The green grass is beginning to turn to gold, as Spring bleeds into Summer. We’re still experiencing the occasional “spring shower”, followed by periods of warmth. As equestrians, we may notice a change in our horse’s skin and coat as the seasons change; new conditions begin to crop up. One problematic thing that we may encounter, as the ground dries out and our horse’s coat thins, is the presence of a condition known as “scratches”. This condition usually displays itself as flakey, enlarged and often oozing patches of skin on the backs of our horse’s pasterns and fetlocks. Also known as “greasy heel” or “mud fever”, this is an issue caused by a bacterial and fungal infection, and it is exacerbated by routinely wet and muddy conditions.
So, what can we do, as horse owners, to alleviate this painful and problematic skin condition?
First and foremost, we must remove our horses from any perpetually wet living conditions. It’s difficult when the ground has already soaked up just about as much water as it can take, and any short period of rain causes puddling, but a good “going over” of your horse’s stall or paddock with the intention of correcting drainage and allowing for drier areas is key.
Traditionally, the second step is the actual treatment for “scratches”, which is something that can be as messy as it is taxing on both horse and horse owner. The affected areas must be kept clean and dry, and they must be treated topically. The recommended treatment is typically ointment (sometimes a variety) applied liberally, but unfortunately, this will attract dirt, which can exacerbate the condition.
Christie Ward, DVM, University of Minnesota explains, “More severe cases often require topical treatment with cream(s) that contains both antibiotic and antifungal agents, combined with dexamethasone to reduce inflammation.” This is what we are all used to, but does that mean it’s the only option for treatment?
Is there single, more versatile product for treating scratches?
Yes! Introducing the newest and best option for topical treatment of “scratches” – Well-Horse Topical Resin! The best part about this product is that it is not an ointment, which means that it will not attract dirt. Well-Horse actually provides a layer of protection over the skin, and it contains the desired antibiotic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties all in one product. This is simply the perfect product to treat “scratches” AND it’s all natural!
“Scratches” can also develop with frequent use of leg protection, which means that the performance horse is at an increased risk. Dirt and sweat accumulate under wraps and inside boots, and bacteria and fungus begin to grow…if we aren’t careful we could be getting ready to head to a show and find that we have a horse with painful skin.
Well-Horse promoter, Brian Bell (a million dollar Reining professional), has this to say: “You see, we work our horses daily in wet dirt and wash them, which made ‘scratches’ difficult to eliminate. Nothing worked,” Brian said, “until we tried Well-Horse Antibacterial Resin and Foam. Well-Horse cut the number of days to clear up the issue to only 3 days in extreme cases. Well-Horse also worked as a preventative, building a water barrier that prevents the ‘scratches’ on horses who are prone to breakouts. I love the original Well-Horse Resin, which forms a protective barrier against water and dirt, but the new Well-Horse Foam works great for hard to reach places like fetlocks.”
Well-Horse as a Preventative Measure
Now that we have officially entered our “drier season”, we must allow the wet and muddy areas to completely dry out before placing horses into the environment. It’s a good idea to check your horse’s legs, especially the backs of the fetlocks and tops of the heels, every day for signs of “scratches”. Clip the area if the hair is especially thick, and treat the affected skin with Well-Horse once per week, or as soon as you detect a problem.
You can rest assured that Well-Horse will indeed make your horse “well” again, and will help to prevent future breakouts when used as a preventative measure. Well-Horse…get yourself a bottle or two of this extremely versatile product and save yourself and your horse from unnecessary “scratches” pain and let the healing begin.