Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bethel, Ohio USA
• Horses: 0
Common names include scratches, mud fever, dew poisoning or greasy heel. It's all equine pastern dermatitis verrucosa. Specific etiology is unknown but the pathology is almost always associated with wet environments. Occurrence rates seem to increase in the spring. Light colored horses are more susceptible as are heavy horses with feathers.
Successful treatment improves with dry conditions. Shave the hair in the infected area and treat topically with a betadine (or any astringent) wash once a day.
If the problem worsens (ulceration, scabs, etc), it may be necessary to include a topical antibiotic/antimicrobial to the effected area. If inflammation is present, a dexamethasone steriodal may prove helpful.
Treatment effectiveness is dramatically reduced if the horse is left in a wet, muddy environment.