Mallandars, Sallandars, and Pastern Dermatitis; Also known as Scratches, Mud Fever, Dew Poisoning & Greasy Heel; are all an itchy, painful, and tenacious skin issue.
Mallandars & Sallandars presents as an accumulation of thickened, crusted scale and scab on the front and hind legs of horses. It is most common in draft or heavy breed horses and those with Feathering. Keratin is a fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair, feathers, hoofs, claws, horns, etc. Increased keratin is the reason breeds such as the Gypsy Vanner, Shire, Clydesdale and Friesian have such beautiful feather and is also the reason some develop Mallanders/Sallanders.
Pastern dermatitis is a skin reaction that can have a variety of causes. The most commonly affected area is the back of the pasterns and heels but can sometimes extend up the entire lower limb. White-haired areas seems to be more commonly affected than dark-haired areas. The appearance is of scabby oozing lesions on the skin, sometimes forming thick crusts. The skin when cleaned off has the bright pink appearance of inflammation and sometimes has ulcerated areas. In chronic cases the skin can become thickened and plaque-like.
These conditions can be very painful for the horse, and can cause lameness in some cases. Mallanders & Sallandars has no know cure but, can easily be managed. Pastern Dermatitis can be cured but, some horses have reoccurring episodes. Here is a way to treat and maintain these nasty skin conditions.
Mallanders & Sallanders - Wash area well with Equiderma Neem Shampoo. Leave shampoo on for 1 hour and rinse. Apply Equiderma Skin Lotion to all build up and lesions and leave on. Check and reapply lotion every day until all scabbing has lifted off the skin. Observe area often and re-apply as needed. When you notice additional keratin build up re-apply Equiderma Skin Lotion. Equiderma will soften the gunk and allow you to easily remove it. If it is too cold or for any reason you cannot shampoo your horse. Follow the instructions with only the skin lotion. It will do an excellent job on its own although it is important to keep the legs as clean as possible. Use a warm wash cloth to aid you in removing the scale
Pastern Dermatitis - Clip the hair from the affected area to allow easy access to the skin and to help keep the area dry. Gently cleaning the skin with warm water and antibacterial scrubs such as Betadine or Chlorhexadine. After softening the scabs and crusts with the wash, they are gently removed. This can be quite painful and may require sedation of the horse. You can also wash the affected area with Equiderma Neem Shampoo. Dry well and apply Equiderma Skin Lotion. Follow with Equiderma Zinc Paste for Pastern Dermatitis only if the area is wet and seeping blood or serum. If the area presents as dry and scaly use only Equiderma Skin Lotion. It is very important to keep your horse in a clean, dry environment to ensure rapid improvement and the best outcome. Continue treatment every day until problem is resolved. PLEASE NOT SOME CASES MAY BE SEVERE AND WILL REQUIRE A VET TO PRESCRIBE MEDICATION.
Maintenance can be simple to complex, just depending on what breed you have and the amount of feathering. The simplest of them all is to simply use Head and Shoulders Dandruff Conditioner. Just apply to the legs and rub deep into the skin. Do not wash! It's that simple. Apply once a week. This also helps horses with itchy legs.
During the Winter / spring time when baths are less common but are wetter, you can oil a feathered horses legs. You will do this using Food Grade & animal safe Sulfur and Mineral Oil. You will mix sulfur and a gallon of mineral oil into a 3+ gallon bucket till you get a milkshake consistency. Apply from the knee/hock down and messaging into clean, dry & tangle free feather down to the hoof bulb. Coat from the skin out. Pay special attention to the fetlock/pasterns as this is where most skin conditions fester. How often you do this is based on weather conditions. anywhere from once a week to once a month.
There are many helpful Facebook groups out there for any and all options on treatment and maintenance. Hopefully this can help those of you out there dealing with these issues.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME HORSES DO HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO SULFUR. PLEASE SPOT TEST BEFORE USING.