Search This Blog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Scratches/ Mud Fever

F?or us, it's the time of year where scratches/mud fever pops up. Since Fire has those super pink legs with the pink skin (since he's pinto), he is susceptible to things like this. Tie that to the fact that he just can't go without going outside with his buddies almost every night into the pasture, and you get this horrid fungus foot issue. "Scratches" is a term that refers to a skin problem on the lower legs of horses, caused by a fungus (and sometimes complicated by bacteria). The affected area becomes crusted, scabby and thickened, creating bumps and sometimes open sores. In severe cases the affected skin may ooze or the whole lower leg may swell, and the horse may become lame.

Since it can be such a complicated issue, everyone seems to have their own method of trying to fix scratches, and there seems to be no one method that works with all horses, or works 100% of the time. So, since Fire is currently laid up with a nasty bout of scratches (pictures included are of random horses, not Fire) I thought that I would compile common methods to help "fix" what has now made my poor pony lame.

Before I do post the methods, it does seem to be most common that people are in agreement that the area should be kept first and foremost DRY. If you can keep the horse from being in wet areas, great. If the horse must get its legs wet, they then must be dried as soon as possible, and then kept in a dry clean stall. The majority also agree that the area needs to be kept clean with antibacterial soap, washed just about daily. There are a few people that say they don't wash the legs in their method, but the majority say it is pertinent to keeping the fungus and bacteria at bay. As far as removing the scabs, it seems as though the consensus is that once you can get them soft, if you can gently remove them that is preferred and the more common approach as well. However, again, some people believe in allowing the scabs to drop themselves. Alright.. now onto the methods:

- very common: 4oz of Desitin (40% zinc oxide), 2oz of Neosporin, and 2oz of cortizone cream, some say do scrub, some say do not scrub, all say keep the area clean with a antibacterial wash. (this is similar to Panalog creme, but a lot cheaper)

- also common: a mix of nitrofurazone, DMSO and thiabendazole (a cattle wormer that is also a good fungicide)

- the "old" common method: "Bluecoat" sprayed for a few days until it washes off (methylene blue mixture).

- some people use a product called "Shapley's Original M-T-G" the ingredients are not listed on the bottle, but have been determined to be: Petroleum distillates, sulfur 4%, zinc stearate, glycerin, cade oil rectified.

- Hibitane slathered over scratches, not washed off.

- put a bread bag on the horse's foot, pour a can of sauerkraut in it (with juice) and tape it up and leave it for 2-3 days.

- mix up Zink Creme (diaper rash) with sulfur powder and apply on cleaned and dry scratches.

- wash with antibacterial soap and then apply a spray of 50/50 bleach and water

- French recipe:1 part Imaverol 1 part corticosteroid creme 1 part baby creme 1 part vaseline.

- Soak in epson salt and water or providine and water and scrubbing. Then apply a 1:1:1 mixture of DMSO, fenbendazole, and furazone and wrap it with vet wrap. (many disagree with the wrap)

- 1) diaper rash ointment, 2) triple antibiotic ointment, 3) hydrocortisone cream

- In a container with a tightly sealing lid, mix: 1 tube 1% hydrocortisone cream, 1 tube 2% miconazole cream (found in a 7 day vaginal yeast infection treatment kit, just throw away the applicators), 1 tube 20% Zinc Oxide Ointment (like Original Desitin – NOT the creamy version), 1 teaspoon-ish of nitrofurazone ointment. Mix well, label the container. The mixture should be a light yellow color. Place on washed and dried legs, wipe off later and reapply, do not rewash.

1 comment:

  1. For an amazing, professional, Veterinarian developed treatment that works every time, see the above copywrited photo with address or visit: