Mallenders in horses

Help, my horse has mallenders!


In the autumn and winter months, horse owners can often discover the manifestation of the equine disease "mallenders" in the crook of their horse's fetlock. Mildew is an inflamed skin irritation, which usually appears in the bend of the fetlock.
The cause of the horse's mallenders is a defect or an open injury of the skin, which allows bacteria to penetrate. These bacteria now spread unhindered under the skin and lead to redness and severe itching.

What is the course of the disease in horses?

  • Defect of the skin
  • Bacteria penetrate and spread
  • Slightly reddened areas
  • loss of coat in the affected area
  • The affected area weeps
  • Crusts form and become thicker and thicker
  • legs may swell and become hot
  • horse goes lame
  • poisoning may occur in the horse's body

What are the causes for a horse to suffer from a malaise disease?

There are various reasons why a horse develops a case of measles. Often several factors play a role.

  • standing for a long time on muddy, damp paddocks
  • not enough dry bedding or badly mucked out boxes
  • Horses with a weakened immune system are more likely to suffer from mallenders.
  • Long pasterns - dirt and moisture can accumulate there.
  • Stress (e.g. change of stable or conflicts in the herd)
  • Illness (taking medication, surgery, etc.)
  • Allergies
  • Metabolic problems
  • Mites
  • Fungal infections
  • Incorrect feeding / change of feed
  • Season or weather

How can I treat Mallenders?


The good news is that you can easily treat your horse's maulenderes yourself.


The sooner you discover it, the easier it is to treat.

It is important to clean the affected area carefully with water and iodine soap. This will soften the crusts. This will also remove any dirt that has accumulated in the hair. If your horse has a lot of pastern hair, it is advisable to shear or cut it. When the affected area is dry, you should apply an antibacterial ointment daily. Zinc ointment, job ointment or a medicinal ointment from your veterinarian are particularly suitable for use as a mousse ointment.

If the mallenders are already far advanced and your horse is in pain, you should only treat them in consultation with your veterinarian. In this case, it may even be necessary for your horse to take additional antibiotics.

In any case, you should make sure that your horse always stands dry during the treatment. The hygiene of the stall is the most important thing now so that your horse will be fit again quickly.

You should also rethink your horse's diet. Your veterinarian can certainly help you with advice and action.

Treating mallenders with homeopathy and/or home remedies


Of course, in mild cases of mallenders, homeopathic treatment and/or home remedies can also be considered. The treatment of mallenders with homeopathy is usually administered to the horse in the form of globules (lactose pellets). The choice of remedy and potency should only be made by a veterinary practitioner.

In the field of home remedies against mallenders in horses, compresses with sauerkraut, for example, have proven to be effective. Sauerkraut contains lactic acids and important minerals that promote wound healing. The lactic acid lowers the pH value, so bacteria can no longer spread. The sauerkraut compresses should be left on overnight for about 5 days.

TIP: A disposable nappy is particularly suitable as a bandage, which you can fix with adhesive tape around the hoof and the bend of the fetlock.


Also, poultices and sprinkles with Rivanol are used as a remedy against mallenders.

Applying garlic oil to the affected area is also said to have a positive effect. Garlic is antibacterial and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It drives away parasites and is also effective against fungi.

TIP: You can even make the oil yourself. Make sure that the oil contains a sufficient concentration of garlic so that it can unfold its positive effect.

Last but not least, honey or propolis in the form of an ointment should be applied to the affected area. It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect.

Prevention is the best medicine!


In order to prevent your horse from contracting (or re-acquiring) footrot, you should make sure that the horse's immune system is intact and strong enough to withstand bacteria and other pathogens. If necessary, you can also support your horse's immune system with a suitable supplementary feed.

As mentioned above, stall hygiene is very important when it comes to the equine disease of foot-and-mouth disease. Always make sure that the stall is clean and that the bedding is dry.

The paddocks should be regularly cleared of faeces and fluid accumulations. In addition, standing for hours on muddy paddocks should be avoided.

If you take these precautionary tips to heart, the likelihood of your dear four-legged friend getting mange is relatively low.