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Lump - what is it and how to deal with it?

Published: 2015-07-16 19:22:18 Categories: Health Rss feed

Lump - what is it and how to deal with it?

It started with little abrasions from wellingtons at my horse, on the back part of the fetlocks during an autumn training. In the wound's area a few little crusts appeared in few days that covered not only the wound. The skin became much more sensitive there and all my attempts to remove the crusts were taken nervously by my horse.

Lump is unfortunately a quite common skin infection at our four-legged friends. They are the most susceptible during autumn and early springMuddy paddocks and rainy weather conduce them, as well as the unfavourable zoohygienic conditions, namely wet, deep, and not very often changed litter. Just a little cut or general weakness of the security barrier of the horse's skin and soon we might see the redness and appearing of little crusts that reminds mud, not only on the fetlocks, but also on the heels, abdomen, upper parts of the limbs, and even on the top of the nose. The most vulnerable are horses with white legs, sensitive skin, and those with long crest on the fetlocks. 

lump source:

The lump is caused by bacteria (Dermatophilus congolensis). The course of disease might be complicated by the viruses, fungi and parasites, for example itch mites. Period of incubation usually is ca. 2 weeks. The first symptoms might be missed by the owner, because they are covered with hair. At first they appear on the upper layers of the skin and appear in the form of slight, dry, calloused scales and warts that are created due to excessively exfoliating epidermis. Later in the development, crusts appear which look like dried mud. They create kind of shell under which bacterias live and proliferate.

Infected places are swollen, painful, what can lead to symptoms of lameness. Uncured lump might spread on to bigger parts of the body, for example the wrists and hock, but also the abdomen, and can be contagious for other horses in the herd. In severe forms of the disease the contracted horses might have fever, lack of appetite, and swelling of the nearby lymph nodes.

Gruda source:

Then how to deal with the lump?

Natural ways


  • bowl with warm water
  • grey soap
  • antiseptic preparation (eg. Betadine, Manusan)
  • zinc ointment (you can buy it in a pharmacy without prescription)
  1. Soften the formed scabs with water and soap.
  2. When the scabs will be soft enough remove them.

NOTE: remove only those scabs which fall off themselves - they should not be plucked with force as we will cause another wounds that will become the perfect place for bacteria! 

  1. Reddened places after removing the scabs should be fumigated.
  2. After ca. 5 min. wash the antiseptic off the horse's skin.
  3. After the skin dries, the zinc ointment should be applied on the infected places.

The treatment should be repeated if we don't succeed to remove all scabs at the first attempt. It is worth to apply the zinc ointment regularly on the infected area (at least once a day) in order to maintain the constant protective layer on the skin and help it heal.

It is good for the horse to be on relatively dry ground during the recovery.

NOTE: during treatment the boots or wellies cannot be worn be the horse - thay can cause abrasions and create wounds, as well as not allow the skin to breathe freely. 

Preparations for the lump

On the market you will find all sorts of preparations designed to cure the lump.

In my case, the above mentioned natural treatment worked, I didn't have to use any specialist ointments. Any kind of preparation will work only if we remove the scabs first.

Below, I present you the available products, designed to treat the lump:


Hipovet, lump ointment - ca. 10 EUR

It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Due to allantoin and D-Panthenol it relieves pain and precipitates tissue regeneration.

My opinion: the producer dictates to delicately rub the ointment in the infected places, but he doesn't inform about the prior necessity of removing the scabs. As a laywoman I used this ointment as a target for what I saw on my horse's leg. Unfortunately with no desired effects. So I guess that there are chances of its effectiveness when the mentioned before measure is applied before using this preparation. 

Hipovet Hipovet, lump ointment with nanosilver – ca. 11 EUR

The biggest advantage of this product is its gradual release of the active ingredient, namely nanosilver and maintaining it at a constant level for a long period of time. In practice, it means that you don't have to apply new layers very often. Nanosilver activates its properties after 30 minutes of application, it accelerates the healing process and effectively controls infections in already infected wounds.

My opinion: I never got to use this product but my note is the same as for the above ointment - it lacks the information of how to appropriately use this preparation. 


Leovet, lump ointment with nanosilver Silber Salbe 

– ca. 12 EUR

It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, destroys bacteria, prevents and heals the lump. Colloidal silver is a substance which helps at the disinfection not causing smartness, it works like a natural antibiotic, it regenerates, soothes the skin inflammations.

My opinion:  it also lacks information of the proper usage - applying the ointment on the scabs won't help. The composition is almost the same as in Hipovet ointment with nanosilver. Only the price is different.

Parisol, lump ointment Maukosan – ca. 95 złParisol

It has antiseptic and germicidal properties. In softer cases, when only slight areas of skin are infected, 2 - 3 applications should be enough. At the severe developed lump the treatment might take 7 - 10 days. It can be also used to cure the rotting fibulas.

My opinion: I would love to try this product as I'm curious of its fast effectiveness - the producer states that in the treatment of severe lump takes only a bit more than a week. I treated my horse for over a month, waiting for a moment in which the skin would look healthy, not only due to lack of the scabs, but also the redness.

Black Horse

Black Horse, lump ointment – ca. 35 zł

The allantoin and vaseline content allows for gentle but effective removal of the scabs. The linseed oil applied on the skin works anti-inflammatory and softens it; it boosts the processes of skin regeneration and softens the scabs. The tea tree oil and extracts of marigold and grapefruit allows for the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and soothing effects. The unique complex based on aloe vera supports tissue regeneration, healing, and cicatrising.

My opinion: it is the first preparation, on which packet the producer describes much better how the ointment should be applied, which deserves a big plus:

Before treatment: the skin should be clean and dry. The treatment with Black Horse ointment should be plentifully put on the damaged parts of skin, and then very delicately rubbed.

During treatment: two times a day during the first week, and then once a week as long as the scabs will fall off and again two times a week until the skin is totally healed.

Prophylactically: always before going out on the paddock and on damp, rainy days. Protectively in regard to the horse's needs and skin condition.


Rokale, lump ointment Krustin Salbe – ca. 75 zł

Using this ointment allows for fast and effective removal of scabs and shed skin created as the result of the lump, skin eczema or local alopecia. Scabs preclude treatment of the deeper layers of the epidermis. Included substances soften the crusted epidermis and allow for its easy and painless removal.


Before using you should clean the epidermis area and then apply the ointment once or twice a day until the scab falls off.

My opinion: supposedly the best description of administration the product so far - in my opinion it is the number 1 among all the preparations. We don't care about the composition of the cure, as most of us has no knowledge to size them up. What we want to know is how to apply it and what effects can we expect. 

I think I've mentioned all the well-known products when it comes to curing the lump. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I wasn't able to try them all - only the first one - Hipovet (lump ointment) and honestly, it didn't meet my expectations. It probably would have if I had applied the ointment on skin without the scabs - residence of life and propagation of parasites. And what are your experience, when it comes to using those preparations? Have you used any worth recommending? Let's remember that before you start any treatment whether natural or with preparations, you should consult a veterinarian. It's not worth to safe at our friend's health :)  The fight against the lump is a long and toilsome process. Even when you think you've already cured it, it usually comes back at certain times of the year. So, it is worth to take care of our horse before infection.

 how to avoid lump

We hope that this article will never prove useful to you and fight against the lump will remain only a story heard from other riders :)