Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services

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  • You guys are awesome, thank you so much for looking after Taruni. - Sue from Greenbank

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  • Thank you so much for coming out to stitch my poor horse up this morning! It is the second time that I have had to call and get someone out and the service has been wonderful...and my horse is looking and feeling a lot better. - Jennie from Cedar Grove

  • Dr David Barthomomuez is brilliant. Yes I am totally biased but it is based on my experience over the last 6 wks with my mare Rivver. Treatment is still on going and I get the pleasure of picking David's brain for lots of horsey info when he does his weekly visit! I am very impressed with the way David handles and treats my mare, he genuinely cares. The girls in the office have also been wonderful to deal with. Keep up the great work team Vevs! - Cindi from Tamborine Village

  • "Thank you for your after-care service, I am very very impressed to say the least. The phone call from you today following up on my horses progress has won my business."

    - Sue from Gardenvale Stud

  • "Thanks to Dr David for helping my old man feel better... I would recommend this veterinary clinic to anyone, and I wouldn't use any other vet."

    -Nelly from Munruben

  • "I cannot fault their willingness to assist you as soon as possible, their capacity to prioritise so the most urgent animals are attended to quickly, their gentle way with horses, their knowledge and their reasonable prices..." - Sharon from Cedar Grove

  • "Thanks so much to Dr Dave and the team for all your hard work with getting Karrie in foal!!! We are very grateful and couldn't have done it without you guys!" - Lynette from Logan Village
  • "Your patience and gentle nature were greatly appreciated by both of us. Thank you." - Karen from Jimboomba

  • "Our family would like to give a big thank you and hug to Dr David, Kelly & all the team at Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services for saving our dog sid from a brown snake bite. Without their caring services I dont think sid would of made it, thanks guys. " - Hurchalla Family

  • "David and his team treat their client’s animals as if they were their own and have helped me and my horses in some very stressful situations over the years, thankfully, always with a excellent outcome!" - Toni from Jimboomba
  • "Thank you so much for the extra good care you took of Lilly ... I’ve always been extremely happy with Dave as our vet, I think he truly does a wonderful job, and you can really see how much he cares.” - Tania Banek

  • "The fact that Dave has been my vet for many years speaks volumes.  Dave has a very nice manner and deals with the horses in a calm and kind way.  He always takes time to explain options and procedures and to advise on what he considers to be the best course of treatment." - Gillian Coote
  • "Although we may have moved, we would not consider using any other veterinarian other than David to care for our horses." – Brett and Danielle from Wonglepong

  • "David has been my vet now for several years. Over that time with the highs and lows of my veterinary needs, David has always been compassionate, caring and friendly." - Marnie Wilmott

  • "We really appreciate David's practical, no-nonsense approach to everything, his vast knowledge and his abilities."

    – Marty & Danielle at North Maclean

  • "We feel that the care David shows our horses is the same as if they were his own."

    Weownna Warmbloods

  • "We have been using Dr "Bart" since we bought our first two ponies for our girls 6 years ago. He has always given us great advice and service over the years." – B & G Russell

  • "At VEVS, I always get the right advice, which means I’ve always gotten the right result"

    – Peter @ Acton Classical Equitation

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Rain Scald

Written by Dr Vicky Marshall, BVetMed (hons) MRCVS .

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rainscald1Rain scald is the common name for a condition known as Dermatophilosis. Most people are aware of the condition and can recognise it, but may not understand the cause or know how to treat it.


 

The cause of rain scald is a bacteria known as Dermatophilus congolensis. This bacteria lives on the skin of carrier horses. These horses are prone to developing rain scald, but do not always show clinical signs of it. They act as the source of infection for other horses. As well as there being a carrier animal nearby, two other conditions are required for a horse to be infected: moisture and skin trauma. When the carrier animal’s skin is subject to severe wetting, such as occurs during rain, the bacteria release zoospores, which are the infective stage of the bacteria. Biting and non-biting flies then transmit the zoospores from the carrier horse to a non-infected horse. Brushes, rugs, etc may also be responsible for transmitting the zoospores. If the skin of the non-infected horse is healthy and intact, the bacteria cannot invade and cause rain scald. However, if the skin is damaged, such as occurs with prolonged wetting, fly bites, or other skin disease, the bacteria can invade the skin and cause disease.

The most commonly affected areas are the croup, loins, saddle area, neck and face; when it rains these are the areas of the body that become the wettest. However, in severe cases the disease may become generalised. The infected skin produces discharge which dries and causes the hair to become matted; these mats of hair have been described as resembling small paintbrushes. When these crusts are lifted, the underlying skin is often pink, moist, and occasionally bleeds. Greenish-yellow pus often accumulates on the under surface of the crust. Affected areas can be sore to touch but the disease does not cause the horse to be itchy. This disease can also affect the limbs, and white, non-pigmented skin is more susceptible. Racehorses are particularly prone to this disease occurring, particularly on the hindlimbs, due to very small abrasions of the skin caused by flying debris thrown up by the front hooves during training. When the legs are affected, they can become painful and swollen, causing lameness. Severely affected horses may develop a fever, be depressed, inappetant and lethargic, with swollen lymph nodes. There are usually other factors involved for a horse to become severely affected, such as an underlying disease causing suppression of the immune system.

rainscald2The appearance of the disease is very characteristic, making the diagnosis straightforward. However, it can be confirmed by making smears of the exudate (discharge) from the lesions and staining them for the bacteria, or from examining the crusts. Acute lesions can be sampled and cultured, but it is difficult to obtain a positive culture from chronic or healing lesions. The organism is very slow to grow, which can lead to false negative results. Much quicker and more accurate diagnoses can be obtained by other methods.

Treatment is straightforward, but unless the underlying cause of skin trauma is addressed, the problem may not resolve fully. Therefore, it is imperative that affected horses are rugged in future episodes of rain to prevent maceration of the skin and recurrence of the disease. Horses that have not had rain scald before can be protected by being rugged, however, if they have other causes of damage to the skin, they can still contract the disease. It is very difficult to prevent flies from biting or even just landing on your horse; rugging offers some protection and the application of fly repellents also helps, but it is virtually impossible to completely prevent flies from landing on your horse. Affected horses should have their own rugs and not share them with other horses, as well as their own brushes, saddle cloths, etc. rainscald3Treatment itself involves the application of antibacterial agents to the skin, usually in the form of washes. Chlorhexidine and povidone-iodine scrub are effective. Chlorhexidine is one of the active ingredients in Malaseb™, a shampoo formulated for cats and dogs, but it is very effective against rain scald in horses. Wet the affected areas, apply the antibacterial scrub, gently massage the affected areas to remove the scabs, and leave the wash on for ten minutes before thoroughly washing off. Repeat daily for 5-7 days, then twice weekly until all the lesions have healed. Severely affected horses may benefit from systemic antibiotics, such as penicillin, but the majority of horses are not badly enough affected to warrant this treatment.

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