Saturday, January 9, 2010
This is the tale of the bald butted horse. These are the pictures of Tess' bald butt. Or at least some of them. And yes it is still tough not having that big, goofy girl around anymore. I miss her and still have my moments. This one is at eye level for me, so it may give you some idea of her height.
The picture above is from the end of last summer. I was bringing her back into shape and trying to get both of us ready for an upcoming schooling show the middle of September. This was to be our first time back in the ring since the pregnancy. The girls were closing in on their first birthday and it was time.
Not so much to criticize there. She had rubbed her tail and entire butt bald and raw to the point of having spots under her dock that bled, after she rubbed for all she was worth on the fence. This is why the top of her tail is all pretty short. I had trimmed it to even it all out as far as the rubbed spots went- almost all the way down to the end of her dock. Everything was coming back and the hair was filling in. No more raw spots and it was looking pretty good considering.
Until the weekend of Labor Day...
We went to Tucson to visit family over the long weekend. We get back and I go out to see the horses and find this->
Beautiful! The show was in two weeks. The thought of me taking her looking like this? Toast. While the hair loss does not affect her movement, it just looks sooooo incredibly unprofessional to take a horse to a show with a literally Bald Butt! Whooosh! Down the drain went that idea. ARRRRGH!
So back to square one again, trying to find the cause of her bald butt. Besides the rubbing... I know that's what took the hair off and left the raw spots. But WHY was she rubbing? I know rubbing and scratching dry skin is one way of sorta relieving the itchiness, but what's the cause of it? She was wormed- rotational on the wormers and up to date. WTH!
At least this time she hadn't rubbed it out as badly. And trust me, this time around was pretty mild. There was just no hair and a lot of dry skin. So I was currying her before and after each ride to stimulate the oils in her skin. I was rinsing her and washing with baby shampoo- not like there's a shortage around here or anything- since it's known for being gentle on sensitive skin. Afterwards I followed it with either aloe vera or baby lotion. I gotta say I am not a fan of the Huggies brand Shea Butter scented, so that all ended up outside and was put to use.
You can see what her tail was beginning to look like again. Ruling out worming, using the lotion and currying to ease the itchy dry skin- she loved having lotion slathered on the underside of her tail- and trying to figure out how to ease this condition was interesting to say the least.
With mares, it is sometimes an issue of the gunk that gets up in between their legs and teats. Sweat + dust = grimy black stinky gunk that around here we call "boob cheese". Stallions and geldings can not only develop the beans in their sheath, but also the caked on grime between the sheath and their legs. This can be the beginnings of their tail gone wrong.
But she was clean all along and only after the hair was gone did I find one night, what felt like grains of sand all over the inside of her legs and around her teats. This was after she had been rinsed. Another WTH! moment. I had found it rubbing her belly- one of her favorite things in life. Back to the wash rack and whipped out the shampoo to scrub it all off...
No sign of any weird fungus, no sign of any stings or bug bites, no high or unruly amounts of 'boob cheese', up to date on the worming schedule- so what was going on??? Inquiring minds want to know! Now!!!
Believe it or not, while treating her one night I noticed something a little strange. It seemed to be sorta small and not anything that would be extremely noticeable, but there it was. And let me just say, oh the things we do for our horses... She had what looked like the leftovers of a small pin-worm that had gotten stuck on it's dead way out. So picture what you will in your mind, but the next day there was a trip to the feed store and a 'Power Pack' was purchased.