Zinc cream

Spring aka Mud season is in full swing at my farm. My mare is showing signs of the pre mud fever legs… tender, very subtly swollen and slightly warm. I’ve moved all their hay to a high and dry location and starting bringing them in at night to give some good dry time.

I’m doing the usual antiseptic cleaning, thorough drying, and then zinc (destinin 40% ) when she goes out in the morning.

Here is my question- how the heck do you get the zinc off at night? My usual cleaning routine isn’t touching the zinc. That stuff is like cement. It certainly made my towel drying job much less effective. Do I even bother with trying to remove it? Despite moving her hay it’s not like she comes in clean at night… she’s still a giant mud puddle who needs some cleaning

I have not heard of using zinc for mud fever. I once used zinc to keep flies off the sensitive skin around the sheath but found it to be impossible to remove. If it hardens, then you may be able to scrape it off with a shedding blade, but if it stays pasty, I would think leaving it on long term would also create skin problems. Mud fever is a problem for me too but I usually spray with an anti-fungal spray like Absorbine. If the purpose of the zinc is to be a barrier for the mud, I wonder if a clay poultice might work? That washes off fairly easily and can be brushed off with a curry once it hardens.

I used dawn dish soap but usually I just leave it and don’t bother trying to remove it

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I use Desitin on my mares sunburned white nose. She manages to rub it off within 24 hours. I would think if you’ve found something that works as a genuine long lasting barrier cream, you dont need to scrub it off every day and reapply?

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I’d just wipe off the excess and reapply–if you keep trying to scrub it of you are pretty much guaranteed to make her sore. Eventually, the world will dry out and you can give a good scrubby bath!


Yep, for what you’re looking to do, don’t wash anything after that initial washing.

The whole point is to get the skin dry (from moisture), and keep it dry, which is what the zinc will do

Then check the diet. Most cases of rain rot or scratches/mud fever are from the diet - insufficient (or out of balance) copper and zinc, or low vit A or E especially at the end of the Winter without much/any grass and possibly not enough E in the feed


I found that Equiderma Zinc is a little easier to remove to a more clean level then reapply, I think because it’s got other ingredients. I used it for a case of scratches on sensitive white legs where the sun and flies contributed to the problem as much as the original infection. It wasn’t as gross to handle as Desitin.

It also might not have had quite as much staying power when I layered it over Animax ointment because that stuff is kind of oily.

Anyway, something like Dawn would probably help for the occasional wash but a wipe down (not off) and reapply is probably fine for your needs most days.

@Weezer the zinc is used as a barrier for the moisture in the ground, not so much the mud. Clay poultice would just come off.

@JB her diet is “balanced” as per feedXL but I’ll definitely take a look at the copper and zinc. She is a very easy keeper and is getting 2lbs (I think, it might be 2.5lbs) of buckeye grow and win. Interesting you mention copper and zinc because I’ve read in other posts that those minerals can be related to sun bleaching coats in summer. This mare bleaches so badly… she quickly goes from black to burnt orange.
I also recently started her on vitamin e at the suggestion of my vet. It’s only been a few weeks though so unlikely to be helping yet.

@IPEsq I’ve heard great things about equiderma, unfortunately it’s not easy to get in Canada.

do you have the total fe/cu/zn/mn numbers handy? What does the information/summary section (whatever it’s called LOL) tell you about the ratios?

Sure sounds like she needs a good bit more cu/zn, possibly mn but we need to see the numbers.

Which product, and how many IUs?

@JB copper is 222mg per day. Zinc is 477mg per day. Iron is 820mg per day. Manganese is 368mg per day. Feedxl says copper, iron and zinc are higher then needed, but still in the “green” safe zone.

The ratios say calcium to phosphate, calcium to oxalate, and zinc to copper are all in the proper ranges. Calcium to magnesium is 4.4:1 and iron to copper to zinc to manganese is 3.7:1:2.1:1.7

Worth noting in the last week I started her on magnesium supplements. So this is not yet reflected in the feedxl diets. My vet thinks It’s overkill, but she periodically has moments that strike me as super subtle, low grade tying up. My head went to PSSM, but my vet feels it’s unlikely and is more related to her being super sensitive to her udder being even slightly dirty. (It’s cleaned extremely regularly). I’m giving her mad barns magnesium at 15g per day.

I use madbarns vitamin e (which is a natural vitamin e, not synthetic). She is getting 2430 units per day.

To round off her diet she gets 30g of loose salt, 30ml camelina oil (for the omega 3s), as well as kinetic vet’s SA powder. She has developed seasonal skin allergies in the last year so crossing my fingers this helps.

I love my mare but good god she’s an exercise in patience lol. She’s a coming 4 warmblood mare. Super anxious, super hot, and recently had surgery for a bone spur in her knee. Really hoping I can actually ride her someday :joy:

Wow, that’s the whole diet? You’re so fortunate to have iron that low!

4:1 fe:cu is the lowest ratio, so this is really interesting that you have “too low”.

But, cu:zn isn’t in the proper range, The lowest you want is 1:3, and a optimal range is 1:3-5. At only 1:2.1 you don’t have enough Zn.

Same with Mn - it’s really low in the ratio. For cu:mn you want also 1:3-5

Is this all based on your actual forage analysis, or did you choose something regional and close to what she’s eating?

Try mixing A&D ointment in with the zinc. It’s lanolin based so it should act as a moisture barrier too.

@JB yes that’s the whole diet. My hay is analyzed so that is exactly what she is eating.

That is considered low iron? Feedxl says it’s too high.

That’s so fascinating to me that I still need need more zinc… feedxl is telling me I should consider lowering my zinc (and copper)

Here are the rest of her feedxl values for interest sake. This sort of has me wondering what is the point of feedxl if I’m still low but I’m being told it’s fine.

it’s “high” in the context of him needing just around 400mg. When I said “low”, I meant in the context of how much iron most forage in the US typically provides, which is easily over 1000mg on a consumption basis. And as iron goes up, copper and zinc go down

If it were me, I would add Zn and Mn to get the ratio to 3.7:1:3:3 at a minimum. Ratios are almost as important as the absolute numbers. And since you’re experience what you feel is excessive bleaching, it starts to make sense.

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And looking more carefully at the numbers, his Mn is actually below where it should be, so not sure why they are saying no changes are needed

@JB thanks so much Jb! As usual I’ve learned a ton for you, I appreciate your help! One final question… if I overhaul my feeding program back to just the vitamin mineral supplement which gives me 3.8:1 i would need a carrier type something so I can sneak supplements in. Would you suggest beet pulp or hay cubes? Trying for the lowest calorie option.

On a volume basis, beet pulp wins. Hay cubes are probably next, but by how much you’d have to experiment with the size of the cubes. Beyond that it may be about taste.

Oh and @luvmypup do you happen to have your forage analysis? I’m really curious about it since your calculate diet has this trace mineral profile.

My mare is definitely picky so it might be some experimenting with taste.

Yes this is my hay analysis. I’m almost out of this hay so I’ll need to get a new analysis done for the next batch, but my feedxl diet is based on this hay.

Iron is 40ppm? That is amazing! Is it grown in sandy soil?