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Skin Infections


Tips to Prevent and Treat


Healthy equine skin is IN.


Exposure to infection is OUT! by Shari Frederick


Your horse’s skin is regularly presented with many challenges, many of which can be minimized or eliminated with proper management and sensible care.


HH Factors affecting your horse’s skin include:


H


• lack of grooming • poor sanitation • extended stall time • inadequate nutrition • toxic feeds • high stress • digestive upset • competition • frequent clipping • improper tack • rowdy pasture pals • minimal exercise or pasture grazing • wet weather


strengthen your relationship with your horse, and, along with cleaning his coat, helps draw attention to health issues that may include: • chafing from ill fitting tack • thrush, scratches (pastern dermatitis), girth itch, rain rot, etc. • allergies or clogged pores from lotions and creams or fly spray • infection from clipping, cuts or other abrasions


HHH Daily grooming serves to


HH Skin friendly supports for your horse:


H


• Topicals include aloe vera, tea tree, arnica, chamomile, calendula, witch hazel and Vitamin E


18 | www.holistichorse.com Irritated skin or dry patches are supported with comfrey and calendula. Holistic Horse™ • February/March 2012 • Vol.19, Issue 77


• Accelerators include collagen, growth factors, protein, fibroblasts, connective tissue (ex. Fibroskin). • Internal supports include supplements with Vitamin C, flax seed, biotin, grape seed


• Combat thrush with oregano and Diatomaceous Earth (ex. No THRUSH dry formula)


• Antifungal shampoo and ointment and spray (ex. Zephyr’s Garden Anti- Fungal products) • Non-chemical fly spray • Arnica poultice (ex. Equilite’s SORE NO-MORE)


• Appropriate turnout and exercise/ sunshine (vitamin D absorption) • Warm compresses • Towel drying (or warm blow dry if tolerated) after bathing • Time to heal and regrow hair and healthy skin naturally


• Dirty tack, tools or surroundings • Stress


HHH Skin foes of your horse:


• Constant stall environment • Limited exercise or interaction • Wet skin • Poor nutrition, inconsistent feed times and limited or unclean water • Pyrethrins and other chemicals • Antibiotics • Harsh/chemically derived soaps


HH Clipping should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. The


H


process of clipping serves to sharpen the end of your horse’s hair. The hair shaft is cut at an angle and hair can “turn back” into the skin as it continues to grow. Clipping removes natural body defenses against cold weather and can lead to irritation, inflammation, itching, bumps, lumps, ingrown hairs, rash, red skin, pimples, papules, pustules, and


© Shari Frederick, sharifrederick.org


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