As you all know, Mama Tess lies down a lot.
She has a thick bed of shaving, which is very nice for her.
However, she also uses her bed of shavings as a bathroom.
I have no idea why MT uses her bed as a bathroom since she knows that she also sleeps there… but I guess you cannot teach an old horse new tricks. She continues to urinate where she sleeps. And, if I turn my back, I’ve noted the cats do the same. Ugh.
It is very important for me to clean and change her shavings as often as possible – especially with a horse who sleeps on them often… I use very cushy, absorbent and soft shavings.
But, when I boarded Tess during our vacation, I noted that the facility used much larger shavings – the shavings almost looked like wood chips. I don’t think those types of chips are as absorbent. Now, I know they take really good care of their horses at the boarding facility… but I, personally, am not sure those shavings are the best for sleeping. They may be easy and great for cleaning manure, but they may not be the best type for laying down.
I think the type of shavings and their absorbancy makes a difference for a recumbent animal.
URINE and FUNGUS with a RECUMBENT ANIMAL
After Tess came back from her stay, I noticed that her chest hair was rubbing out in an odd way – as if it had scabs or something. I peered down there and saw what looked to be rain rot. Of course, it is the middle of summer, so I knew it wasn’t rain rot.
But, I figured it was a fungus.
I got down on my knees with a flashlight and looked all over her belly and any other place that touches the ground when she sleeps.
I definitely saw several new patches of little scabby areas.
I don’t know for certain, but I think she probably got the fungus, or the irritation, or whatever it is, from sleeping on dirty/wet shavings.
Figuring I’d use a fungal shampoo to start my attack (since I had it already), I applied the shampoo to the fungus and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I used Elite Equine Evolution Antibacterial/Antifungal Shampoo – no affiliation. I think you can get it easily online or at your feed store.
Then I rinsed it off with warm water. But, I did let some of the diluted shampoo hang on the skin there – just to be safe.
In two days, all fungus gone.
So, lesson learned. If you horse lies down often, check his/her belly for skin fungus!
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Great idea! Thanks!
Have you thought of using or adding pellets to the shavings? My horse’s barn provides shavings, but I buy Nature’s Bedding pellets and supplement the shavings with them. So absorbent, and not that expensive ($4.75 per 40 lb bag). They work especially well if you spread some (dry) and then cover with shavings. I go through 1 to 2 bags a week, adding after removing wet spots. The stall always smells clean.
I have found that sometimes the wood chips are made up of wood such as cedar that can cause an allergy reaction or hives on the horse. Cedar chips will cause a reaction along the belly because that is where they touch the horse’s skin when they lie down. It goes away when the aggravating chips are removed from the stall. Usually a company will not use cedar when making chips but some will get in there if an uninformed or uncaring person is making the product from the wood they have.