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How to Treat and Prevent Scratches in Horses?

how to treat and prevent scratches in horses


Horses are majestic and beautiful creatures. Proper care is essential for responsible horse owners. If not taken care of, scratches can cause severe pain and even infection. We’ll be discussing how to prevent and treat scratches in horses so your horse can remain happy and healthy.

What are Scratches in Horses and Why Are They So Bad?

Scratches in horses are also called “scratches” and “greasy heel.” It is caused by bacteria or fungal infections to the horse’s skin. The horse can experience severe pain and swelling from the infection. This condition is often caused by wet or muddy conditions that allow bacteria and fungi to flourish. Horses can also pick up infection from other animals, such as goats or sheep.

How to treat scratches in horses

First, clean the area to be treated for scratches in horses. You can do this by washing the horse’s legs with warm water and mild soap and drying them. To prevent infection spreading, horse legs should be kept clean and dry. After cleaning the affected area, apply an antiseptic cream to it. This will reduce inflammation and prevent infection from spreading. You should also cover the affected area with a bandage to prevent further skin damage. Sometimes, a veterinarian might prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. It is important that you follow all instructions given by your veterinarian as side effects of antibiotics could be dangerous for horses.

How to Prevent Horse Scratches

It is important to keep horses’ legs dry and clean to avoid scratches. Avoid wet or muddy areas and ensure that horses’ legs dry after exercise and bathing. The horse’s hooves should be kept in good shape and trimmed to help prevent infection spreading. It is also important to ensure that the horse eats a healthy diet. This will prevent infection.


Q: What causes scratches on horses?

A: Horse scratches are often caused by bacteria and fungi infecting the lower legs of horses. The bacteria or fungi can thrive in damp and muddy environments.

Q: How do I prevent horses from getting scratches?

A: Keeping horses’ legs dry and clean is the best way to avoid scratches. Avoiding wet or muddy areas and drying the horse’s legs after exercise or bathing is a good idea. The infection can be prevented from spreading by keeping the horse’s hooves clean and tidy.


Horse scratches can cause pain and discomfort, and even infection. You can help your horse stay happy and healthy by following the above steps. You can visit www.equine.org for more information.


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