So it’s officially spring, wahoo! It has felt such a long winter and I am so looking forward to saying goodbye to this winter weather. Mud fever is something we are super-hot on as equestrians as it affects so many horses every year no matter how hard we try. Sometimes even when you try your BEST to prevent mud fever, you can’t always win. I noticed Robbie had mud fever when checking his legs a few weeks ago and I have tried so hard to prevent it this winter, especially with him being a grey horse. So here are some tips I have picked up on to try know and spot the causes, signs and prevent mud fever.
What can cause mud fever?
- Mud fever is not a single disease; it is caused by bacteria or fungal organisms
frustratingly common in wet muddy weather
- Horses with white legs are much more susceptible to mud fever
- Horses standing for prolonged time in wet and muddy fields
- Excessive washing of your horses legs and not drying them after
- Excessive sweating
- Badly fitting bandages/boots
Sign and symptoms of mud fever?
- Feeling for crusty scabs when checking your horse’s legs
- Open sores
- Your horse feeling very lethargic
- Swelling in your horses legs
- Your horse shows signs of pain when touching mud fever areas
- Your horse has gone of his food
- You notice your horse is low in mood and not his/her usual self
How to try and prevent/treat mud fever
- Checking your horse’s legs daily for signs of infection
- Protective boots and bandages only on dry clean legs and as long as mud is not able to get underneath the boot. Eg. The Protechmasta SilverAid Boots
- Making sure your horses bedding is dry and clean
- Avoid powerful hosing and brushing your horse’s legs with coarse brushes and making sure your horses legs are dried thoroughly after washing.
- Barrier creams applied on dry and clean legs
- Nutritional supplements to promote healthy skin
- Rotating paddocks if possible to avoids poaching
- Making sure you don’t share your grooming kit with others if either horse has mud fever
Hopefully this has been helpful, fingers crossed the wet and muddy weather is nearly over and we can start enjoying spring!!
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