The side effects of Cyclone Debbie
The recent cyclone in Queensland and the floods that are following will no doubt have some horses painfully suffering with greasy heel, mud fever and rain scald. I am sharing here a couple of very effective, inexpensive remedies for these conditions.
Greasy Heel in horses
Greasy heel in horses is a sticky, lumpy, often thick, scabby condition to be found in and around the hollow part at the back of the horse’s hoof. See the photo to the left here. Do you like the use of all those technical words?
Simple words and thankfully a simple remedy for what can be a very nasty and very painful condition if untreated.
Your local chemist will have some sort of brand of nappy rash cream that is a plain mixture of zinc cream and castor oil. In Australia the Amcal chemist chain has a home brand version of it with a higher concentration of zinc in it that costs around four or five dollars and is the most effective.
Slather the cream on – that’s an Australian expression for get a good big amount of cream on your fingers and smear lots of that cream VERY GENTLY on the affected parts of the leg and repeat daily until it’s gone. Don’t try and rub it in – it’s way too painful for that. Just coat the rash with a thick layer of the cream and let the cream do the work.
Don’t even worry about washing the area unless it’s incredibly muddy. And if you do feel that you have to wash it, make sure you dry it well and walk your horse around until it’s really dry before you put the cream on, because you’re keeping the wet OUT not keeping it in. 🙂
You will probably start to see some improvement within a day or so. As I said – simple and effective…
Mud fever and rain scald in horses
If the rain scald or mud fever is on their back – use fine human grade Diatomaceous Earth (you can get that from Fossilpower in Queensland and they can express post it to you), gently rubbed into the affected areas. No need for washing, no need for vets, no need for antibiotics – just sprinkle the powder and rub in gently according to the horse’s tolerance for touch on it.
When the little bits of slightly infected skin lift off, they look like those in the picture on the left. The condition can go from just a few spots of hair, to losing major amount of hair like this poor horse down below. As the skin lifted off, the flesh underneath would have been wet with a little pus like the photo to the right here and the horse would start to lose condition.
Whether the horse is rugged or not, each day, gently rub off what loose skin and fur there is and sprinkle the affected area with a new amount of the Diatomaceous Earth. You’ll see some new fur growing again within a few days.