Sunday, February 10, 2013


I've got a wicked, lingering cold.  The whole family has it, actually.  It's never fun to be sick, but it's especially un-fun to have a whole household of sickies.  That's our first plague.


The second plague is mud.  Nor'easter Nemo just dumped a bunch of rain on us, which is better than snow, but still not what we needed.  This has been a wet winter, and there's mud everywhere.  Which brought on plague #3: scratches.

Double Yuck. This picture is pre-cleaning, but a few days into treatment. 

Scratches, sometimes called "mud fever" or "dew poisoning", is a skin condition that develops when a horse's legs are exposed to wet conditions for too long.  Too much moisture causes the skin to become chapped and flaky.  It is not actually caused by a bacteria or fungi, as many believe, but the damaged skin makes it easier for bacteria and fungi to invade.  Those infections are secondary to the scratches and need to be treated separately.

If you catch it before secondary infections set in it's fairly easy to treat.  Since the cause is chapped skin,  the best treatment is a balm to prevent chapping.  My go-to balm is baby diaper rash cream.  It's made to protect babies' delicate skin from wetness and chafing and also to prevent secondary skin infections, which makes it perfect for treating scratches.

I like this one, partly because it has a funny name.  Also because it contains balsam, a gentle ant-septic.

One thing you shouldn't do is clean the affected area a million times a day with harsh cleansers.  That's going to dry the skin out further and make things much worse.  For Spider's mild case, I washed it once with a gentle tea tree oil cleanser to get the flakes and loose hair off, then slathered on some Butt Paste. Every day after that, I've just cleaned it up with an alcohol/fragrance free wet wipe and applied more Butt Paste. This is the exact same treatment as for diaper rash in a baby, by the way.  I'm always amazed at the overlap between horse care and child care.

Since his skin isn't inflamed or oozing, there is no heat and he isn't reactive to having it touched, I know he doesn't have a secondary infection.  Had he developed any of those symptoms, I would have called the vet to get some prescription ointment.  From the picture above, you can see it's healing nicely and the hair is even starting to grow in again.

Plague #4 isn't really a bad plague, it's just that viral time-suck of modern existence.... Facebook.  On a lark, I made Spider his own Facebook page.  I blame cold medicine and wine for my lapse in judgement.  But, then I thought about it and figured it might be kind of fun.  Don't worry, I won't post lame statuses in my horse's voice.  Actually, I plan to use it to post fun or interesting articles and videos, quick training updates, pictures from around the farm, and other silly things that don't really need their own blog post.  I'll post blog updates there, too. So feel free to "like" Spider on Facebook for even more Spider and Shannon shenanigans.  The link is in the sidebar to the right.


  1. I use Desitan, but I like your stuff's ingredients. I also have a prescription formula from the vet if need be. The cool thing about the diaper rash stuff is that it doesn't tend to wash off in the wet so it protects really well.

    I will like Spider's page soon. Facebook does have its good side...and its bad.

  2. The mud is the pits. I have been taking Harley in and grooming him in his stall so that the bedding would absorb some of the moisture from his feet. So far no scratches, but I am definitely not having fun scrubbing the dried and wet mud from his long, winter, leg hairs. I am actually happy to have a blanket to keep his body clean, even though I do not usually think of using it for that purpose.

    The "butt paste" packaging is hilarious! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Rain/mud.... can't live with it, can't live without it.

  4. Using baby butt cream for horses!! Love it! I'm sure my little goober won't mind if some of her butt cream dissapears hahaha, not that she needs it very often. :)

  5. I hope all of your plagues go away soon... well not the Facebook one. I like that one. :D

    My whole family has had a cold too and now I have this annoying lingering cough. Grr! So I literally feel your pain. Feel better soon!


Thanks for your comments! I love them, even though I'm really bad at replying. (Sorry! I always say I'm going to work on that, but then I get distracted...... Hey is that a squirrel?)

I've turned off the word verification because it's hard to read and annoying. But, I'm also too lazy to approve comments, so now it's a free for all. Please note: If you spam my blog, I will spam you back. Literally. I will hunt you down and pelt you with canned meat until you beg for mercy. So, please, no spam!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...