First and foremost .. WHAT are “scratches?”
Scratches, or “pastern dermatitis, dew poisoning, greasy heel, or mud fever” is caused by a variety of skin conditions including viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. Scratches can be caused by many, many things, but the biggest culprit is a wet environment. ” Constant moisture can become an irritant as it penetrates delicate skin, causing inflammation, redness, and ulcerations. (Christine Ward, DVM)” Scratches typically occur on the hind legs, and most frequently on horses with white or pink fur and skin.
Poor West gets them every. single. year. He has four white socks, and due to some belly issues and his own personal preference – he lives outside 24/7. During the summer time, his paddock is cut weekly to keep the grass down, his legs stay clipped as short as possible, and they’re towel dried frequently. For a horse who lives outside all day long, there isn’t much more we can do to prevent this nasty ailment.
Here’s a yucky “before” photo of West’s hind left leg. Obviously, this is a severe case – the worst he’s ever had. At this point in time, I was rotating products. One day I’d use Banixx, the next Coat Defense, then Blue Stuff, all with really no result or improvement.
Two weeks ago, I started using the Absorbine Fungasol line. Exclusively the Absorbine Fungasol line. I got all three products, and used the system like Absorbine recommended. This is West’s same leg after two weeks. There are still a few scabs left, but the skin is healing and new fur is growing in! He no longer has a painful, bloody, raw leg. I’m expecting it to be fully healed and good as new in another two weeks, so check back for an update to this post!
So WHAT is this miracle system?! Absorbine has created a line specifically for problems just like scratches, called Fungasol. It is designed to fight and heal fungal and bacterial skin conditions. It is a three step system to clean, treat, and protect your horse’s legs against fungus and bacteria.
Step One : Clean. Apply the Fungasol shampoo generously to your horse’s wet legs and let sit for at least twenty minutes.
This is a great time to do other things. I usually let mine sit for about thirty minutes before rinsing. West typically enjoys his VitaFloor session during this time while I clean tack or do other barn chores.
Once rinsing, make sure to immediately dry the legs. Afterall, it IS moisture that causes these skin conditions in the first place.
Step Two : Treat. Once you’ve washed and dried your horse’s legs, it’s time to treat the problem spots.
Again, apply generous amounts to anywhere on the legs where you have existing scratches. I make sure to rub it really well into the scab and the skin surrounding, because scratches do spread!
Step Three: Protect. Once you’ve washed and treated, it’s time to protect everywhere that isn’t already infected. I use the Fungasol spray to cover the backs of the heels and all around the pasterns to further prevent new scratches.
This before and after speaks for itself! Absorbine Fugnasol is now a necessary staple in my barn and I don’t think I would be able to survive summer without it! I mentioned a few of the other products I’ve tried, and obviously none of them worked like Fungasol does!
I use this three step system once daily on West, and will continue to do so all summer, or until the fungus demons go back to where they came from! While scratches are a common condition, they can lead to things much more serious like cellulitus or deep infection, so it’s so important to stay on top of them and use a product that actually works. For me, that’s Absorbine!
Click here to learn more about Absorbine’s special, patented formulas and to buy your own!