Pastern Dermatitis, commonly known as scratches, mud fever, greasy heel, or cracked heel, presents itself when the skin in the hollow of the pastern becomes reddened, tender, scabby and scaly. If the area is not immediately and aggressively treated, the cracks and scabs will grow, the edges will become thickened and calloused and the horse may become lame.
It is generally caused by the organism dermatophilus congolensis, the same organism that causes rain rot, but can also be caused by bacteria. Immediate and diligent care should be taken at the onset of the disease.
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