Scratches: The Musical

Enter Hudson’s Scratches, portrayed by Robert Goulet, center stage:

Scratches can be irritatingly devoted.  To the point of needing a restraining order.

In November, the areas beneath Hudson’s rear pasterns were so bad I didn’t recognize scratches. I thought he’d been in a weird rubber mat burn, getting-up accident. One that happened to get infected and scabby. Overnight.

In November, I’d never owned a horse with scratches. In fact, I’d never seen a horse with scratches that had not been within 100 miles of mud. Dry scratches.

What horse gets scratches in the middle of a drought?

*Warning to the medically queasy or non-horse people, this post includes graphic photos.

I didn’t think to take photos when the scr*tches were at their worst.  I was alternately Googling, panicking, COTHing, hyperventilating, and pelting  {Bella, Daisy, Alice, Carlos, Shaun, God, Laurie, The Vet…you get the idea} with questions.

How do you treat Scr*tches?? Why is nothing working?

Enter Hudson’s vet stage left, singing:

Dr. James Kerr doesn’t wear this hat. Which is sad.
Right here in River City!
Right here in River City!

Below: Scr*tches shot a month after a course of oral antibiotics and two changes of topical cream.

After a month of treatment, swelling is waaaaay down.
Trouble.  OW.

Another course of oral antibiotics and a sixth medicated cream change later, we got it down to this:

Blech.  And still OW.

I leave my barn, and arrive at the training barn early to work. When trainer arrives, and I keep my professional demenor intact by hurling myself on her, sobbing, and incoherently anguishing all over her new jacket.

“What?”, she says, “Jane?!?”

Note to self: anguish sooner next time. Trainer knows stuff.

She said, “try wrapping after topical”.  We discovered the magic of bandage socks.
I also liberally applied my Christmas present from Bella: Flower and Rainbow Unicorn grooming tools. That should fix it!

 Luckily, I can now bandage faster than Hudson can think:

Cole Porter had no idea how much he knew about horses...
I didn’t know Cole Porter was so horse savvy…

You have to fight Musical numbers on their own terms.

How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away:

I’ve turned to my favorite coping mechanism (when denial is not an option) and I am outgrowing my riding pants…again. Looking for cheer in all the wrong places.

My kind of work place.
My kind of work place.

Honestly. I had no idea that song was about the weather:

Jane, as Barbara, singing: “On Eclair Day, You Can See Forever”.

I can’t tell you how popular this musical makes me. The drama! The wailing and grief. The sheer joy of near recovery. The disaster of relapse. Very Shakespearian.

I’m certain there is a secret Phone-Tree Alert in place. Jane just pulled in, RUN.

Hudson is recovering.  Still.

I was standing next to Jamie. We both had our arms crossed, staring at the scr*tches. heads cocked. We have gone through his copious arsenal of treatments. If the latest cream doesn’t work, we will have exhausted every recipe except one.

Axel grease.

We look at each other.

“Theoretically, it could work”,  Jamie says.

18 thoughts on “Scratches: The Musical

  1. First, thanks. I don’t make it to the theater much. Second, thanks for the gory photos, we don’t see it here much. and Third. What a good boy.
    Glad you handled this with your usual flair (good care and good humor.)

    1. We are the Off Off OFF Broadway production company. I think we might need a name? Hmmm. Mud In Your Face Productions? Do NOT Break a Leg Productions? I’m terrible at naming. Chime in folks. ;).
      Ah horse people. We appreciate a good gory photo….

    1. Yes! We definitely need a non-anguished riding post. A nice happy jingly, sparkly, riding post. Laurie is generously letting me ride Ginger while Hudson recooperates. They’re a lot alike, so it’s very fun for me.
      I’m sure we will have plenty of Ginger stories coming up!

  2. Poor Hudson. Me and his favorite Redhead are sending healing vibes and of course snappy show tunes! Between you – best equine mommy ever, Trainer extraordinaire and of course Jamie the wonder vet, I know he’s in good hands.

  3. Irish got scratches once. I scrubbed them quite thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and then used diaper rash cream (zincofax I think). It worked a treat.

  4. Scratches are the worst ever. Thank god I’ve never had a case that didn’t clear right up with Desitin! (or, Desitin and Furasin for the really nasty ones). So sucky!

  5. Great musical scores!

    We used to have to treat scratches on one of our horses every Spring. They had a really good article and how to deal with them in Equus this month. If you get a chance to read it, it might help. It’s basically the same treatment we used and it worked well. The trick is to keep it dry and slather Desitin on it. Good luck and I hope he heals quickly.

    1. Thanks! I’ll check out the article for any possible treatments I missed. Sadly, desitin was my first line of defense, and didn’t work in his case. I know every infection has varying causes, with the corresponding varying treatments. I have him in a stall during rain, and wrapping goes a long way to keeping him clean and dry. So far generic triple antibiotic cream from the drugstore is the clear winner. Thankfully!

  6. Jaime’s your vet? You’re so lucky! I love him! XD

    wait, you’re being a Bad Friend, Funder. What I meant to say was: Oh my god, that’s horrible! Scratches are the devil, especially when they get bad like that. Good job getting Hudson (most of the way) through this with all your original teeth, fingers, kneecaps, elbows, etc. HUGS!

    1. I know, he’s the best vet EVer. When everyone else was stumped over ‘dry’ scratches, Jamie was reassuring. They aren’t weird mutant scratches. He occasionally sees them develop at endurance events in hot, dry climates. (He’s also the one who did the rads on Hudson’s knee, and worked out a logical treatment program.) He’s funny and extremely patient, a great guy! I know he travels as far south as Marin if you ever need Dixie checked…

      1. I live in the Pacific North West where it is wet and muddy durning the winter. One of my horses get’s scratches and I have treated it with No Thrush. It’s a powder so it helpes to dry out the sores and it works great. It’s easy to apply and there is no washing so everything stays dry. You should check out there web site.

        1. Thank you! Good tip. I’d heard of the powder, but haven’t tried it. If we have a relapse into ACK land, I’ll look into it again. Because his scratches appeared when it was bone dry, the vet felt medicated creams were his best defense. But there has to be something else to try before we cowboy it with the axel grease. (No, probably not really going to do that!)

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