As with many equine health issues, prevention of mud fever is the best cure!
How do I care for a horse with mud fever?
It is vital to clean the legs, softening the mud fever scabs that may have formed. A mud fever shampoo can help as they have antibacterial qualities.
Thoroughly dry the legs, with a clean dry towel, and then apply your mud fever treatment. It is really important to be vigilant, as what can start as small crack like sores that are uncomfortable, can spread resulting in an acute inflammatory reaction, with swollen legs and resulting lameness.
In general it is important to keep your horse’s legs clean, and keep an eye out for any skin irritation, especially during winter.
If you can be aware of mud fever in the early stages and be vigilant about cleaning, drying the legs and treating the affected areas daily, you may save you a visit from the vet. However if symptoms do not improve, or your horses leg swell, please do consult your vet immediately.
Look out for little bumps, inconsistencies, and anything out of the normal. Each case of mud fever can be a little different!
Over the years we have helped numerous people care for their horses and we have a list of favourite mud fever remedies and products for prevention of mud fever.
Mud fever treatments we recommend
Mud fever products we have seen good results from include (in no particular order):
- Fix It Cream SPF25 (NZ made) works great for sunburn and scab healing too
- Equine Care Probiotics (NZ made)
- Nettex Surgical Scrub
- Vet Pro Fungal shampoo or the VetPro Mud Packs which include an anti fungal cleansing wash, anti-bacterial gel and Equifix
- Nettex Seven Day Mud Away
- Muddy Marvell Barrier Cream
- Keratex Mud Shield
Antibacterial shampoos for mud fever prevention and treatment include:
These natural products are designed to address mineral and vitamin deficiencies to improve horses skin and coat condition, which may help prevent mud fever:
- Four Flax Oil Skin and Coat for high omegas
- Hira Herbals Immune Tonic or Magnesium tonic for allergies
- Elite Equine Compete
We’re happy to talk to you if you’d like to come on in to the store, or call before ordering. Contact our team.
What causes mud fever in horses?
Mud fever refers to a range of skin reactions due to many different irritants. But it is an infectious ‘bug’ which tends to thrive in wet and muddy conditions.
There are many factors, such as possible bacteria in some soils, excessive sunlight on some horses pink skin, excessive wet and muddy conditions, and in fact excessive washing can all be potential irritants that compromise the skin resulting in mud fever.
HorseTalk shared a detailed article about the various bacteria that cause mud fever (also called pastern dermatitis), and a range of additional possible factors.
Of course, we are not vets, and this information is based on our own experience of which mud fever products have the best results, and valuable feedback from our customers at HorseSports. We hope it is helpful, but for advice on any serious cases of mud fever, we do recommend that you speak with your vet promptly.