Skin problem

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MiniNHF

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Okay horse people I need some help solving the skin problem im having all of a sudden with my boy. He is prone to having sensitive skin and its always a battle after winter time just because of the dirt that gets trapped by his furry coat.

But just a few weeks ago at the end of july, I noticed at the morning of a show he had huge chunks of skin/dandruff at the top of his neck. I thought it was odd but I thought he may have irritated his neck by rubbing it when his sleezy was on the night before. So I scratched it off and didnt think to much on it.

Now we are a few weeks in and its on both sides of his upper neck and trying to go down his one shoulder. I do not have pictures but I can get some next time im at the barn, but here is what I have observed over the past few weeks:

  1. His skin is not red, raw etc
  2. Does not seem to bother him, pain, itching etc wise
  3. No bumps, secretions etc.
  4. No hair loss
  5. Just seems to be big chunks of flaking skin
  6. After washing him and trying to get the dry skin off the flakes turn from white to a grayish color
  7. His entire coat has now seemed to have gone dull and he is shedding even though he is clipped regularly.

What I have done so far:

  1. Betadine solution
  2. Micro tech shampoo
  3. Selsun Blue shampoo
  4. Micro tech spray.
  5. I only wash the spots and some of the surrounding areas when I do this.
I have been using a combo now of all of those. I have been able to scrub it all off and his skin looks fine but the next day its back. It was up in his mane but I have seem to got that spot to stop.

I wash all his brushes thoroughly etc as so not make it spread because im not sure if its bacterial or what at this point.

He is out a couple times a week for a few hours but he is in a semi dry lot with no weeds etc to get into. He is on a show diet and gets a few different supplements and red cell. I did buy some Vitamin A to bulk that up to see if it helps his skin out.

Not sure what it is and never had anything like this, ive always seen hair loss with skin problems and other symptoms but not like this. Hope someone has some suggestions or insight.
 

Minimor

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I've seen something similar from a sandfly (biting midge) allergy. Last winter I had one that got some scurfy patches on his sides--think it was from lying down in the snow, which he seemed to like to do!--he lost hair and the skin looked scaly. I sprayed coconut oil on the patches and that helped a lot. The scaliness went away and he immediately started growing new hair.

I can't say coconut oil will help your guy, but I suggest it is worth a try.
 

chandab

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A vet did recommend Vit A for my Cushing's gelding when his coat got scurfy a couple winters ago. No itching, just icky skin flakes in his coat. I don't recall the dosage, but do recall I had trouble finding a gel cap small enough for the amount the vet recommended (everything I could find was higher IU amounts).
 

Marsha Cassada

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I used RID this year, a people lice shampoo. I really think it made a difference. My hroses don't have lice, but it must be effective against other tiny little critters. Once a week. It goes on dry hair, then is rinsed.

I've been rinsing with white vinegar.

Vaccuming every few days has been hugely effective. They didn't like it at first, but now they sort of enjoy it (I think). I use the nozzle on the manes and the wider attachment on their shoulders and rump.
 

MiniNHF

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I've seen something similar from a sandfly (biting midge) allergy. Last winter I had one that got some scurfy patches on his sides--think it was from lying down in the snow, which he seemed to like to do!--he lost hair and the skin looked scaly. I sprayed coconut oil on the patches and that helped a lot. The scaliness went away and he immediately started growing new hair.

I can't say coconut oil will help your guy, but I suggest it is worth a try.
Yeah the one bizzare thing is he is not losing his hair. I actually clipped those spots closer so I could really get at those scaly type spots. I might try the coconut oil, ive tried rose oil shampoo and that didnt have any effect on it.

A vet did recommend Vit A for my Cushing's gelding when his coat got scurfy a couple winters ago. No itching, just icky skin flakes in his coat. I don't recall the dosage, but do recall I had trouble finding a gel cap small enough for the amount the vet recommended (everything I could find was higher IU amounts).
I actually started him on a Vit A pill today, once a day and im hoping that will boost his vitamin A even more maybe to help combat this, so I guess we will see if it even works in the next few weeks.

I used RID this year, a people lice shampoo. I really think it made a difference. My hroses don't have lice, but it must be effective against other tiny little critters. Once a week. It goes on dry hair, then is rinsed.

I've been rinsing with white vinegar.

Vaccuming every few days has been hugely effective. They didn't like it at first, but now they sort of enjoy it (I think). I use the nozzle on the manes and the wider attachment on their shoulders and rump.
hmm okay I might look into that as well. Funny thing is, he is the only one in the barn and even on the whole farm having this problem right now; I hate when a problem is not glaringly obvious.
 

amysue

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How often are you washing/shampooing? Ive seen show horses who are bathed and clipped regularly get irritated skin from excessive dryness. If he does not seem to be irritated or in pain then it may be more so dry skin or a ph imbalance rather than an allergic reaction. Has your vet ruled out an allergic reaction to something or done a skin scraping to rule out a parasite? It may be worth a look. I agree a vitamin supplement should help and maybe you want to try a moisturizer and see if it helps. At least his hair isn't falling out. Good luck.
 

Marsha Cassada

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How often are you washing/shampooing? Ive seen show horses who are bathed and clipped regularly get irritated skin from excessive dryness. If he does not seem to be irritated or in pain then it may be more so dry skin or a ph imbalance rather than an allergic reaction. Has your vet ruled out an allergic reaction to something or done a skin scraping to rule out a parasite? It may be worth a look. I agree a vitamin supplement should help and maybe you want to try a moisturizer and see if it helps. At least his hair isn't falling out. Good luck.
That is one reason I like vaccuming. No soap involved. Removing the scaly stuff seems to be beneficial. Maybe it has spores, or larvae or something?

Has anyone EVER figured out a solution to skin problems???
 

MiniNHF

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How often are you washing/shampooing? Ive seen show horses who are bathed and clipped regularly get irritated skin from excessive dryness. If he does not seem to be irritated or in pain then it may be more so dry skin or a ph imbalance rather than an allergic reaction. Has your vet ruled out an allergic reaction to something or done a skin scraping to rule out a parasite? It may be worth a look. I agree a vitamin supplement should help and maybe you want to try a moisturizer and see if it helps. At least his hair isn't falling out. Good luck.
I only do a full shampooing/wash the day before a show so I dont over do it with him since I know he has the sensative skin, he has always had the normal dandruff but nothing in chunks like this. Working I just hose him down and if he really sweated bad in certain spots I will use the microtech shampoo for those.

They have been keeping an eye on him and they said he hasnt been rubbing or scratching at all. And I can sit there and scrub the heck out of it and he doesnt even flinch so I know its not hurting or irritating him.

Nothing has changed in his environment at all and everything he has been exposed to since he was born. They have a sprayer system that cuts down quite a bit on flys etc as well as hand spraying the stalls after each cleaning so I really dont see flys and what not just sitting on him or even on the trouble spots.

Im glad the hair isnt falling out but his entire coat is dull and it seems to be just normally shedding which is a concern to me since not that long ago it was good looking and soft.

If nothing conventional seems to work I will have the vet to come out and take a look.
 

amysue

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Do you know what is in the fly sprayer system? I've found that some fly sprays that I've been using on all of my calves have been leaving their skin flakey too. Its not like its irritating their skin, its like the product is building up on them. The sprays that I find do this the most have citronella oil and other oils in them. Maybe it has something to do with that? I used to mix skin so soft with my flyspray but found it left build up on the coat.
 

MiniNHF

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Do you know what is in the fly sprayer system? I've found that some fly sprays that I've been using on all of my calves have been leaving their skin flakey too. Its not like its irritating their skin, its like the product is building up on them. The sprays that I find do this the most have citronella oil and other oils in them. Maybe it has something to do with that? I used to mix skin so soft with my flyspray but found it left build up on the coat.
I know they havent changed it up and he has been around it since he was little; I will make the suggestion to them to see what they think as a possibility. Its just weird that all of a sudden he is having this skin problem :/

Im glad its not bothering him but it looks awful to me.
 
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amysue

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How is the weather in your neck of the woods? Its dry as heck here. Maybe that could be a contributor?
 

MiniNHF

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How is the weather in your neck of the woods? Its dry as heck here. Maybe that could be a contributor?
I cant say its dry here, we have had a good amount of rain to stay out of a drought this year. We have had decent days and really hot days.
 

MiniNHF

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I did confirm that he is still getting flax seed as well with his meals, which we started when his coat was having problems before, but he was going through an ulcer at the time when we started so it helped his coat come back in nice.
 

MiniNHF

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his neck looked better yesterday when i went to the barn but it has stopped going down and is now follow his neck line. I still using the combo shampoos, upped his Vitamin A and we are hitting his neck now each day with a anti-fungal spray for people and i think that is what is helping it out. Whatever it is, is just stubborn.

I tried to snap a few photos of his neck yesterday before I bathed him and he was just being fussy so I couldnt get to many...attached

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