Thursday, 4 June 2009

Buttercup Rash


These few days of gloriously hot weather have brought a problem with them. A couple of days ago I saw that Red's legs had suddenly flared up into what looked like a very bad case of mud fever. He is an appaloosa, with pink skin on his muzzle, so I do sometimes have to apply a bit of sun cream on his nose ( which he hates), and it would seem that the very strong sun combined with the buttercups being out has resulted in a bad case of buttercup rash. I had only encountered this on pink muzzles before, but this time Red's legs were covered in crusty scabs from the knees down, and his pasterns were particularly bad.
So, what to do?
I couldn't find a great deal of information about this, so I've gone for some common sense treatment. First, I brought him in and thoroughly washed his legs with hibiscrub (anti microbial), as the scabs were weepy, very much like mud fever or greasy heel spots. This took nearly an hour to do each leg, but, surprisingly, he didn't seem to mind at all. Usually he fidgets when having something done, but he almost seemed to be enjoying this. Then, after thoroughly rinsing them, I left him in the barn for the rest of the day, away from the sun, as, if I am correct, buttercup rash is due to photo sensitisation of the skin.

By the evening, it was time to turn him out. He is already in the field with the least buttercups, but it is impossible to remove him from them entirely. I had intended to put Aloe vera gel on his legs when they were dry, but actually, the skin felt so soft, and there was no sign of new 'weeping' from the rash, that I changed my mind. Instead, I put brushing boots on all four legs to protect them from the sun, and the buttercup pollen, and barrier cream on the exposed bits of his pasterns.

So, the plan is to keep him out of the bright sun while the buttercups are out, and I am hoping this will solve the problem. Still, if anyone has any other experience of this, I'd be glad to hear what has worked for you!

13 comments:

Sonia ;) said...

Danielle...

Oh poor guy...I have skin problems and know it feels icky...I love the last picture of him rolling around....Hope everything gets better for him..

Smiles,
Sonia ;)

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Our Friesians get what we call "dew poisoning" or "muck itch" which seems to be similar. With their feathers the moisture doesn't dry up easily. We'll dry the leg/heels off and usually apply an antibotic salve from the vet. Can't remember the name off the top of my head.

shiborigirl said...

Sorry to hear you're guy's having troubles (he's an absolute beauty by the way!). Sounds like what you did for him did the trick. And judging by that last fabulous photo - he seems to feel fine. :)

I found you through OWOH, and am making the rounds again. I still enjoy seeing your beautiful paintings...

Kate

Angie at Free Rein said...

We have been experiencing the same thing with all of our horses...butter cup season is over for us but we had quite a few in the pasture we used this spring...never realized they could be causing the problem, just thought it was from moisture from all the rain, because it looked similar to rain rot. I used an anti fungal wash and this worked for us.

Totally Timmy said...

hope it clears up soon. Looks sore..

First Draught Farm said...

I have found that once you clean the leg and treat with anti-fungal (we use something called M-T-G), we rub lightly the leg to loosen any scabs that have formed around the hair, and gently comb them out. Then on the clean and treated leg, apply Desitin or Zinc Oxide on the skin to form a protective barrier. This works well for "scratches". We have also mixed 4 oz. sulfur powder with rest of 16 oz bottle filled with mineral oil and applied to the legs of our feathered horses as well. Hope this helps! -kat

Linda said...

There seem to be instances of it in the summer mostly on noses but also legs,Buttercups contain a compound called protoanemonin, which is a powerful irritant, causing inflammation or ulceration of the mouth, often with soreness, increased salivation and sometimes colic, Culpeper warns about eating buttercups, but actually makes ointments/salves from buttercups to put on certain sores. Buttercup cough syrup contain no buttercups.
Aloe vera pure Gel from Holland & barratt stores is wonderful usually on a 1/2 price offer, as is their lavender oil which you add a few drops into the gel. Any rain type scould rash, mud fever make sure you remove all scabs as it loves to live under a covering, this will probably make his poor skin pink and red but drying thoroughly and rubbing in your aloe vera and lavender will soothe it.
Very sore Puss,cracked skin will respond to a few drops of any of the good quality oils not the cheaper types, H&B again or similiar quality.Lavender oils,eucalyptus,chamomile, and pachouli they are all anti fungal, and promote new tissue formation. You can use Teatree oil on thrush of the foot, it rather strong to put straight on skin, I do on me gardening cuts, bath, but then the hair covering of the horses coat could make it act as a blister so stinky feet hooves only,. Sorry to go on I'm sure you know all of that anyway, but there might be one you haven't tried, Hope he feel better soon. Itching drives me crazy too. Lindax

Deb Schmit said...

I had never heard of that before.
Probably because we live in a rather arid region.
Sounds like your treatment is working well.

jc said...

Can't add any advice but just wanted to say how handsome he is!

sarah said...

I just discovered your beautiful blog and have really enjoyed my visit here. I hope the rash clears up soonest. I'll definitely be back again.

Kim said...

I hope Red is soon better. Have you tried homeopathic remedies? I've had great success with some remedies when treating horses.

This link may give you some good advice and the remedy I'd try for Red's condition is most likely Rhus tox.

http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2253004.html

If you need any advice, drop me an email and I'll try and help

Kim x

cabin + cub said...

Love looking at pics of your horses.. I just posted a horse collage today! ;)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

That last photo seems to indicate he is no worse for wear. The sun does seem to cause many problems...for equine, canine and human alike. Both Edward and I have to watch our sun intake. We both have pink noses!

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