Wet Conditions Affecting Horses Lower Legs

MYTHS: My horses are standing in mud from all the rain. Now their coronet bands and back pastern area is full of scabs, the hair is falling out in clumps and the skin is thickened. It looks awful and they are getting kind of lame from it. My neighbour says this can never be cleared up, so no use moving them to a less muddy corral? Is this true?

FACT: Called everything from Scratches, Greasy Heel, Cracked Heel and "Mud Fever", it can be very hard to clear up. (Please note, that it is wrong to call it Greasy Heel but many people do). Keep the horse AT ALL TIMES free of mud and sloppy ground. This is a must, getting the horse somewhere dry.

It also sometimes even travels higher than the back pastern area. Using warm water and soap, wash the area, ONCE A DAY, Removing the accumulated scabs and crusts, rinse well with clear water and DRY THOROUGHLY. Dry until DRY!!! Please speak to your Vet first before applying, but I use "White Lotion". You can find the Recipe for White Lotion in OUR ARCHIVES, under NEWSLETTERS (horses) March 15/02. Your Vet will know how to mix it in his clinic anyway. You must shake it vigorously just before applying as it settles almost instantly in the container. Never use a dry powder on this or an Aerosol Spray which is intended to "Dry the Tissue" as this only makes it worse. I apply it with a dauber, which comes right with the bottle. If no dauber, then just coat it lightly each and every day with a piece of cloth or a cotton ball.

Then apply any Vet prescribed ointment containing Zinc Oxide (cream). STOP the use of White Lotion as soon as scabs and crusts are no longer forming.

This takes time to clear up and dedication on the part of the horse's owner. I repeat, this is a daily effort to clear up. On again/off again treatment will not work.

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