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How to Prevent and Treat Scratches in Horses?

how to prevent and treat scratches in horses


Horses can get cratches (also known as mud fever) which is a common skin condition. This is due to a bacterial infection. It causes inflammation and painful lesions in the legs and lower bodies of horses. This can lead to horses becoming lame and can be very serious. This article will provide an overview on how to treat and prevent scratches in horses.

What causes scratches in horses?

Dermatophilus congolensis is a bacteria that causes ratches in horses. This bacteria can be found in wet and muddy environments. The bacteria can cause painful lesions if horses’ legs come into contact with moisture and mud. Contact with contaminated items, such as grooming tools or tack, can also cause scratches in horses.

Prevention of Horse Scratches

There are several things you can do to prevent horses from getting scratched. It is essential to ensure that the horse’s legs are dry and clean. You can do this by grooming your horse regularly and using a moisturizing cream. It is also important to keep the horse’s environment free from mud and other debris. It is essential to apply waterproof barrier cream to horses who are exposed to wet or muddy conditions.

The Environment under Control

You must also control the horse’s environment. To protect the horse from the elements, provide adequate shelter such as a stall, run-in shed or stall. It is also important to provide ample bedding for the horse to keep it dry and comfortable in its stall.

Proper Grooming

It is essential to clean the legs and lower bodies of your horse when grooming. To avoid contamination, grooming tools and tack must be regularly cleaned and disinfected. It is also important to use the correct grooming products and tools to avoid skin irritation.

Treatment of scratches in horses

It is crucial to see a veterinarian immediately if a horse develops scratches. The vet will likely recommend antibiotics to treat the condition. He may also suggest a lotion or ointment to reduce inflammation and discomfort. To reduce swelling and irritation, the vet might recommend soaking the affected areas in Epsom salt baths.

Keep the Area Clean

It is crucial to dry the area affected after a horse has been diagnosed. You can do this by washing the horse with medicated shampoo, and drying it with a towel. It is also important to keep the area clean and free from dirt and mud.

Managing Horses’ Diet

While the horse is healing from scratches, it is important to maintain a healthy diet. To boost the horse’s immune system, it should be fed a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals. It is also important that the horse gets enough exercise and rest to speed up healing.


What are the signs and symptoms of scratches in horses

Painful lesions on the legs and lower body are the most common sign of horse scratches. Other symptoms include redness, swelling, hair loss, itching, and itching.

How long does it take horses for scratches to heal?

Horse scratches can take a while to heal depending on how severe the infection is and what treatment was used. It can generally take between a few days and several weeks for lesions to heal completely.


Horse scratches can be serious and debilitating. You can prevent scratches in horses by making sure that the horse’s legs are clean and dry, and to control the horse’s environment. To ensure a quick recovery, it is crucial to get veterinary attention for any horse that develops scratches. These steps can be taken to prevent and treat scratching in horses.