Scrape That Won't Heal

My 2-year-old Percheron gelding has a scrape just above his right hock (on the outside in the groove). He has had it since birth, but it was more irritated this summer. In winter, it gets dry, scabby, and hairless. What can I use to heal it, and possibly grow hair? It's about two inches by a half-inch. He's in otherwise excellent condition and on a regular deworming and immunization schedule. Tiffany

The first thing to do with a lesion in this area of the hock is to eliminate a common cause of skin irritation. When a horse flexes the hock, the skin in the region you refer to is pulled up over the bony prominence of the hock. There it's prone to injury when the animal lies down. In large horses, it's a common site for thickening, hair
loss, and flaking of dead skin.

Does your gelding lie down on hard surfaces? That would be something to consider. By providing more bedding or better cushioning for him, the problem should diminish. When he is lying down, see if that region is pulled up over the bone.

Regarding local treatment to aid healing, I'd suggest daily applications of any non-irritating lanolin-based ointment such as Bag Balm.

About the Author

A.C. Asbury, DVM

A. C. (Woody) Asbury received his DVM from Michigan State University in 1956, then spent 21 years in California in breeding farm practice and at UC Davis. He joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1977 and was involved in teaching, research, and administration until 1996. An Emeritus Professor at Florida, he lives in Kentucky, where he and his wife are developing a small farm.

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