We dealt with scratches all summer last year with my arab gelding. This is what we did:
Clean and shave the affected area. Soften and remove the scabs. You can use a mild betadine wash, but beware, scratches can be extremely painful for the horses so you will probably need an extra hand. Once everything is completely dried (i towel dried my guy) you need to apply either swamp juice which you can get from your vet, or make your own (recipe below) to a gauze tefla pad. Depending on how large the effected area is, you may need a larger or multiple gauze pads to cover it. Then cover the area with a cotton banadage, and then vet wrap or elasticon. be sure you have cotton under the vet wrap, as it will continue to tighten and could cut off circulation. If its low on the horses leg, such as on the coronet, you can use duct tape to wrap the bottom and secure it. The horse can be turned out as normal. Replace the bandage and reapply the salve every 2 days for the first week, and then every 3 to 4 days there after until the scabs are gone.
The reason for bandaging is because the bacteria and fungi which causes the scratches is photo-sensitive, meaning it flourishes with the light, hence why you see it on white/light skin areas. Any moisture will also amplify the fungus/bacteria
We started our treatment with swamp juice from the vet. its very caustic! and green, hence its name. I don't recall whats in it. we did however make our own paste later that worked just as well, and if I remember correctly it was a mixture of equal parts triple antibiotic ointment (such as neosporin), hydro-cortisone cream, and desitin diaper rash cream. Apply enough to coat the cleaned scabs.
I just had that a few weeks ago. The vet gave me Novalsan--I don't think that's the right spelling but I can't read his writing on the receipt. Something they normally give mares. Just a few applications and it went away. I tried everything before that. I will go out and check the product name on the tube in the morning. It comes in a tube, sort of like a wormer and is white. It was $20.
Nowadays with the advent of Vetericyn there is no need to go through all the work of previous treatments for scratches. Vetericyn is completely non-toxic, antibacterial, antiviral, safe, can be used in the eye or other mucus membrane without pain or damage. It is highly recommended for use for scratches, ringworm, rainrot, ect. It lasts a long time and is worth its weight in gold.
I've had the lovely opportunity to deal with this junk in Florida on a few occasions and this is what I did and what I would still do:
Shave the area and pick off whatever scabs you can.
Then, wash the area with iodine shampoo or betadine scrub if you happen to have either of them on hand or can get some. If not, you can just use soap and water but if you could get some brown soap locally it would probably be a good thing. Use a scrub brush on the stuff too and keep trying to get off as many scabs as you can to open them up.
Yes, more barf.
Then you can use some zinc oxyde from the drug store and slather it all up. If you want to get really into it, you can use a little plastic bowl and mix zinc oxyde with corn starch and apply that.
Or you can order this fungasol stuff in a spray from jeffers and all their co-ordinating fungal products as shown here:
But here's the key: keep the horse dry and cool as possible. Don't let her out in the wet or rainy conditions and put a fan on her too because she can develop this in other parts of her body. I never wrapped any of it by the way. My thinking is that its better for it to let the air get at it.
What I love to do and have learned this back in Florida is after every bath, which down there was like daily, I put Listene full strenth in a spray bottle and mist the area well. I swear this has keep that creeping nasties off of my horses or at least in my feeble mind it does.
Here's an article I found for you also: Good luck and best wishes to you!
Blue Kote.. works WONDERS even on really bad cases. If yours is minor right now just spray it on and I bet it will go right away. Only thing I found that would work on my mare that had it horribly bad and it's easy to use just spray it on and voila.