I just got my Clydesdale last week so am very new to draft breeds. I was washing his legs trying to get all of the mud out of his feathers and I felt some strange almost hook-like projections at the back of each leg (around the fetlock area). They are on all 4 legs and upon further investigation appear to be black. Are these normal? If not, any idea what it could be? I tried googling but wasn't really sure what to look up.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Clydesdales. It sounds like your horse has a case of scratches. Very prevelent in clydes, Shires and Gypsies. It is an ongoing battle. Ask your Vet, ask the local vet university, ask anyone, You will get a different answer from all. My remedy, was wash and scrub his legs, I used iodine soap, let feet dry about 10 min till water doesn't drip anymore, then srpay with a bottle of Frontline spray, you get it from the dog vet. One bottle does about 2 applications, 8 legs on a draft. That is just the beginning, if it gets worse there are medications that can be given. I used the prescriptions given to me by the vet from the Anheuser-Bush Clydesdales. And it was still a constant battle.
Thanks, I had initially thought that may be what it was but I emailed the breeder (who I did not get the horse from but who connected me to the seller) and described what I was finding she acted like scratches would be more red and raw looking.
I will google some more on them. Perhaps these are just like this because they went so long without care from the previous owners? Is this something that I may need to take him to the vet for?
Scratches can be crusted over and black, it can be red and raw. It needs to be treated, or the leg can swell, horse can go lame, etc. Some cases the vet may be needed but if there's no swelling or lameness and it's minimal, you can treat it yourself if the horse tolerates it.
The horny hook protrusions are the start of them, the raw oozyness comes later. I have always understood them to be caused by a mite and the protrusions you are seeing are the skins reaction to this mite.
As I have said before, you will get a different answer and explanation from almost all you ask. I would try and find a breeder of clydes and ask them what they recomend, ask your personal vet and do some research and try and get a handle on this, in my experiece it gets worse with age.
Didn't even think of that !!! Scratches do have greasy horn like protrusions but you are mostlikelly right about the ergots.
If it walks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Laughing at myself for not seeing the forest through the trees!!