Protect . . . the helpful addition for any stable or farm
Living in the Yarra Valley....who could ask for better? Until the wet sets in and greasy heel and mud fever become an all too common a problem.
Last winter, our three part-bred horses contracted mud fever on and off. Treating them helped us better understand how to deal with this Australia wide problem. We would like to share with you how we deal with clearing up these conditions.
Ask for advice Although we received conflicting information, (from scrub the infected areas to leave the scabs alone) by trial and error we found a method which worked for us.
Keep an eagle eye out for any outbreak on horse’s heels and legs. One day all seemed fine and the horse’s legs were clean, and by the next morning scabs had started forming overnight. (Maybe a slight exaggeration, but it seemed like that!)
Wash the affected scabs and areas with a good antibacterial wash. It helps to first use warm salt water to get the mud off, but avoid rubbing the scabs. Apply the appropriate wash and leave for a few minutes to soak in. Next, dry the area with a towel. It is not a bad idea to clip the hair around the scabs and affected area, but this depends how bad the outbreak is.
DO NOT RUB OR SCRUB SCABS. In our experience, if scabs are scrubbed off the surrounding skin becomes very sensitive and bleeding may occur. This leads to even more problems, and the horses start to object to you touching anywhere near the area.
Once the area is dry apply Pro-tect Cream. Use rubber gloves for the whole procedure, not only to avoid spreading germs, but also as the sulphur in Pro-tect will discolour jewellery.
Wash the affected area for a few days and apply the cream once a day. By the second or third day, you can stop washing and only apply a small amount of Pro-tect when necessary. Because the cream is water resistant (even though it seems to have disappeared) it will remain on the skin for quite a decent amount of time
As I write this article I’m treating my hunter Tim, who has some scabs on his near hind heel. I was able to start treating it quickly and it looks like it will be healed by mid-week.
We have also used the cream on general cuts and abrasions as it keeps the skin soft and pliable. Because it’s water resistant, the cream stays on for longer periods too.
We can only hope that this winter is not as bad as last season for outbreaks of greasy heel and mud fever.