I went out to see Herself a few nights ago, and noticed the onset of scratches. *headdesk*
Scratches can be a big deal, if you let it go. Pretty much, the skin on the horses pastern (which is a flex point) will crack, like your lips in the winter time, if you don’t keep them hydrated. Since the pastern is low to the ground, the hair there often collects dirt and grime. When the horse flexes, the chapped bits crack – like when you smile with your chapped lips- and the grime is free to weasel it’s way into the cracks and the micro-organisms have a grime party. Yuck.
Treatment is pretty easy. Clean the area really well with a gentle soap (I use baby soap), clip the hair short, and make sure that it’s dry all the way, with the scabs picked off (ick). Then you can goop a variety of different choices onto the spot. I prefer Desitin, but anything that will promote healing while keeping moisture out is okay. For bad cases some vets might recommend a course of SMZ’s to help keep the infection at bay. ***I’m not a vet, and ALWAYS consult with a professional when you seek a course of treatment, especially if that treatment requires antibiotics.***
Some other names for scratches: mud fever, pastern dermatitis, dew poisoning, greasy heel.
I personally call it “The Yuck”. Blech.
Anyways, back to the story. I asked the barn owner to keep Willow in until I could get her all cleaned up, then armed myself with various gunk and up I went. She was in by herself, and I was surprised to see her just chilling. Normally if I have to bring her in for anything and her friends are outside, she is a total nutbag. I tied her to the wall and started to doctor her all up. Wasn’t I shocked when she just stood there, totally zen, while I scrubbed, clipped, and just generally made an annoyance of myself. She was happy to stand with her foot in the air for however long I required it.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was fully prepared to go into battle royale!
After I got her all cleaned up, I untied her, expecting grumpy gills to pin her ears at me and go back to her food. Instead she turned, stuck her nose in my neck and whuffled at me. Huh?! Did the aliens beam you up and replace you with a sweet horse?! Or maybe I’m actually starting to get through to her. We snuggled with each other for 4-5 minutes, with her making soft nickering noises into my neck. Then she gave me a nudge and wandered off to eat her hay.
I’ll take it! I don’t think that I’ve stopped smiling since! 🙂 She DOES like me. We’ll see if we can keep the streak up for her pedicure this morning, which I am off to now!
Have a great day y’all!