’t seem to irritate him as much as some others have.

    I’m always experimenting, maybe someday I’ll get rid of the permacrud!

  3. Hey, Where’s That Blue Stuff (actual product name) works really well on scratches and all kinds of skin funk.

  4. I also use diaper cream from the dollar store, but I also mix it with neosporin (or dollar store triple antibiotic cream), & it works fantastic! When you wash her legs though, try to make sure they are as dry as possible before you put the cream on.. if they’re wet, it just makes the problem worse.. 🙁

  5. The No Thrush Dry powder I have is AMAZING on scratches. They make another formula that does not have the iron so it won’t stain your horse’s coat (I highly doubt the no thrush would stain)
    Seriously, a friend who’s horse had horrible scratches just squirted and then rubbed it in with her finger tips, getting it all the way to base of the hair, and saw a HUGE improvement by the next day. She was surprised and impressed by how much and how quickly it improved. I use it on any cut Cosmo gets,t he dry powder sticks to protect from dirt, but still allows the wound to breath.

  6. my mare got beyond the help of desitin/vit e, mtg, all of the typical remedies last year. her scratches raged on for months and months (and months holy hell), it was terrible. ughhh. flashbacks and ptsd….

    we eventually got a bottle of dermalone / animax ointment from the vet. it’s some combination of steroids and something else, i think. anyway, daily wash with betadine, then dry. then coat on the sticky ointment (with gloves!), then let dry. obnoxious but it worked.

    good luck and keep fighting the good fight!

    (also weird side note – but i noticed with her then, and with my gelding now, that the alushield silver spray that i happen to adore seems to somehow provide a hotbed for scratches to form. in both cases i treated a seemingly plain wound with the spray, and it exploded into scabby funky nastiness. might be worth avoiding using that spray in potentially fungus-y areas?)

    1. Good to know. Steroids seem like they would be a bad idea (in my totally non educated opinion haha) but good that it worked!
      I actually hate that spray so no worries about me trying to use it.

  7. I have been battling a skin funk- rain rot- on the baby horse’s back and have used mtg to get the scabs off, then betadine scrub and once thoroughly dry, medicated powder like Gold Bond. I was skeptical about the powder but it keeps everything dry and acts like a preventative. So far so good.

    1. I love gold bond. Never occurred to me to try that for this though! I use gold bond on legs when I cant wait until they are totally try or if I have to wrap for an extended period of time bc that can lead to weird skin funk too.

  8. I heard Cat Hill and Emma Ford on the Dressage Radio Show a few weeks ago talking about treating scratches. I don’t remember all the details, but they did say to try to avoid washing too much because that removes the skin’s natural oils, and to dry the area completely whenever you do have to wash.

    I know they aren’t veterinarians, but they probably have a lot more practical experience treating scratches than many veterinarians do. You can find the tip here:

  9. My tip is that adding a sunblock component can help keep the horse comfortable, as those kind of infections can create sun sensitivity especially on white legs. If you’re using a product with zinc in it that may be enough.

  10. I don’t know that I’ve ever dealt with a truly bad case, but I just do daily betadine scrubs and follow up with Microtek spray. The scabs come off when they’re ready with the scrub. I don’t tend to pick at them otherwise.

  11. I mix Furazone (i know some people hate it) and Desitin in equal parts and smear it on. I just keep adding a new layer unless their legs are really muddy. I wash everything off like once a week.

  12. A 50/50 of desitin and furazone is my go to for scratches. I know furazone is nasty stuff but it just seems to really knock out the scratches and the desitin keeps it on there.

  13. I’ve had good luck with Derma-Vet which I think you may have to actually get from your vet. Also KrudZapper has proven useful. But you have to get the cream not the spray. I have both and the spray doesn’t do much.

  14. Kill Itch is benzyl benzoate… similar to what is used for human acne that can make you sensitive to sun. I have a client with a paint who would break out in blisters on her white areas after being in the sun for 10 minutes. She stopped using kill itch and the problem went away.

    I’ve always mixed Desitin and Biozide together for scratches, it works pretty well.