Mallenders – an old-fashioned term for cracks in the skin behind the horse’s knee (see the photo) – are becoming more and more common, particularly in horses with feathers such as some cobs and heavy horses. (If they are on the front of the hocks, they’re called sallanders).
They are rarely easy to get rid of once established because the place they occur is stretched every time the horse takes a step and so the scabs struggle to heal, leaving the skin increasingly traumatised. Sadly, horses can suffer from this painful problem for years.
They often appear after an unresolved mite infestation (even if no itching is observed), but can also be caused by the skin being nicked with a clipper blade, and often get worse when mites are active during the colder months, as the skin is already fragile, weak and cold.
Arguably the best way to tackle it is through a combined approach from the inside as well as the outside.
Ruggles and Stopitall Ltd recommend this dual approach – it regularly proves the fastest and most cost-efficient way to manage this nasty issue.
1. Use the Ruggle-it shampoo and 100% natural vegetable oil blend which have anti-mite, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and that will help cleanse, soothe and moisturise the vulnerable skin so that the body can self-heal. Persistently open wounds can be at risk from infection of Staphylococcus Aureus – a common skin bacterium which has strains that are resistant to some antibiotics, i.e. the dreaded MRSA, and is increasingly found in wounds which will not heal.
2. Give the body’s struggling immune capability a ‘serious leg up’ on the inside by feeding a ‘pure’ and intensive probiotic supplement such as Protexin Equine Gut Balancer which is free from cereals or unnecessary fillers which can further threaten immune strength. Although fed at intensive levels initially, it still costs only pennies because it’s ‘pure’. If not supplemented intensively, it’s like a flimsy walking stick when we’ve twisted an ankle – the first time we trip, and it’ll be too weak to support us. If possible, try to exclude all molasses and haylage whilst the body recovers.
Mrs Sharland of Ipswich used this dual approach on her coloured horse, Malbec. (She selected Starter Pack 2-H on the R&S webshop – over 14.2hh – because Malbec had mallenders and was itchy.) The ‘before’ picture was taken on 26th October and the ‘after’ picture on the 10th November.
Said Mrs Sharland: “I am totally thrilled at just how quickly things have improved after following the advice from Ruggles and Stopitall Ltd.”
Another horse owner from Kent – Julie P-D – tried this combined approach on her veteran horse, Bobby, with great success. Julie used Starter Pack 1-H as Bobby had no itching.
Said a delighted Julie: “The Ruggle-it shampoo with warm water softened the crust behind the knees and I applied the neat oil every second day – the scabs came away. It also worked on his sore heels. We are really keeping on top of it now” [NB: with Ruggle-it, picking scabs is banned!]
Mallenders can be complex because they are rarely just a skin issue, and often prove costly to owners and painful for long periods for horses. And there’s seldom a single answer to ‘fix all’, whether chemical or natural. The R&S Ltd way is gentle and helps empower the body to self-heal itself, naturally.
See www.karenruggles.co.uk for impressive testimonials, information or to buy Starter Pack 1-H or SP2-H or call 01823 259952.