STEVE: Scratches are known to occur in the heel. What essentially happens is, due to a build up of debris, dirt, different types of things in the folds back in here, in the heel, they’ll build up material and essentially will create an infection. A lot of times Dermatophilus will do it. Sometimes just too much moisture, sometimes heat in the foot will create a problem here. But what they will do is they’ll get a crease in here due to inflammation, and it will create an open sore or wound, which is commonly known by horsemen as scratches.

Typically, the way to treat this is a very, very clean, dry environment, take away sources of inflammation that would be irritating it, and also keeping the actual area of the heel dry, clean, and well groomed on a regular basis, and making sure after you give your horse a bath, like on the race track they get baths daily especially in the summertime, that you keep the area in the crease to the heel back here completely dry, and sometimes some antiseptic powder, things like this, back here to stop the proliferation of potential bacteria in this crease.

ALEX: What we found on the racetrack, a lot of the times we call them cracked heels.

STEVE: Yeah, cracked heels.

ALEX: And a lot of times, I felt we got a lot of cracked heels because of the concussion factor heat coming up from the foot, breaking out through here. And once that you’ve got that to break out, then accumulate water or some dirt, obviously it could get worse. Most importantly, keep the leg dry. Sometimes, you have to wrap the foot up for a few days until it’s healed up.