Spring Has Sprung - and ‘Dew Poisoning’ is Not Far Behind

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Spring has sprung and along with fresh wet grass comes equine dermatitis or ‘dew poisoning,’ ‘rain rot,’ ‘greasy heel’ or ‘scratches.’ According to Gina G. Tranquillo, VMD, CESMT, "This condition is another form of PD or pastern dermatitis caused by Dermatophilus bacteria and affecting the back of pasterns and heel bulbs.” Sox For Horses, Inc. hears owners report how it appears in horses on early morning pastures when grass is at its highest moisture content.

There are most likely fungi at play as well, says Raymond Petterson, SFH President, who has found that this particular type of dermatitis much easier to resolve than other pastern dermatitis cases when SFH Silver Whinnys® are used to protect horses both during healing and thereafter when a horse is out on pasture. Horse owners need to begin offering horses protection early in the spring to keep grass moisture from creating swollen, painful sores that can turn into weeks of needless suffering and lost riding time. The painful sores and scabs of dew poisoning can inflame to the point of lameness.

Wet morning grass can be a major liability for some horses, but it doesn’t have to be that way when Silver Whinnys are used as a barrier. Silver Whinnys will transfer moisture off the skin and into the Sox while the silver ion-embedded yarn ensures an antimicrobial environment around the leg. Even when conditions are muddy, your horse’s skin beneath Silver Whinnys can stay dry and clean.

Dew poisoning isn’t the only concern. Spring also means the sun is stronger and higher in the sky and exacerbates photosensitivity that can cause an outbreak of dermatitis leading to more serious conditions such as Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis. Silver Whinnys have proven to be an effective barrier against UV sensitivities. One of the most effective ways of avoiding dermatitis issues is to separate skin from the agents that cause it. The most primary function of a bandage is to be a barrier that separates the skin from barn and pasture hazards including dirt, debris, bacteria and fungi. Silver Whinnys do all of that and utilize embedded silver in its yarns that inhibit growth of bacteria and fungi in the socks; when the socks are changed often, this protection effectively keeps skin surrounded by a hygienic environment.

Start using Silver Whinnys early to protect your horse against moisture that causes dew poisoning, the effects of UV exposure, and biting, disease-carrying insects. Petterson can't say enough about starting leg protection early: “The goal is to keep your horse from developing the habit of stomping from biting flies. A trainer once told me the H in horse stands for habit. Once a horse gets a habit it's hard to break. Stomping causes shoes to deteriorate, and hooves to crack and split. Stomping can't feel good for horses suffering from arthritis or laminitis. That poor horse will let flies bite rather than endure the pain of stomping. It’s a vicious cycle as stomping drives down any leg protection you choose. Whether avoiding an impending problem with equine dermatitis or as fly protection, start early. Make protecting your horse your daily ‘habit.’"

Silver Whinnys ® have the attributes veterinarians like Dr. Bartfield want in protection. Embedded silver in the yarn inhibits growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold in the socks, providing a clean environment while the yarn wicks moisture from skin for a dry tissue surface. The knitted socks allow air to reach skin but not insects, which cannot penetrate its double layers, adding up to clean barrier protection while legs heal and preventing insects and dirt from causing further damage. Sox For Horses, Inc. is an American-made product and company that has been helping owners better help equines since 2007. Visit www.soxforhorses.com or call (850) 907-5724.