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Discuss Quick question regarding chlorhexidine for navel dipping. at the Horse Breeding forum - Horse Breeding Forums.

I am able to get some chlorhexidine but its .02% would that be ok for ...
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    Quick question regarding chlorhexidine for navel dipping.

    I am able to get some chlorhexidine but its .02% would that be ok for navel dipping. I have some bentadine, but by browsing on this forum it is said to not be as good as the chlorhexidine.

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    Some horses are allergic to chlorhexidine. I've met one. I would use iodine. TSC always has iodine as does the Pharmacy.

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    I wouldn't use iodine, too caustic. I would bet it would be an extremely rare occasion that a horse would be allergic to Chlorhexidine. We prescribe it to literaly half the patients that come into the clinic and I've yet to see an animal have a reaction. A horse is no more likely to be allergic to that than iodine.

    You just need to dilute the Chlorhexidine.
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    so... would the .02% work ?

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    I don't know why it wouldn't... ?
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    I usually apply the Chlorhexidine multiple times FWIW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumonek View Post
    I wouldn't use iodine, too caustic. I would bet it would be an extremely rare occasion that a horse would be allergic to Chlorhexidine. We prescribe it to literaly half the patients that come into the clinic and I've yet to see an animal have a reaction. A horse is no more likely to be allergic to that than iodine.

    You just need to dilute the Chlorhexidine.

    Not that rare. As a matter of fact, in the sixties, they came out with hexachlorophine which had to be pulled from the market. It was an over the counter acne medicine. A number of people went into anaphylaxic shock, multiple others had facial swelling and had to be rushed to the hospital as their wind pipes were closing off. I loved the stuff. Never had clearer skin. chlorhexidine was invented to replace it and still has reported allergic reactions. Google it if you doubt it.

    Of course you wouldn't use straight iodine but iodine in a diluted form is safer, IMHO. The horse I saw react badly to chlorhexidine was a gelding, just gelded. Every time it was applied he swelled up like a baloon from his abdomen all the way down his legs. I've had other race horses react badly to it as well, but not to the extent this one horse did, who was highly allergic. I wouldn't use it on a young horse. It seems to me, older horses tend to handle it better. Now these are my hands-on experiences with it. Just putting it out there. You can do as you please with your own horse, of course.

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    Not trying to argue Just sharing my personal experience as well, as well as the practicing veterinarians.

    However, most owners prefer to dip their foal’s navel. Traditionally, products containing iodine in different concentrations have been used to dip navels with apparent effectiveness.
    However, these products have been known to cause serious side effects, such as irritation and sloughing of abdominal skin.
    Researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, studied the use of different disinfectants on navels to determine their effect on bacterial growth.
    Results showed that overall a half-percent solution of chlorhexidine was the best solution to use for dipping the navel. It was the most effective against the common bacteria identified, as the major cause of umbilical infections while it did not cause complications such as skin irritation.
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    Same here. Vets prefer and almost exclusively use chlorhexidine. I've used it on many, many horses (not just navels) and never had a problem.

    Are you sure it's not 2%? All I've ever seen is 2%. For dipping navels 0.5% is recommended and can be easily achieved. I too dipped several times over the first couple of days.
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    • The navel should be treated with 0.5% chlorhexidine (“Hibitane” ICI Pharmaceuticals; “Nolvasan”, Ft. Dodge);
    • Closure of the navel is important to prevent pathogen access that may result in navel- or joint-ill;
    • The 7% iodine solutions formerly popular have been determined as too astringent on the neonate tissue;
    • 1% iodine solutions do not offer sufficient protection.

    Chlorhexidine solutions are available at most drug stores, as well as many farm stores. It's often used as a teat dip for dairy cows.

    Quote Originally Posted by manesntails View Post
    Not that rare. As a matter of fact, in the sixties, they came out with hexachlorophine which had to be pulled from the market. It was an over the counter acne medicine. A number of people went into anaphylaxic shock, multiple others had facial swelling and had to be rushed to the hospital as their wind pipes were closing off. I loved the stuff. Never had clearer skin. chlorhexidine was invented to replace it and still has reported allergic reactions. Google it if you doubt it.
    You are correct on the above, but if you google reactions, you'll get as many or more hits on iodine and Betadine solutions. The research with regards to the use of iodine vs chlorhexidine solutions is well documented. Using an iodine solution that is sufficient to kill pathogens is too caustic for tender baby skin. And, because it causes cracking of the skin, it creates more areas of access for pathogens.

    Of course you wouldn't use straight iodine but iodine in a diluted form is safer, IMHO. The horse I saw react badly to chlorhexidine was a gelding, just gelded. Every time it was applied he swelled up like a baloon from his abdomen all the way down his legs. I've had other race horses react badly to it as well, but not to the extent this one horse did, who was highly allergic. I wouldn't use it on a young horse. It seems to me, older horses tend to handle it better. Now these are my hands-on experiences with it. Just putting it out there. You can do as you please with your own horse, of course.
    So you are basing your statements on one experience? There will ALWAYS be the potential for an allergic reaction to just about every product out there. The intent is to use the most effective product, with the minimal amount of reactions. Using one anecdotal experience as the basis for a protocol is a recipe for disaster . It is why research is done and thankfully, the reason that some products are pulled from the market or used with great efficacy. Anecdotal experience, while it "can" have a valid basis and definitely worthy of note, it MUST be based on a mass of experience. In all the years we have treated navels, we have used both - betadine and chlorhexidine. That's pushing probably close to 700 foals, so not an insignificant number of babies. And, while we have never had an incidence of navel ill (looking frantically for wood to knock on), I can say that the iodine/Betadine solution resulted in some significant cracking of the skin around the navel and with no ill effects with the chlorhexidine. Additionally, we had NO allergic reactions with the use of either product . So...which do we use? The one that creates some skin issues on new babies, but is effective against infection? Or the one that has no apparent issues on tender baby skin and is effective against infection? The diluted chlorhexidine solution, hands down.

    Hope that helps!
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