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Lets Talk Mud Fever in Horses

Published 11th December 2019
Estimated 1 minute read time.
Lets Talk Mud Fever in Horses
❓What causes it❓
Wet ground conditions are the number one cause of mud fever (not the mud per se), whilst humid conditions are the number one cause of rain scald (you don't need rain for rain scald to occur). The key to resolving both is to stop the wet-dry cycle from continuing. In the case of mud fever, washing affected legs will keep the wet-dry cycle going and every time the legs are washed without effective drying (towel drying is not enough) the epidermis is prevented from healing and or damaged further. Excessive leg washing can even cause mud fever to occur in the first place.

Rather than washing the legs which maintains the wet-dry cycle, the most effective method is to massage antimicrobial barrier creams into the affected area twice a day with two aims in mind; firstly to soften the scabs to encourage them to fall off (if you massage for only a few minutes the scabs will begin to soften), and secondly to provide a waterproof barrier until the epidermis heals. This process should be repeated until all the scabs have come away and the skin beneath heals. If the mud fever was triggered by mite bites or associated scratching, then anti parasitic treatments should be used alongside the barrier cream. Remember that the microorganisms which cause mud fever are found naturally on your horses’ skin and within the surrounding environment and therefore the only way to resolve mud fever is to use methods which allow the skin to repair its natural protective layer and which break the wet-dry cycle.

🌟 Do’s 🌟

βœ… Keep the legs as dry as possible
βœ… Let the mud dry and brush it off so there’s no need to wash
βœ… Apply pig oil daily (or as needed)
βœ… Apply hoof barrier creams to a dry hoof daily
βœ… Avoid over washing
βœ… Avoid the field churning up (changing field entry points, feeding areas, try not to ride in the field)

🚫 Don’t 🚫

❌ DONT over wash! Especially with cold water
❌ DONT use hibiscrub NEAT
❌ DONT let the affected areas stay wet and cold
❌ IF treatments and preventions don’t seem to be working, contact your vet!!

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