Mud Fever When The Horse Has Bolted...
Prevention - Recognition - Treatment
Things to consider.. Horse dont get mud fever just because there is MUD!
1. Avoid prolonged periods of turnout in mud and why. Wet abrasive soils cause the skin to soften and cracks to appear, don't let those nasties in!- Not easy I know if you are on grass livery only
2. Consider not clipping as tiny cuts/nicks made by the clippers, that may not be visible are a gateway for the for micro-organisms to enter. These organisms can and do live on the skins surface without causing problems, its only when the skin is compromised the problem of mud fever arises. Longer hair also allows water to run off easily... within reason.
3. If rinsing/hosing is necessary consider using only water, as detergents can dry out the skin, change the ph balance and strip it of natural protective oils. Cold water can also make the skin cold and cause chapping. Towel drying helps to avoid the warm moist conditions these microbes love ...kick em out! Not welcome in these pasterns!
4. Mud preventative boots and socks... sounds great however consider the climate underneath...mmm Warm, Moist and lack of oxygen, microbes love these conditions. What do your wellies smell like...get the picture ;)
5. Mud barrier creams...mmm smells nice, lovely consistency, cost a fortune, love spending money la di da...useless on infected skin, in fact probably makes it worse as the water repelling qualities block any other supportive antibacterial creams you administer.
Keep your horse out of the mud and use a healing supportive cream to speed up the process and get back to peachy skin before using barrier creams.
6. Consider the bedding, soft and absorbent is best. Spiky course straw may be the one that broke the camels back if the skin has become weakened.
7. Consider the fitting of exercise boots and conditions they are used in. Sand and rubbing boots may again be the last straw to chapped and sore skin.
8. Consider your horses age, age related immune system problems, perhaps talk with your vet over the summer, catch him/her for some good advise when up for a routine visit. If you suspect your horses mud fever has penetrated into deep tissue it always advisable to speak with your vet as antibiotics may well be advised
9. So your horse has lovely healthy skin, the right colour and free from blemishes, its dry and hairy , just peachy.
This is the time to use mud/water repellents on your horse if you feel its needed for added protection. Find one that suits your horse, that has added benefits, easy to apply and effective.
And Spring is around the corner always! Happy Vibes :)