Scratches is a condition also called mud fever, greasy heel, dew poisoning, cracked heels, or equine pastern dermatitis that infects the deep layers of the skin. It occurs mainly in the heels and/or pastern of the horse, but can creep further up the leg.
It is coming up on that time of year with warmer temps causing snow to melt or more Spring rain making for a wet and muddy mess. We may not all have access to a dry paddock, so for those unable to get out of the wet conditions here are some of our recommendations:
- Horses with feathered or hairy legs may benefit from removing the hair that can trap moisture.
- Add wood shavings or straw in certain spots for them to stand, possibly where they eat or drink.
- Apply a barrier ointment such as our E40 Equisalve to help deter the moisture.
- Internally, give our E24 Immune Support to help enhance their immune system.
- If they were to have scratches, also add the E25 INF-X to their diet.
- Have a discussion with your Veterinarian.
It has been noted that those with lighter colored or white legs tend to be more prone, but it can happen with any horse who is in constant dampness.