With all this wet weather recently, this will make your horse more at risk from mud fever. Mud Fever is caused by continual wetting of the skin resulting in a breakdown of the protective barrier of the epidermis, allowing bacteria to enter and infection to take hold. The signs of mud fever include:

  • Matted areas of air containing crusty scabs
  • Small, circular, ulcerated, moist lesions beneath scabs
  • Thick, creamy, white, yellow or greenish discharge between the skin and overlying scab
  • Deep fissures in the skin
  • Eventual hair loss leaving raw-looking, inflamed skin underneath
  • Heat, swelling and pain on pressure or flexion of the limb
  • Possible lameness

Ways of treating mud fever include:

  • Keeping the skin clean and dry is the basis of treating the condition. This may only be possible if the horse is removed from the wet and mud and kept stabled for some time.
  • The area will need to be washed in a solution such as Hibiscrub in order to try and soften the scabs, so that they can be peeled off.
  • The area should then be dried thoroughly, this is very important.
  • Once dry, there are numerous creams, lotions and emollients that may help to protect the area and to aid healing, but only if the area is dry. The best one to try is Hypocare, this can be purchased by clicking here.
  • Bandaging an affected limb can be a good way of keeping it clean and dry, but only if the skin has been properly dealt with beforehand, and the correct bandaging technique is used.
  • The process of treating mud fever may need to be repeated several times, but if your horse's condition is not clearing up and is getting worse, call your vet has your horse may need some antibiotics.

Ways of preventing mud fever:

  • Avoid the over-washing of legs
  • If your are bandaging, make your horse's legs are clean and dry first
  • Use a barrier cream on your's legs
  • Use waterproof leg wraps for turnout
  • If possible, section off the most muddiest areas on your horse's field with electric fencing