Greasy Heel

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by bawtry, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    How long have people found this condition to last (with treatment, not just being left)???

    Also, how far up the leg did it go??

    Thinking that the case we have is just not normal.
  2. Kiwigirl

    Kiwigirl Well-known Member

    Last year my horse had one of the worst case of greasy heel/mudfever I have ever seen.

    He had it all of his legs and heels, on a couple of his legs it covered just about the whole leg below the knee.

    I tried everything to help it, you name it I tried it, in the end after about a month and a half, I had to get the vet out, he gave penacillin and mastaline cream, told me to wash with nappysan. that worked thank goodness.

    here are some pics of what it looked like.



  3. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    It can go as high as the knees or hocks.

    It takes up to 2-3 weeks for it to heal nicely once treatment has commenced. Hair regrowth takes longer again!:}

    Orbenin AB ointment is the quickest treament, especially for bad cases, along with Pennicillan. :)*

    Zinc based creams from the chemist (Nappy paste etc) are rather effective on milder cases and provide sun protection.

    But there are several good products on the market available from the stockfeeders also.:D :))
  4. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    Ok, well.
    She has been being treated with Prednoderm, bute and some antibiotics under veterinary guidance for about the past 3 or 4 weeks (I think). It extends all the way to the top of her back stockings (just below the hock) and has been there for probably about 2 and a half months (we were treating it before but nothing was working). It has actually spread (up) since we started the prednoderm, despite absence of mud, although she now has fetlocks and pasterns back as before they were so scabbed she could barely move her feet.
    Her legs are on and off very swollen (VERY swollen from below the hock to the coronet, to the point of no definition and indent from below the hock to the coronet) and she is on and off lame as well.
    Looks different to what Kiwigirl has posted though.
    Just wondering if anyone else had experienced this but seems not! I think I will take her back next week for another check and see if there isn't something more going on, which I now think there is.
    Is anyone familiar with Pastern Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis???
  5. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Bawtry, I have seen very bad cases of greasy heel. They look different from the pics which Kiwigirl put up, there are no scabs to be seen.

    Can you take some photos please? Than I can see and help you better. :)
    The green ointment can make it worth in some cases, try Filta bac. Twice a day, you get it from stock feeders. Antibiotics or penicillin do nothing for greasy heel.
  6. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    Will try and take some photos tomorrow Horsetalk. Thank you. Her socks are stained green I'm afraid from Prednoderm though! *#)
    The vet commented that it was one of the worst cases of greasy heel she'd seen but the swollen legs have me worried.

    What is Filta Bac??
  7. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    It's a zinc cream, makes the socks nice and white again lol. :) Keeps it moist and prevents from cracking the skin and protects from the sunburn.

    Sun is no good for greasy heel, I know, hard to believe.
  8. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    No, I would believe that, when I keep it banaged they tend to 'calm down' a bit so I was thinking the sun wasn't doing them a world of good (guess bandages also help keep them clean and moist as well).

    I have heard of zinc cream helping, will have a look for Filta Bac on Monday if I can get out. (White socks would be nice again too! Lol)

    Just feel sorry for her, she's the sweetest horse and now she runs away whenever she sees me coming with a headcollar. :(
  9. pugjoey

    pugjoey New Member

    Orbenin dry cow is the best stuff to use on greasy heel ,you can get it from vets we have it at my work and everyone that uses it says it works.Also the obvious thing like try to keep it as dry as possible...
    Maybe the horse has cellulitis as well an infection in the sub cutaneous layer has the vet mentioned this before when the horse was looked at??
    Good luck with it sounds like a bit of an annoying case:)
  10. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    No, the vet didn't mention anything like that.
    Never heard of the treatment you mentioned!!

    I try to keep them as dry as possible, although they are bandaged with prodnoderm which I guess is kinda a contradiction as that keeps it moist, her legs don't get wet (she doesn't go on dew in the grass as I turn her out late) and i dry them very well after I've cleaned them.

    Thank you tho :) :)
  11. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Filta bac will soothe it, no bandages needed. :) After a few times, she will be lined up for you to have it put on. Just don't try to peel of the scabs, they will come off on their own. :)

    Looking forward to the photos tomorrow. It sounds like greasy heel and nothing worth so far. :)
  12. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    I've been told time and time again to take the scabs off as much as possible, so hearing that is kinda different Horsetalk!!

    Will see how i go with photos tomorrow. Thank you! :)
  13. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Up to you Bawtry and good luck! You do what you think is best. :)
  14. bawtry

    bawtry Well-known Member

    No, I absolutely like the idea that there is a way of treating it without removing all the scabs, as this is where I'm stuggling now!!
    Anyway, will take pics and go from there!! :)
  15. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Yes, that's how understood your post. :)
  16. astraia

    astraia Guest

    If you are concerned that this is not greasy heel (at least in the usual sense) then I would take some biopsies of the affected area and make sure there is not something else going on.
    Does she have white legs? Does she have any white on her face? If so, are there any small scabs on her face on the white areas?
    Is she grazing lots of clover?

    It is probably worth keeping her on a longer course of antibiotics. I also second the orbenin/cloxacillin topical treatment. I would also be doing a blood test to make sure there are no underlying issues slowing the healing process.
  17. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Scabs need to be removed by rubbing or gentle scrubing in betadine solution. It may well bleed. **)

    The scabs need to come off for the treatment to work effectively, as the bacteria hide underneath.

    Dry off and apply the treatment. It may take several days of washing to remove the bulk of the scabing.:}
  18. Kiwigirl

    Kiwigirl Well-known Member

    There arn't many scabs in those pics because I had just finished washing his legs to get the scabs off as much as posable. my vet told me to get the scabs off, and to use nappysan to wash with, it drys the area out, which is what I needed to get the healing started. I used the mastaline cream to help kill the bugs on the outside of the skin and the penicillin to get the bugs inside. I also had him in the sea everyday (I was lucky I had a beach within one minutes ride from his paddock) he also had bad swelling in his legs, but a good canter down the beach helped fix that.

    I should say that this was with my horse in NZ where he lived in a big paddock that in winter it was mud with permafrost about two inches below the surface of the ground, so it didn't dry out until at least late november to early december, if we were having a dry year. there was also no where to put him on dry land, the only yard we had was a pig pen made out of corridgated iorn with a concrete floor and there was no way I would ever leave my horse in there with out supervision.

    I was told to get the scabs off as the bacteria/virus live there and the air helps kill them, I think they are anarobic as aposed to airobic - meaning they prefer conditions away form oxygen, hence taking the scabs off, and putting the cream on will inhibit them growing because of the chemicals making it a less than ideal breeding ground. antibiotics will kill the inturnal infection.

    From the time I got the vet out the mud fever and greasy heel cleared up in about a week I think from memory. Don't forget that the bug that causes this is living in the ground, prevention is always the best if you know how to do that, I got around it by buying a horse with black skin when I came here, I never want to go through that again.
  19. Nomie

    Nomie Well-known Member

    I used Ungvita from the chemist when one of mine got it.. It cleared up so quick! within a week I was so impressed..
  20. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Hi Bawtry, I have just pm'd you. As for scabs, I also agree that they need to come off if possible. There are treatments that you can use where you don't need to take off the scabs. Sometimes, taking the scabs off is too painful and causes open sores, increasing the liklihood of the infection spreading.

    It can be really difficult to clear up as you have to clean/treat a bigger area than what you can see. If you don't, just as you think that you have got on top of it, it flares up in another area :(

    Yep, Kiwigirl, white legs are not worth the extra hassle :D

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