“Scratches in horses” refers to a common equine fungal skin condition, which is generally found on the lower legs of a horse. It results in the creation of cracked, crusted, scabby areas and can lead to open sores. At times horse scratches will progress to the point where the horse’s legs swell and it could become lame.
Scratches in horses should be taken seriously and must be treated. Treatment for horse scratches generally includes cleaning the affected area thoroughly with an antibacterial or antifungal wash followed by isolation of the area by wrapping the afflicted skin in surgical gauze to keep it clean. The dressings of the wounds should be changed regularly and should be accompanied by regular application of a salve to work to continue to clear and cure the scratches.
I highly recommend using Dr. Rose Remedies, as our treatment salve and spray are all-natural products which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti scarring. They work to promote the healing of skin rashes, relieve inflammation and irritation, promote the healing of wounds, and moisturize the skin of the horse. Because it has so many healing qualities and uses all natural ingredients, Dr. Rose’s Remedies Skin Treatment is effective at treating, clearing, and curing scratches in horses.
While spending as much time as possible at pasture can be good mentally for your horse, if you live in an area with wet or very humid conditions, your horse might be at risk of contracting a bacterial skin disease commonly known as “rain rot.” Rain rot or rain scald is caused by bacterial infection, and it often is mistaken for a fungal disease.
It’s easy to diagnose rain rot, generally on visual confirmation of the skin lesions alone, but a more definite diagnosis can be made by examining a skin scraping for Gram-positive bacteria under a microscope or by culturing the bacteria. Horses with long winter coats will develop paintbrush lesions (raised, matted tufts of hair) along their dorsal surfaces, which include the neck, withers, back, and croup, as well as on the lower limbs. Light-skinned areas are usually more severely affected. As the lesions get larger and join together, they will progress to a crust or scab formation that when removed will expose yellow-green pus between the necrotic and living skin layers. If rubbed, the ‘bumps’ might rub off in the form of scabs with a small, hairless spot of skin showing.
Most acute cases of rain rot can heal on their own; however, I recommend treating even minor cases because the lesions can spread and worsen. The lesions also interfere with use (especially if they are located along the horse’s back or withers) and they can be painful for the horse.