Monthly Archives: May 2011


Why scratches?  We’ve never had it before, and my horse does not stand in mud or a wet pasture. He is well-fed, fit and has a dry barn to live in. It can happen anywhere at any time.

This worked for me in 2013 and was recommended by a veterinarian who practices in wet climates:   Instead of putting Vetericyn Liquid or Gel (or any other product on the scratches) do nothing, except KEEP YOUR HORSE’S FEET AND PASTERNS DRY!  Do not let your horse graze in a pasture with morning dew or water on the grass.  Do not put any ointment or gel on the wounds — keep everything open and able to dry out, even blotting the wounds dry with a towel if necessary.

This worked for me in 2011 — why did it work then, but not in 2013?  I have no idea, but here is another treatment option for you:  Buy Vetericyn Liquid and spray it on the affected area three or four times a day. Use your fingers (rubber gloves are a good idea) to work the Vetericyn into and around all the sores and crusty tissue.  After several applications, you can begin to pull away the crusty tissue and get down to the basic wound.  Spray all those wounds with Vetericyn.

For an excellent “how to” video, go to:


Horses and Rainrot

Rainrot is well described by Laurie Frazer ( as “most commonly caused by the organism, dermatophilus congolensis, which is not a true fungus, but a bacterium with fungal characteristics. . . Malnourished animals, as well as those with inadequate shelter from moisture are particularly susceptible to this organism. Though, as with the true fungi, this bacterium can spread via contact with contaminated tack, equipment and environments, only those animals whose skin is already vulnerable (wet or broken and oozing) are likely to contract the disease.”

At first I didn’t know what it was. I had never seen or dealt with anything like this before. I’m confessing all my misdirected attempts at helping my horse, so that you can avoid my stupid mistakes and find the solution to this mess faster than I did. Yes, I am using Healing Touch for Animals, along with everything else!

Cut to the Chase:

  • Use Vetericyn liquid spray three – four times daily, and gently work it under and around the crusted hair and scabs,
  • Protect the affected area from flies and sunburn with a fly sheet,
  • Wash the area with gentle soap, e.g., Ivory Dish Washing Liquid, and
  • When the hair is wet and soapy, remove the scabs (after the skin has healed enough for the horse to tolerate this still-painful process).
  • Discard those nasty scabs carefully! Laurie Frazer warns us that “dermatophilus can remain viable in scabs for up to forty-two months.”


My poor horse and I have been battling rain rot for more than two weeks. We have had a wet spring here in Colorado, but he has a dry barn; he is well fed and fit — how could this happen?

It could have been that one time my instructor rode my horse with his saddle pad and saddle. I have read that some horses can carry the rainrot fungus/bacteria without showing any signs of rainrot themselves, but that was weeks earlier. Maybe it started when I used that dirty synthetic fleece saddle pad on a trail ride the day before this nasty stuff appeared.  Was it that small wound I found on his back the next morning? I figured our other horse bit him, but did that wound give the fungus access to his system?

That morning after the trail ride, I found an oozing wound on the right side of his back and an abrasion on the back of his right front foot (I think his foot slid down the side of a rock during our trail ride.) No big deal, I thought. I put Wound Cream (with aloe) on both wounds. But the next day, the hair on both the left and right sides of his back (in the area that would lie beneath the saddle’s cantle) looked rough and raised on obviously irritated skin.

My veterinarian suggested that I wash my horse’s back with a medicated shampoo. I went right out and purchased EQyss Micro-Tek shampoo and spray — formulated “for horses with skin problems” including rainrot, scratches and girth itch, “safe for pets,” “will not burn or sting open wounds,” and it should have been the all-around the perfect solution. I shampooed, rinsed, dried and followed up with the spray around 3:00 p.m.  Later that night I went to check on him and was horrified to find his back burning hot and a deep, open wound on the left side of his back. The spray had burned his skin! I smeared Wound Cream all over the irritated area and hoped for the best.

When I went out to feed the next morning, I could see across the yard that Teseo was feeling miserable. Now he had open wounds on both sides of his back, and all the hair in that area was crusted with oozing serum and Wound Cream. I didn’t know what to do.

I gently rinsed his back with water, but the crusted, stuck-together hair did not release. I decided that anti-bacterial Nolvasan Ointment might help, so I applied that all over his back. It didn’t hurt him (thank you!), but it further added to the matting of crusted hair, which I had learned by then inhibited healing.

The next day I thought about the touted anti-fungal properties of Schreiner’s Herbal Solution. Unfortunately I sprayed that on his back. Again I was horrified later that day to see that it also was too harsh, had burned his skin and further irritated the open wounds. Call the vet again!

This time he recommended Vetericyn (  It’s a new, miracle product — described as follows:

“Vetericyn is not a steroid, antibiotic, bleach, toxin or organic homeopathic.  Vetericyn is a scientifically engineered topical solution that kills virtually any infection, yet is completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Backed by real science with over 25 clinical trials completed, Vetericyn is the animal version of the FDA-cleared Microcyn formulation that has been used on over two million human patients worldwide without a report of a single serious adverse effect.”

It doesn’t sting or burn! And it works!

It comes in a liquid gel form (in a silly sprayer, not practical for spraying large areas) and as a liquid with a good, usable sprayer. I sprayed it on Teseo’s back very cautiously — we were both worried with good reason.  Although it made the skin red because it brought more oxygen to the area, it didn’t burn or irritate. I’m now spraying Vetericyn on his back three and four times a day.  The irritated skin and open wounds have begun to look less raw.

Now I am washing his back with Ivory Dish Washing Liquid about every two days, removing scabs when they are wet and soapy. Naturally, neither a cloth nor a brush will remove the scabs. You must pick them off with your fingernails and drop them into a bag that will be dumped into the burning pit of Hell.