Recognize and treat horse mallendersMallenders is a serious disease of the horse's legs, which occurs mainly in horses with long fetlocks. Often moisture is the cause.
Mauke was already known to horse owners in the times of the first breweries under the name "Straubfuss. Then as now, the triggers of bacterial skin inflammation in horses are often far-reaching and usually not at first glance recognizable. Therefore it is all the more important to develop an attentive eye for the risk factors of Mauke and to sharpen its view for the symptoms of this skin illness. If it is not recognized and treated at an early stage, it can lead to lameness, destruction of the upper skin layers and growths of the tie in the further course of the equine disease.
What is Mauke?
Mildew is – in simple terms – a skin disease in horses, which occurs in the area of the fetlock and especially on unpigmented, i.e. white, limbs. It is also called Fesselekzem is the name of the disease and is mainly found on the hind legs of the horse.
Mauke rises above all with horses with long kotenbehang (pasterns) not rarely up to the middle foot and/or Tarsalgelenk (hock joint) and Karpalgelenk. Due to the almost complete absence of the scrotum, it rarely affects warmbloods, thoroughbreds or trotters, but mainly coldbloods, tinkers and Friesians with pronounced pasterns.
The symptoms of a mauke can be differently strong or weakly pronounced depending upon horse, go however usually with strong Itching aher. A clear sign of such itching is, for example, restless behavior of the horse and repeated pounding on the ground.
Symptoms of horse mallenders
Mildew can have different causes – and the symptoms and the course of the disease can also be different. In the initial stage of a mauke shows in the bend of the fetlock of the horse a Redness of the skin, which is further promoted by stimuli such as wetness, urine, moisture or friction. Long fetlocks are a disadvantage, because they allow only little air to the skin and thus promote inflammation.
As a result of the excessive irritation of the skin arise small cracks in the uppermost skin layers, which impair the natural protective function of the skin. Bacteria can settle and multiply more easily.
If the horse has a strong immune system, it can successfully fight the bacteria and other pathogens and prevent their colonization. In this case, it remains a pure inflammation of the skin, which can lead to pustules or blisters and eventually severe incrustations on the affected skin areas due to further irritation.
With many horses it remains with this form of the Mauke, which one calls also "dry mallenders" denotes. At this stage, most horses are more or less lame. At this point at the latest, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian for a more detailed examination.
Consequences of untreated mallenders for the horse
If the disturbing factor for the irritation of the skin, for example excessive moisture or friction at the fetlock bend, continues to exist, the acute, easily treatable mallenders in the affected horse can develop into a chronic form develop.
If, in addition to the irritation of the skin, the horse's immune system is weakened, bacteria can successfully settle and multiply in the cracks of the damaged skin. The horse's body reacts to this invasion of bacteria with a local inflammatory reaction to eliminate the pathogens. As a result, the inflamed skin area begins to ooze and forms a greasy coating. In this stage one speaks of "wet mange.".
As a consequence, a thickening of the dermis and wart-like, foul-smelling skin calluses and growths may occur. One speaks then of the so-called "Warty Mallenders", which occurs mainly in cold-blooded horses.
burns due to infection with putrefactive bacteria
If the affected area is left untreated, the cracks and damage will spread to the lower layers of the skin, providing an even greater surface for other bacteria, viruses or fungi to attack.
If putrefactive bacteria settle, there is extensive destruction of the tie and the death of the skin – the so-called "scald". This is the most severe form of mallenders and is a serious disease that causes a high degree of lameness of the horse and is difficult to cure.
Recognizing the causes of mallenders in horses
Causes of mallenders are very broad and range from improper equipment, improper feeding of the horse, as well as poor stable hygiene, to parasites on the skin. causes softening of the fetlock skin. This makes the horse more susceptible to the development of mallenders. For this reason, the disease occurs mainly in the autumn, winter and spring months, when the ground is moist and soaked by the weather. Therefore, horses in the summer are less likely to develop "mallenders.
However, the horse can also be exposed to moisture in the stable: Therefore, proper Stable hygiene with regular mucking out of great importance to keep the moisture prere on the legs low.
Further factors, which favor Mauke, are too frequent hosing down of the horse after the movement (also in the summer) or long standing on wet, marshy pastures or paddocks.
friction and feed as a cause of mallenders
In addition to high humidity, permanent friction is also a major risk in the development of mange, because it causes constant irritation and irritation of the skin. This usually comes from incorrect or ill-fitting equipment for the horse, such as rubbing jumping bells, gaiters or bandages.
It is also amed that mallenders can be promoted by feed intolerance or an unbalanced supply of minerals and trace elements to the horse. Therefore, when buying equipment and horse feed, you should pay close attention that they are suitable for your horse.
Parasites and their potential danger
Behind many cases of mauke are also parasites, which infest the skin of a horse and cause severe itching. Mainly responsible for this is the so-called chorioptes mite (Chorioptes equi), which is another typical form of horse mange Chorioptes mange or "foot mange, causes. The small parasites prefer to sit on the skin in the area of the pastern of a horse and feed on dander, inflammatory skin secretions and lymphatic fluid.
The forms of mallenders caused by the chorioptes mite are accompanied by severe itching and consequently by rubbing, gnawing, biting, stamping and beating of the horse.
If an infestation with these parasites is suspected, the veterinarian can detect the mites under the microscope and treat them with appropriate medications. The remedies can be applied either as a paste in the mouth, as a local ointment or as a whole body wash.
Because the mites can be transmitted from horse to horse, foot mange contagious and should therefore include all horses in the stable in the treatment. As a general rule, if foot mange is diagnosed early, the prognosis for the affected horse is usually very good.
What to do? First aid for mallenders
If a horse shows symptoms of mallenders, one should first remain calm and, depending on the severity, take the following tips for treatment to heart:
– If skin crusts, blisters or injuries are present in the area of the pasterns, the corresponding areas can be treated with a soap solution that is gentle on the skin clean, disinfect and then carefully dry with a soft towel. For cleaning you can use normal, pH-neutral skin soap or also special horse soaps for mallenders or eczema. – In case of severe skin lesions and dense fetlocks, it is advisable to treat the whole fetlock or even parts of the fetlock joint area shearing or carefully cut off the appendage with scissors. This is a better way to clean and further treat the skin areas. When removing the hair, care should be taken not to injure the horse. – After cleaning and drying the affected areas of the skin, mild apply healing ointment. There are a variety of ointments that are very well suited for this purpose: special ointments for mews, Bepanthen® (healing ointment for humans), iodine ointments (for example Betisodona® or Vetsept®) and zinc ointments or pastes. They all have different disinfecting and antiseptic agents that support natural healing. – Ideally, one still brings a Bandage to protect the wound from external influences. However, it is essential that this is renewed twice a day and should be applied in such a way that it does not rub against the wound.
Treatment of mallenders by the veterinarian
In severe cases of mallenders (with possible chorioptes mite infestation) or if the horse is severely lame, it is better to consult a veterinarian. By examining the horse, the doctor can make more precise statements about the severity of the mallenders. The further procedure of the treatment.
A bacteriological examination or a so-called skin scraping of the affected skin area may also be necessary to detect the respective bacteria or mites. Accordingly, special medications (for example, antibiotics) or ointments are then prescribed.
treat scurf with home remedies
Many horse owners like to use home remedies for the treatment of their horses – also the mauke can be fought in such a way: for example with Propolis, the putty resin of bees.
Propolis is a natural product produced by bees to protect the hive. Because of its moisture and warmth, this is a welcome area for fungi, bacteria and viruses. Due to its many good properties. Propolis is very well suited for the external application of mallenders.
Honey is said to have the same effect as propolis and has therefore been used effectively against mallenders for many centuries.
Another home remedy against mallenders are compresses with sauerkraut. These should, three to four days around the affected horse leg in the fetlock bend put on and in each case over night left to act, true miracles accomplish. The minerals contained in sauerkraut and especially the lactic acid have a beneficial effect on the bacterial environment and ensure that the undesirable bacteria in the wound are reduced.
But in principle: Before one treats Mauke with home remedies and possibly causes further damage, one should hold consultation with the veterinary surgeon. Because not every home remedy is suitable for every form or the different degrees of severity of the Mauke.
What homeopathy can do
Especially in the initial phase or also for the therapy of stubborn mallenders, the use of homeopathy can be a good choice. However one must pay attention with the selection of the homoeopathic means to it, around which form of the illness it concerns.
Because for the acute clinical picture it requires other homeopathic potencies than for the chronic mallenders. It must be clarified also before with the help of the veterinary surgeon whether mites are involved, because then an additional preparation or shampoo is necessary for the external application.
In principle, the remedies Graphites, Sulfur and Thuja in globule form are suitable for the homeopathic treatment of horse mange. The globules can be dissolved in water and administered directly into the horse's mouth or pressed into an apple. In addition to homeopathic treatment, the cleaning. Care for wounds especially important.
Prevention is the best medicine
The horse's immune system plays a decisive role in the course of the disease of mange. If it is intact and well developed, it is more difficult for bacteria or other pathogens to settle in the wound and cause damage.
On the other hand, a horse with a weakened immune system can be a target for pathogens. The immune system can be supported, for example, by a needs-based and balanced diet of the horse, and thus the risk of mallenders can be significantly reduced.
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Preventing mallenders through hygiene
However, the most important thing in the prophylaxis of mallenders is the correct stable hygiene and attitude of the horse. This means the stall must be clean and dry and the paddocks free of excessive feces and fluid buildup. In addition, the horse should not stand in a muddy paddock for hours or days at a time. If you take these tips to heart, you can effectively prevent mallenders and protect your horse from the disease.