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What is this gunk on my horse's pasterns?

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  • What is this gunk on my horse's pasterns?

    So I'm a terrible horse mommy and feel horrible.. My gelding has spent the last six months at pasture, being pretty much ignored except to be grained twice a day. I gave him an all-over grooming today and realized that some of the mud on his pasterns was.. well... urgh. On three of his pasterns, he had scabby gunky mud down to the skin. It's on the inside and outside of the pasterns about an inch above the coronet, and a little bit on the back of the pasterns.

    I scraped off the scabs and it was a bit bloody, but just surface--it's not like the raw areas are deep. I rubbed copious amounts of neosporin on them and I'm not sure what else to do. I have some desitin; would using desitin alone or over neosporin be helpful? Wrapping is not an option because of where they're located. What is this called, besides being a terrible mother?

    The pasture is pretty dry at the moment, but it's supposed to start raining again in a couple days . And as it's getting warmer, bugs are starting to come out, so I really want to get this healed up ASAP. I will never neglect demudding him again.. My poor little angel..
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.

  • #2
    Sound like scratches/mud fever/etc. Looks like dirt until you get if off, then it bleeds. Yuck.

    Personally, I leave it alone and just apply the magic "CoTH" stuff... I think it's like equal amounts of neosporin (or the general stuff), Destin and anti-fungus stuff. Just do a search on here and you should be able to find the receipe.

    But, that does sound a lot like scratches. It's a pain in the butt but not a death sentence. However, you do have to be very careful as it can turn into some nasty issues.

    As EqTrainer's sig line states, wouldn't hurt to have the vet out either , but honestly sounds like scratches.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog


    • #3
      Sounds like scratches, which is fungal. Do a search on "scratches" and I think there are dozens of different strategies people use. Personally I have one mare who is prone to it in early summer, and my strategy is I do an iodine shampoo wash if I see it starting, then put athletes foot cream on (liberally) daily until it is completely gone. Like I said there are tons of different methods people say work best.


      • #4
        You can try Equiderma, it is great for scratches:

        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


        • Original Poster

          Thanks! MM, the pictures there are EXACTLY what it looks like, although my guy is apparently pretty special because his is mostly on the sides of his pasterns, rather than the back.

          I already have a mix of neosporin/lotrimin for clearing up foot fungus, so I'll slather some of that on and top it with desitin.

          Haha, if I ask my vet, he'll roll his eyes and say high speed lead would solve the problem . (My dad does my basic vet stuff and isn't particularly fond of horses, but he does like my crippled guy.)
          Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
          Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
          VW sucks.


          • #6
            I had good luck with mixing desitin with stuff like panalog, but it took a while, I would have to wipe off the mixture and reapply daily until it was healed. I have found that the Equiderma works faster.
            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


            • #7
              you have to get those scabs off, which can be a production as it is painful...then slather with your treatment du jour.
              The "COTH" remedy (which I keep mixed up in a jar in my tack locker) is desitin + neosporin/triple anti + athlete's foot cream.
              It does work!
              Scratches can be tough and I do know of at least one horse who is lame when she gets scratches. My 4-white-sock horse is sturdier than that but when I pick his scabs off you'd think I was amputating a leg....
              so it is painful in its way!
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • #8
                My poor boy can get it all the way up his cannon bones (my old barn referred to it as "cannon crud"). Be careful that you don't mix remedies, like betadine and Micro-tek when used too closely together can cause burning and blistering. Once you choose a remedy, stick with it.


                • #9
                  I keep a container with a mix of Desitin and Neosporin (equal parts) handy. It works great!
                  Y'all ain't right!


                  • #10
                    I've recently been having great luck with just zinc oxide. It's the first thing I've tried that's made a big difference.

                    I see the Equiderma site posted above has a medicated zinc oxide paste for scratches which I think I'll try.


                    • #11
                      Here we go again ...

                      Your poor horses.

                      I recommend to OP do a search on "scratches" on this forum before torturing her horse scrubbing his legs, picking scabs, and using random internet concoctions.
                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                      • #12
                        I have a horse that had persistent scratches since last August (we had a ton of rain last year). I generally use MTG with excellent results but this time when these started up, it angered the scratches. So I started doing all the Desitin mixes I'd read on here. It would get a little better but never clear up. I tried Nolvasan scrub, Tea Tree oil, Fungasol, etc. Everything I could think of I tried. Copper and Zinc were added to the diet. Nothing. Tried Omega Horseshine. That helped a bit but still didn't clear it. The horse was even on antibiotics for it. So, I bought a bottle of Krudbuster. That seemed to do a wonderful job. It would get it cleared up, but missing a couple of days the little scabs would come back. Then I decided to try the MTG again. Worked like a charm. I put it on him about twice a week just to make sure nothing is lurking but so far he hasn't had any scabs in about two weeks (knocks feverishly on wood). It's taken this long to get it under control. I've had this horse all his life (he's 10) and he's had scratches a couple of times, but nothing like this. Pain in the arse is what it was.

                        MTG works great for a lot of horses but can blister and burn others. It would normally be my first recommendation but some horses do have issues with it. You'd know within 24 hours generally if the horse was going to have a problem with it though. Might be worth getting a little bottle and putting it on one small area to test.


                        • #13
                          We have a lot of horses with white legs - they get it if they go into the field that has a very wet area - we are careful that they only go out there once in a while and wash them down asap when they come in.

                          But before we knew about mud fever we had 8 of them all with it on all four legs - had never seen it before, but they had never had access to that field before.

                          So we use equal parts hemmoriod cream and triple antibiotic - don't pick the scabs off - rub the cream into the scabs - it will soften the scabs up and then they will come off without any pain.

                          The vet also has a pink cream that works well.