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Posts Tagged ‘sanitation’

Which Itch Is Which?

Biting gnats, lice, ticks, fungus, and allergies can all cause itching. If your horse rubs bald spots in his mane or tail, check him thoroughly for external parasites such as lice or ticks, parasites (such as pinworms), or fungus, and treat according to your veterinarian’s instructions.

Itching can also be caused by ringworm, which is contagious to you and other horses. If a horse has ringworm, you will need not only to treat the horse but also to disinfect grooming tools, halters, blankets, stalls, feeders, and anything else he may have rubbed on.

Some horses (and dogs) seem to be hypersensitive or allergic to insect bites and once they are bitten, they go into a rubbing frenzy, which then invites other complications. In some cases, this is referred to as sweet itch or Queensland itch. A veterinarian should be consulted, but prevention of bites to susceptible animals is paramount. Remedies include soothing witch hazel or vinegar rinses, and possibly a corticosteroid prescription from your veterinarian.

 

Take advantage of our Book Sale. Buy One and Get TWO FREE on this page. New books are being added weekly in both categories.

We’ve just added some great equine veterinary texts and references books.

equine-medicine-surgery-3-bothhorseowners-veterinary-handbook

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Ten Skin Ailments to Avoid

Here is a brief primer on some of the most common skin problems that might plague a horse.

Rain rot is caused by Dermatophilus, an infectious microorganism from the soil that eagerly becomes established in skin cracks under a dirty hair coat during rainy weather. The painful, tight scabs that form on the horse’s neck, shoulders, back, and rump make him uncomfortable and unusable and require medication and bathing.

Seborrhea is a skin disease caused by a malfunction in sebum production and function, resulting in flaky skin.

Ringworm is a fungal infection affecting the skin and hair, characterized by round, crusty patches with hair loss. It is easily spread between horses via tack and grooming tools.

Photosensitivity of the skin (usually under white hair) can result from components of certain plants (ingested). The skin becomes red, then sloughs off.

Warts, most commonly on the muzzle of a young horse, are caused by the equine papillomavirus. As a horse matures, he develops immunity to the virus and the warts disappear. The same virus also causes aural plaque, a scaly condition inside the ear, which can become painful if flies are allowed to bite and feed inside the ears.

Sarcoids are common skin tumors with unknown cause. There are several types, mostly occurring around the head or the site of an old injury.

Thrush is a fungal infection of the hoof that thrives in moist, dirty environments.

Scratches (also known as grease heel) is a common term that refers to a general localized skin inflammation found on the lower legs of horses. The thick, chronic sores at the heels and rear of the pastern can be quite painful. Scratches are linked to an opportunistic fungus, but can be complicated by bacterial infection.

Ticks cause crusty scabs and can be disease carriers. Check the mane and tail carefully throughout spring and summer. Use rubber gloves or tweezers to remove ticks, which can carry Lyme disease that can also affect humans (see July Vet Clinic). Be sure to remove the entire tick. If the head is left in, it can cause a painful infection.

Lice are not common in horses unless they are poorly kept and crowded. Then lice can spread rapidly through a group. You’d find the nits (eggs) or the lice themselves along the midline of the horse, such as in the mane and tail head.

 

Take advantage of our Book Sale. Buy One and Get TWO FREE on this page. New books are being added weekly in both categories.

horse-books-used-group-198w

Here are a few added this week:

horse-behavior201-handy-hints

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Hello Cherry,

I recently put up a 36 x36 pen and shelter for my horse.  I live here in Golden Colorado where the soil is VERY much Clay.  We had a several inches of rain this past week, which is a considerable amount for our parts.  The pen got very muddy.  I spent several hours today mucking it and now doing research on what I should do for a better fix.  I saw your article on 3/8 minus pea gravel.  A couple of questions:

1. Some horse friends of mine suggest I use Granite Crusher Fines to aide in the drainage.   Is this suitable?

2. Whether I use Pea Gravel or Granite Crusher Fines, what is the recommended depth of the material I should go with?  2, 3 or 4 inches? 

BTW:  I’m also going to install a french drainage system as well. 

Many Thanks! 

Shawn

Hi Shawn,

The French Drain is a good idea. Sloping the pens slightly away from the barn is helpful to manage drainage too.

I’m not personally familiar with Granite Crusher Fines but think they might be something like decomposed granite which we use here in northern Colorado.

We use decomposed granite under our stall mats and also under the 3/8- pea gravel in turnout pens.

So my answer would be yes and yes ! A tamped crushed granite base with 2-3 inches of 3/8- pea gravel on top.

Please feel free to post your results here. Thanks ! Cherry Hill

To read more about French Drains, pen footing and much more, refer to these books and DVD.

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When we were driving into town and back yesterday, I was checking out all the horses on pasture with turnout blankets, some good, some OK, some really downright awful. In a few cases, I wanted Richard to stop the car so I could either go adjust the blanket or take it off the horse before it became hopelessly tangled!

One horse in particular has had the same blanket on in the same remote pasture since late fall and I really doubt it has been attended to since then !

I know none of you would do that, but just in case you have friends that need some blanketing advice, I have quite a few winter blanket tips on my Horse Information Roundup under the heading Horse Clothing

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Hi Cherry,

I was reading recently about Cat Nip Oil to repel flies and other insects.  Just wondering if you have used/or heard of this concept.  If so where cans a person purchase the oil.  Thanks.

Karen in Boise

 Hi Karen,

No I have not. We do use a natural oil product for bare skin areas. It is called Bare Skin Barrier.

It contains

Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba, Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil

You can read about it here Bare Skin Barrier.

 

 


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Our barn needs a new ceiling. It’s currently very old foamboard which is covered in mildew and mold. We need a material that will breathe and will be light reflective. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by us and the horses. Thank you! Sherri

Hi Sherri,

I don’t know of a material for your application that would be both breathable and light reflective. I would suggest a polyiso material with white reflective surface for the ceiling surface. To dissipate the moisture produced by keeping horses in the barn you’ll need to install a sufficient number and size of vents in the walls, ceiling and roof.

Here is a link to a polyiso product.

Polyiso is made of a polyisocyanurate foam core faced with 1.25 mil embossed white acrylic-coated aluminum on one side and 1 mil smooth aluminum on the other. It is installed with the embossed white surface facing into the barn.

We cover ventilation requirements and suggestions in our book Horse Housing and in our DVD Your Horse Barn.

Good Luck!
Richard Klimesh

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Dear Cherry,


What is the best kind of flooring to have in a stall? We are building a new horse barn and want to know about the stall floor to make it as easy to keep clean as possible. The stalls will be 10ft. by 16ft. the stalls will be used to feed and hold a horse for foaling.

Thanks for your time.
Debbie

Hi Debbie,
I prefer interlocking rubber mats over decomposed granite or another well-draining, well packed base. I bed with shavings normally but use bright oat straw for foaling.
Cherry Hill

Stablekeeping, A Visual Guide to Safe and Healthy Horsekeeping by Cherry Hill


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