The beginning of the year can bring the coldest months, and with that chill often comes either dampness and mud, or dry, moisture-sucking air. Both can be damaging to the skin for horses, especially those that go outside into the elements every day.
One of the health concerns brought on by a damp environment is Equine Pastern Dermatitis (EPD), also known as “scratches,” “greasy heel” and “rain scald,” among other names. EPD is a general term for any fungus growing on the horse’s lower legs, causing flaky, thickened skin, or sometimes oozing pus. Horses that have feathering on their legs are particularly susceptible to EPD.
Horses in a dry environment, on the other hand, are subject to developing dermatitis, where their skin turns itchy, red and irritated. This is especially common in horses that have white legs with pink skin.
Keeping your horse’s legs clean and dry is the best way to protect them from EPD and dermatitis, but maintaining the right levels of minerals in his or her diet can also help the skin stay healthy and resilient. Springtime Supplements has several products for that!
Springtime’s Hoof & Coat Formula contains naturally occurring electrolytes, trace minerals, B vitamins and biotin, which assist in maintaining mineral replenishment, optimal hydration, strong, healthy hooves and a shiny coat. This formula includes kelp, sea salt, active dry yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and diatomaceous earth, natural, unrefined ingredients that are rich in wide-spectrum trace minerals and electrolytes. Electrolytes help maintain proper hydration in hot or cold weather, giving your horse a good defense when conditions outside are less than favorable.
An adequate amount of omegas will also keep skin healthy while preventing dryness, and Springtime’s Ahiflower® Equine Omega Oil packs a powerful punch as a complete and balanced source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition to maintaining excellent skin condition, this product has the added bonus of improving mobility and joint health. Plus, Ahiflower oil is a sustainable source of omegas, unlike fish oils, which are rapidly depleting.
For a product that will encourage healthy skin growth while also promoting muscle integrity and healthy weight establishment, reach for Gamma Oryzanol. Gamma oryzanol is a naturally occurring constituent of rice bran that is extracted and purified, then blended into rice bran oil. This formula contains vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients to help build muscle, enhance exercise tolerance and sustain healthy skin.
If your horse has generally healthy skin and still develops EPD or dermatitis, you’ll need to check the environment he or she lives in to find out what is causing the condition. If the problem persists or doesn’t go away with treatment, it’s best to make a call to your veterinarian.
For more information on each of these products, visit springtime.com. Or, you can call 800-521-3212 to speak with a representative at Springtime or place an order over the phone.