Greasy Heel is a common ailment in horses. Whilst not an immediate danger, it can become a serious problem. Treat it promptly or else Cellulitis, infection and lameness can result .Occurring predominantly on the lower legs as patches of flaky skin beneath hair, greasy heel can be hard to see. Under the flaky bits, the skin of the animal will be itchy, red, and perhaps oozing a thick fluid. If mild and in the early stages, it may only look like dandruff. Not as obvious on heavy breed horses with a lot of feather on lower legs. Unfortunately, left untreated, the skin will become redder and cracks may appear. The sores may get a crust like surface as the thick fluid dries onto the afflicted areas.
Because this area of the horse is always flexing when it walks, the cracked skin here can be difficult to heal. As the condition is painful the horse may present with lameness too.
If not treated promptly, the skin can crack very deeply. Infection can result. Granulomas, are a type of scar tissue that can also develop from untreated Greasy Heel. Inflammation of the deep layers of skin is called equine cellulitis and this can lead to heat and swelling in the legs.
Causes of Greasy Heel
The same conditions that cause rain scald also cause greasy heel. Pesky microbes that thrive in muddy and wet conditions are primarily the cause. If paddocks are muddy, it may be difficult to provide a place where the horse isn’t in mud and bog all the time. Of course, when the horse’s legs are constantly moist, the microbes that cause greasy heel can bloom.
Greasy heel may be more prevalent when rainfall is higher. In addition animals with white legs or pink skin are more likely to be bothered by than dark skinned horses.
Treating the condition
Sterilise any equipment used on a horse with this condition before using on another animal. Good Gear Naturals has a great cream for treating Greasy Heel. Numerous reviews have been provided where the Stay Put Cream has effectively treated persistent mud fever cases.