How To Treat Scratches in Horses with Banixx
What are scratches in horses?
Mud Fever? Or Pastern Dermatitis?
First of all, let’s establish “What are Scratches in Horses”. Scratches is a dire, escalating condition caused by a fungus: Sporotrichum Schenki to be exact. It’s a chronic and progressive, painful equine dermatitis/inflammation that infects the deeper layers of skin in the heel, fetlock, and pasterns of horses. In mild cases, it makes your horse sore and tender but in more advanced cases, your horse will not want to move and may be lame.
Horse Scratches are also known by other names such as Mud Fever, Dew Poisoning, Greasy Heel or Pastern Dermatitis.
Even though equine Scratches generally begin with fungus as the culprit, it may progress into a secondary bacterial infection. It starts as a small, pinkish ulceration in the plantar pastern and develops into sores with black crusty scabs that can ooze puss and cause hair loss and edema. If left untreated, bacteria can invade inner tissue and even vascular and lymphatic vessels. When this occurs, the whole lower leg may swell and can often lead to lameness.
How to Get Rid of & Treat Horse Scratches
Who is a popular target and why?
Climate and Moisture
Horses that spend copious amounts of time in damp, muddy pastures or who are frequently exposed to heavy, early morning dew are prime targets. This is because the skin of their lower legs, pasterns, and heels is subjected to constant wetting and drying that robs the skin of natural oils. The process leaves the skin dried out, flaky and undermined. Once weakened, it’s easy for some small infection to take up residence and the next thing you know, your equine has a case of Scratches!
Hygiene and Work Environment
Scratches is a frequent, pesky infection for show horses of any breed, who generally receive more baths than their pasture counterparts but, who also tend to work in rings, or simply, a warm, moist environment, where large quantities of manure have intermingled with the sand base over time. The gritty sand alone can irritate the sensitive skin and cause micro tears for the bacteria to enter. Poor stable/stall hygiene may also be a contributing factor.
Breed & Color
Scratches on horses are more common in equines who have white legs or socks because the unpigmented skin is more susceptible to chafing and abrasion, which opens the way for this infection. This malady is confined to a horse’s lower limbs because blood flow in a horse’s legs is somewhat weaker and good blood flow is essential for rapid, reliable sustained healing. Feathered legs, that are found predominantly in heavier breeds, such as draft, draft mix or Gypsy Vanners can also encourage scratches. Heavy feathers set up the perfect storm for infection since they trap dirt and moisture combined.
Success for Slim and his Horse Scratches Treatment
Slim, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred-cross, recently got a case of Horse Scratches. Lindsey, Slim’s owner, was only able to treat Slim every alternate day with Banixx for his Scratches so this resulted in a slower outcome. The results speak for themselves. Note, that, along with a rapid decrease in redness and irritation, there is also a marked reduction in swelling in the pastern/ankle area.
While we generally recommend treating Scratches twice per day, am and pm, we realize that busy schedules do not always allow for this. Lindsey now keeps an eye open for any sign of redness or puffiness around Slim’s pasterns and is right there with Banixx at any suspicion of trouble.
What Causes Scratches on Horses?
Although horse Scratches is caused by a fungus, it can also have a bacterial component in more advanced stages. The fungus thrives on organic matter as it finds its way into tiny breaks in the horse’s skin. Other sources of irritation that lead to Scratches include: insects and parasites causing irritation and subsequent infection; dry, cracked skin that is continually aggravated by the horse’s motion; ringworm (which is also a fungus); and infection of the hair follicles with Staphylococcal bacteria. Fortunately, since Banixx is not only anti-fungal but antibacterial, it’s the ideal product for treatment of any equine scratches. Moreover it’s well-tolerated because it comes along with no odor and no sting/burn
So, how do I treat Scratches in Horses?
It’s important to note that there are different approaches to resolving horse Scratches, including the use of harsh chemical mixtures, often containing iodine, alcohol, or tea tree oil that dry out, irritate and weaken the tissue. The danger with this harsh approach is not only the further weakening of tissue but also that it’s necessary to eradicate 100% of the infectious cells; otherwise, the organisms will mutate and continue to thrive. Such chemicals may also cause your horse considerable discomfort in the form of stinging or burning so that he ends up being difficult to treat. Treatment difficulties may result in less consistent treatment and a prolonging of the infection.
A more benign and successful approach to horse Scratches is to carefully clip any excess or long hair away from the infected area, taking care not to break the skin. It is preferred that you do not attempt to pick off the scabs; these are Nature’s protective band-aids and removal will not only be painful for your horse but leave the skin at risk for further infection. Gently wash the affected areas with Banixx Medicated Shampoo. Pat the areas dry and apply Banixx spray as a gentle, topical treatment, since it will not burn or sting and will promote a quicker recovery. The removal of scabs is unnecessary because a few days of consistent treatment with Banixx spray will cause the scabs to fall off naturally, having cleared the infection beneath them. As a final application, you may also finish the process by applying Banixx antimicrobial Wound Care Cream that contains premiere marine collagen and sets up like a protective, moisturizing bandaid over the area.
Banixx has both anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties that work quickly and painlessly to get rid of and treat scratches. Additionally, the treatment does not cause angst for your horse because Banixx has no odor or foreign scent to alarm your horse, and, even better, has no burn or sting upon application. For best results, keep the horse in a dry, clean environment for as long as possible but also, notably, a situation where he is readily moving since movement will stimulate blood flow and subsequent healing. As always, consistency of treatment is Key to good results; daily attention is a must for success.
How to prevent your horse from getting scratches
- Be watchful…Since Scratches can quickly escalate into a raging infection that can even cause lameness, know that there are conditions, as described earlier, that are more likely to foster the syndrome. At first signs of any soreness or redness in the pastern or ankle area, be proactive.
- Dry your horse’s legs thoroughly before putting him up in a stall and apply a tissue-friendly anti-fungal such as Banixx.
- Avoid early morning turnout when there is heavy dew.
- Use dry, clean wraps/boots around the infected areas and keep each horse’s boots separate.
- Keep your stalls clean and dry.
- Regularly clean and disinfect all equipment.
Recent Customer Testimonial
I run a private small time rescue in Floresville, Texas. I started using your Banixx product for some rain rot on some of the horses that had been rescued and sent to me. I recently took in a Draft horse that had numerous scrapes and Chronic Progressive Lymphedema.
After only 3 days of treatment---LOOK!--- a massive change has taken place---amazing---thank you for such a wonderful product!Nickol Sullivan
Remedy Ranch Rescue
Customer 5-star comments saying Banixx
is the best treatment for Horse Scratches
“We got a new horse recently. First experience with a chestnut and he has white socks. Discovered he had scratches – never had with other horses. This works the best of everything we’ve tried. The goop that has Furazone in it is sticky and bedding sticks to”By S. Kirkland (Amazon Customer)
“Love this stuff for for healing the “scratches” fungus that appear on my horses pasterns & fetlocks during the heavy dew season. Easy to use, non stinging, (so the horses don’t mind), & keeps well in storage when not in use”By Tammy, Chewy Customer)
“I have used this product for everything from small nics, scrapes and cuts to Scratches…no burning for them and peace of mind for me. Works wonders. It also comes in a travel size that comes in handy on the road. I aleays have a spare bottle on hand so I don’t run out.”By Smart Pak Customer)