Sunday, July 6, 2008

Itch Update

I want to thank all of you who wrote such helpful suggestions and patted me on my blog with a comforting “there, there”. The swelling in my hand is slowly going down. The itching is still intense. I don’t know if it’s the prednisone or this homeopathic medicine I’m also taking called ledum palustre. I know that shortly after taking the ledum palustre for the first time around noon, I noticed that I wasn’t itching, my hand stopped throbbing and that I could sort of see my knuckles. I still am keeping a 3-M cold pack wrapped around my hand most of the time.

Despite my clumsy right paw, I was able to wash Silk today. She is a mess, still losing hair on her face, belly and along the base of her mane. Inside the back of her legs is really itchy too. I slather her with Vaseline and Swat, so she’s a greaseball. Then, she gets out in the pasture and rolls in the dirt, and I have to start all over again. I gave up on the organic fly spray and moved on to Tri-tech, which helped dramatically. I used to use it on her, but it gave me and Siete hives. I’m wondering if stopping the serious insecticide was what brought on all her misery to begin with. I’m giving her hydroxyzine twice a day, which definitely helps. I’m going talk to the vet tomorrow about what to do to stop this from getting any worse, since it’s definitely taken a new twist with all this sudden hair loss. I can’t even put on a fly mask and use the halter as little as possible because she gets bald spots from them.

As I soaped Silk’s belly, I thought Mother Nature must be teaching me a lesson about how horrible itching can be. There was a point this morning where I wanted to rip my skin off my hand. Realizing how my poor sweet horse has been suffering for the whole summer, I almost started crying. I can tell that she’s able to find relief after she’s been bathed and salved, but I feel so terrible when I watch her scratch her belly in the dirt.

It reminds me of something that poet Mark Nepo wrote: “Walk long enough and we all trade places…. We are always carried and surrounded by the Whole, while we take turns holding and being held, falling and getting up, listening and trying to say what matters.” Now that I have experienced what Silk has been going through, I have an even stronger determination to heal her.


Mrs Mom said...

I have been wracking my brain to try and think of SOMETHING-- anything-- that you have not already tried to help your pretty filly there, and all I can come up with is Mosquito Halt fly spray. It seems (only SEEMS mind you) to help keep away the hordes of sand gnats here on the coast. I have a pony in right now, that has allergies like that, and the only way to keep him from rubbing all of his mane out is to liberally spray him daily. (Most horses is actually lasts about 3 days on down here.)

Wish I knew of a better suggestion for you, that did not involve chemicals.. but that is all I can think of now...

Heal up fast the two of you!! Also, for future reference, (And it is kinda distasteful,) applying a wet poultice of sorts of tobacco to stings until you can get the medical attention that you need will help draw out the reaction, and reduce the itching as well. Like I said, somewhat distasteful but I can say from having had to do it, it helps!

Hang in there, and if I can come up with anything else from our allergic horses down here, we will pass it along ASAP!

Callie said...

I'm just catching up with everyone. Eegads! A wasp sting! I hate those, it hurts! Poor silk. I have an aloe cream for horses that I use for wound care, you've probably tried that, but it might help.

Carolynn said...

I don't think there's anything more heartbreaking than watching one of my animals endure some misery that I'm unable to help with. I agree, it does seem very coincidental that you're experiencing something similar with your itchy hand. Hopefully, your vet or other experienced readers will hit on a remedy that works and you can all get on with the business of enjoying your summer.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it one more time: Deo-Gel. It is the ONLY thing that has ever given my horse relief from the bugs. I won't use toxic fly sprays on him anymore because last summer he had 2 different types of cancerous tumors. No proof, but because of the type of tumors and biopsy results of his skin and other granulomas that I had removed, just in case they were also cancerous, the theory is that the cancers may have developed because his immune system was on overload because of his horrible allergic reaction to fly bites. The other horses in the barn are stomping their hooves because of the flies, my guy is totally comfortable, barely swishing his tail. It's expensive, but it's worth it to me to know that he is protected, comfortable, and I'm not applying anything toxic to him that might stir up the cancer again.

Good luck. Fly season is really just starting here in the northeast, so I hope you get something to give Silk some relief soon.


billie said...

I've been offline again due to power outage and internet outage but am trying to catch up now - glad you're feeling better.

Since you tried Ledum and it helped, why not look for a homeopathic remedy for Silk to try? I just used one on Cody last week for some bug bites with great success.

Remember that with homeopathic remedies, the remedy is matched to the particular symptoms and not to the "condition." So two horses with allergies to gnat bites might take two different remedies depending on the entire symptom picture.

There are a few overarching remedies that are used for certain things (like Arnica for injuries and bruising) but I think the remedies get better results if you use them more specifically.

Skin issues almost always stem from "deeper" issues, in my experience, so getting an equine homeopath to look at this ongoing issue with Silk's allergic reaction might be useful.

That said, I know the homeopathic approach is not for everyone.

Sending all good thoughts for relief! You and Silk have had more than your share of itching this year!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I hope Silk gets better soon and you too, there is nothing worse than wanting to scratch yourself raw to get rid of itches. The only remedy we have used that works is Gnat Away by Gold Nugget, it's greasy but you can put it all over them and you and even in their ears. Something has got to work sooner or later. The vet may have a suggestion too. I liked the Mark Nepo quote. It seems to explain the simultaneous circumstances you and Silk are experiencing.

Nor'dzin said...

Ledum is a remedy for puncture wounds - which of course a sting is - so it will help. However apis would usually be the better remedy. Urtica or cantharis may help Silk with her itchiness. Good luck.

gina armfield said...

I am sure you probably have tried this but in conjuction with tri - tec Avon Skin so Soft diluted in a sprayer may help with the itchy and the bugs. Also my mare would be become bloody on her belly from gnats and the thing that helped the most was an insecticide gel that I got from my vet called Pet Guard which you can get here -

Hope it helps

maria said...

Hi Victoria, I wanted to email you but I could find no email link...just wanted to say that I'm glad I just found your site. I've been looking for horsey blogs for a while. I love you stories and handy tips and am glad to have a blog roll to look through as well! I've just started my own blog on healing horses and ourselves All the best, I'll be back soon, Maria

Callie said...

Oh I thought I left another comment, must have not entered. Anyway, I found a belly band, fly screen for horse tummies on Valley Vet. It attaches to a a fly sheet and it's not very expensive. Maybe that will help poor Silk.

Nickname unavailable said...

Hello there - this is a year late but ... my paint mare had the same symptoms. The vet came out and we tried various things. What finally worked best was 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated garlic powder over her dry feed in the morning and evening. Hydrocortisone ointment on the itchy spots. I started this regime a month before the flies came out. My paint does not look perfect and is still a bit itchy, but nothing compared to lat year.

I tried to stop using the garlic because she does not like it and wastes some feed trying to avoid it, but within a few days she started to go bald again. So, yes, the garlic works ... But you better watch out for those horsey burps and fards :) the garlic smell will knock you over :)

Sara said...

If your horse suffers from summer itch, like mine does, then you know there are no products on the market that work really well. I gave up and dove into making something that would give her relief. I make an all natural herbal lotion that will soothe your horses summer itch and help the hair grow back.I have been told by a customer that this works wonders on a dogs skin condition as well
$12 bottle,
Buy 3 bottles and receive free shipping

Anonymous said...

I have a colt that is the same way! I am going to try calm coat, people swear by it. But then again so did they about everything else I have tried. :~)