Equine cannon keratosis (also known as cannon dermatitis, stud crud, or leg funk) is a skin condition that affects the front of both rear cannons.
It looks like dark oily or scaly dandruff like patches that vary in size.
Picture 1: Shows Cannon Keratosis visible on the front of the cannon bone.
Thoroughbreds, Arabians, and crosses of those two breeds seem to be most commonly affected, but it can occur in any breed. It is caused by an over production of normal secretions in the skin. Although it usually does not cause a problem for the horse if groomed regularly. If the condition is left untreated in can lead to a secondary fungal or bacterial infection (seborrheic dermatitis). Previously it was thought to have been caused by urine splashing on the legs of geldings or stallions. However, mares can have this condition as well.
Picture 2: Shows how the skin has become red and irritated (seborrheic dermatitis) from the condition.
Regular grooming with a gentle rubber curry comb can help remove the build-up of excess skin debris. Periodic cleansing and removal of the crusty scales and debris with keratolytic (anti-dandruff) shampoos can be helpful in managing the condition too. Ensure that you are always gentle and do not become too aggressive while cleaning the area as you can damage the skin and cause a secondary infection.
Apply White Healer after the area is cleaned and dried to prevent and treat any secondary infections and encourage any hair lost to regrow. It is best to keep treating with White Healer daily until the condition is under control again. This condition is never cured but has to be managed on a daily basis with good grooming, nutrition, and treatment as needed. Consult a veterinarian if the condition worsens or does not respond to treatment.
Picture 3 & 4: Apply White Healer daily to any areas of irritation.