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chafed front ankles from laying down in stall

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  • chafed front ankles from laying down in stall

    I have had several horses who scurf the front of their ankles and cause a sore, because they lay down at night. Of course, most of these horses somehow walk all the shavings/beddings to the sides of the stalls by the time they lay down at night,even (leaving the middle of the stall sort of bare where they lay down). I clean their stalls and rearrange bedding twice a day, once in the evening. So heavier bedding won't work. I do have rubber stall mats in each stall too.

    Is there a good kind of "ankle wrap" they could wear at night to prevent them from rubbing the front of their ankles on the bottom of the mats and scrufing their skin. Is there a certain kind of ointment I can put on their little sores. Any other suggestions. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Well, quite honestly, even with stall walkers, I have never had an issue with rubs if there is enough bedding in the stalls. The fact that you're having this issue with multiple horses makes me think that might be your problem.


    • #3
      FYI, a lot of horses get rubs at the front of their fetlocks because they aren't laying down to get proper sleep, and instead fall asleep standing up and buckle onto their fetlocks or knees.

      Upside-down bell boots can be quite effective for the rubs.
      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


      • #4
        Personally, I would try bedding deeper. At least 6 inches. Or maybe try straw.
        come what may

        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


        • #5
          Older horses can find getting up and down difficult and do not get enough REM sleep, and eventually they buckle and mark up their fetlocks. Deeper bed and front boots helps. This can happen when dozing in the cross ties so they need to be supervised when tied, or when dozing outside too.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


          • #6
            There are several threads on this. I have found some success with bedsore boots. Mine are in paddocks, not stalls, and I have two with this problem. I have added large piles of pelleted wood shavings and it only worked with one horse. I don't know if the other one is just not too bright or what, but she continues to choose the hardest spots in the paddock to lie down or roll, so I bandage her sores with cotton pads and put bedsore boots on top. It sort of works.

            Eventually, every part of her large paddock will have soft bedding so she will be forced to use it.

            I second the advice about deep bedding and the REM sleep. If they avoid lying down because it is uncomfortable, they will eventually get so tired they will fall down. At least you could experiment with one horse and double the bedding for a few weeks and see if you find a benefit.
            "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


            • #7
              Bed the edges some up the wall and middle of the stall with a small mound and see what happens.
              They may scuff some of it to the edges, but still have enough to lay without getting to the mats.
              Watch for casting, in case some do roll and end up legs up against a wall even with that edge there.

              If you have an outside pen, dump some sand in a low mound, so they can lay down and get up easier on the side of the mound.


              • #8
                Sonny would get sores on his hocks in the winter from the cinder block wall at one barn and stone foundation in another barn, no sores at the all wood stalled barn. I found AluShield seemed to help the sores the most of any product I tried
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                • #9
                  Yes, a lot of horses get these. Do not take it personally.
                  One or two laps of vetrap and upside down bell boots or (normally applied fly raps) will help. Best


                  • #10
                    As others have stated, the type of sores you are describing are very frequently the result of horses NOT laying down at night for proper REM sleep and buckling/falling instead.

                    I've also seen it on multiple horses when boarding at a place that used really coarse shavings (like, chopped up pallets that were very hard/splintery). So maybe this could be the problem if more than one horse has the sores?


                    • #11
                      More bedding is your answer. You seem opposed to that since you say you clean out and rearange twice per day, but your horse is telling you he is not comfortable...by either bed sores, or falls from not lying down.

                      Pack in a thick layer, and you can still poop scoop multiple times per day with a more thorough clean out once a day. A bit of moisture in the bottom of a stall actually helps keep the bedding together. A thicker pack provides more cushion, and provides more traction for getting up and down. A thicker pack also absorbs much more urine so you are less likely to get pee stains.



                      • #12
                        Hum, I had not heard about fetlock sores being the result of falling down before.

                        I have to say, they are fairly common out here in CA where the ground is HARD come august.

                        I am battling them right now with my mare. She has a stall plus attached paddock. The stall is bedded, but she often likes to lay out in the paddock, especially if it is a sunny day (loves to sun). The paddock is very hard (bad for summer, great for winter as it drains and does not get muddy) - and it has resulted in hock and fetlock sores.

                        I have started adding "CedaRest" to her paddock (4 - 6 inches thick, in an aprox. 10 foot wide circle) to give her a soft place to lay out there. So far it seems to be helping - but I have to re-pile it daily, as she paws at it.

                        The sores could be from falling down - or they could be from hard ground. Some of the pasture horses get these in the summer, and I see them laying and sleeping often - I don't think it is a lack of sleep issue for them, but a hard ground issue.
                        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                        • #13
                          Like Appsolute, I have a mare who likes to sun bathe on the hardest/highest point of her attached paddock. It is adjacent to my bedroom, so if I add anything like Cedarest or sand, come Santa Ana winds, guess where that ends up? Besides the fact that it just doesn't like to stay at the crowned point in the paddock. Not sure if her being alpha is why she prefers to lie at a lookout point, vs the nice oversized stall.

                          Anyway, right now they are the worst they have ever been so I try to keep her wrapped, but the wound looks gooey/ almost proud fleshy despite trying both antibiotic ointments and wound powder. It looks a lot better if I leave it unwrapped, but of course as soon as she goes down it busts open. I tried wrapping during the day and off at night, which works for a few days till she decides to lay down at night as well. Do I just leave it wrapped till it is completely healed? Will it heal if it keeps seeming goopy?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by candico View Post
                            Like Appsolute, I have a mare who likes to sun bathe on the hardest/highest point of her attached paddock. It is adjacent to my bedroom, so if I add anything like Cedarest or sand, come Santa Ana winds, guess where that ends up? Besides the fact that it just doesn't like to stay at the crowned point in the paddock. Not sure if her being alpha is why she prefers to lie at a lookout point, vs the nice oversized stall.

                            Anyway, right now they are the worst they have ever been so I try to keep her wrapped, but the wound looks gooey/ almost proud fleshy despite trying both antibiotic ointments and wound powder. It looks a lot better if I leave it unwrapped, but of course as soon as she goes down it busts open. I tried wrapping during the day and off at night, which works for a few days till she decides to lay down at night as well. Do I just leave it wrapped till it is completely healed? Will it heal if it keeps seeming goopy?
                            I feel for you, as it is something I am struggling with too.

                            FWIW, I am in So Cal also, with very hard dirt in my paddocks. My mare with the sleep problems liked a pile of straw, but it was such a mess with cleaning, waste because a lot of the clean straw gets thrown away with the dirty, and blowing around by the winds. The stable hands hated it.

                            Before that I tried different sizes of shavings but they blew around too much.

                            Someone recommended those compressed wood pellets that you add water to and I love them. I bought about ten bags (per paddock) to start and every month I add two or three more. I fill the bags with water, dump them, then water more and leave them in a pile for the horses to mess with. For some reason, horses like piles. The pellets do not blow away. The pee spots stay in a discrete area. It's easy to pick manure. The one mare who uses them has almost completely healed.

                            My horses are in big paddocks (relative to many California places), the smallest is 40'x100', and rather than fill the whole thing right away I am building on two areas, two piles in each paddock, and slowly adding to the diameter of the spots. Like I said above, one horse uses the soft piles and one does not, but eventually, the whole paddock will be padded.
                            "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                            • #15
                              Ah yes, PeteyPie, I have loved pelleted bedding since they first became available here. They are fabulous, but I unfortunately discovered that once the Santa Ana's really kick in, especially for several days in a row, plus with our zero humidity, it was impossible to keep them wet enough to stay put. We did a 48 x48 with them, but they entirely vanished during a week of Santa Ana's. I'm not even in an area that gets them that bad! Plus during El Niño years they would get really mucky and slick compared to Cedarest. Up north, Mallard shavings do offer a cedar chip that is heavier, but can't seem to get it down here.
                              My favorite was long ago they made a heavier bedding made of juniper chips/shavings. They really would mesh and mat down really nicely and lasted forever!
                              I will look into bedsore boots as I think even wrapped, the impact of her going down still keeps the wound from healing. I've tried adding a small tack sponge over the gamgee bandage over the wound which helps for a day or two till it looks rather squashed. She is an EPSM horse, otherwise I'd just lock her in a well bedded stall till she heals.
                              To the OP, all I can say is it is better to work on preventing them than trying to heal them, for sure.


                              • #16
                                I've used upside down bell boots with shearling trim (no rubs around pastern) to cover the pointy part of the front of the fetlock. This mare is bedded deep on a comfort stall mattress floor (dubbed "seally posturepedic")

                                We worked with a designer of hind brush boots made of neoprene, which work really well UPSIDE-down. we've used them for years with very loose duct tape. Have many pairs so there are always clean ones, especially as my mare's trailer accident left her with a wound on that exact pointy spot.

                                Here's a link: https://www.equipro.com/Scalping_Boots.html
                                you just flip them upside down, if you're horse is designer who "plays" with wardrobe, a little tape, not tight, can be used to keep the velco shut.


                                • Original Poster

                                  fetlock rubs

                                  mareslave, what are scalping boots actually used for. Just curious.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by blueribbonpanel View Post
                                    mareslave, what are scalping boots actually used for. Just curious.
                                    At the very bottom of the ad it says, "Equipro Scalping Boots are used on the hind feet to protect the coronet bands."

                                    Those look great.
                                    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                    • #19
                                      One of my boarders uses the boots that mareslave has the link to. They work very well and are easy to use. I alternate between two pairs because I clean them after each use.

                                      I keep them on the horse during stall/paddock time. IMO, they are worth getting!


                                      • #20
                                        Ordered, thank you for the link. My horse has an old scar at just that crucial point on the fetlock, and he has managed to rip it open two years running now.