Combating ‘Skin Crud’ on Horses

Does your horse have annoying guck on his lower leg or body? Here’s your quick guide to managing and preventing skin crud on your horse.

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Combatting Skin Crud on Horses
Environmental conditions can also result in skin crud; pastern dermatitis, commonly called scratches, usually is environmental in origin. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse

Living outdoors and sweaty workouts predispose horses to a variety of skin conditions. Good horsekeeping goes a long way in preventing skin funk, but sometimes even the most diligent barn cleaning and grooming routines just aren’t enough. Here’s a look at how to identify, treat, and prevent skin crud on horses.

“Skin Crud” Defined

“Skin crud” is a catch-all term used to describe any skin condition in the horse that causes raised bumps, har loss, scaling, crusts, and or pus, said Susan L. White DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM. These conditions have a visual “ick” factor and can be itchy or painful for horses.

“Similar to the descriptive term ‘colic,’ which describes gastrointestinal pain in the horse and can be present from a number of different diagnoses, ‘skin crud’ can occur due to a variety of different causes,” she said

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Written by:

Katie Navarra has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. A lifelong horse lover, she owns and enjoys competing a dun Quarter Horse mare.

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