Rain, rain and more rain...
Mud Fever or mud rash is a common problem during the winter. It is a bacterial infection and legs become inflamed and sore. Contact us if legs are sore, swollen or any discharge as they often need treatment to clear up the infection.
However, there are ways you can help prevent your horse getting mud fever. Here a few helpful tips that will make the next few months that little but less soggy.
· Barrier creams- there are many of these on the market and they are designed to be water repellent and protect the skin. They can be useful, but only if no infection is present otherwise, they seal the bacteria in and provide an ideal environment for growth. If using these take care to check legs regularly.
· Protective boots- these can be useful, but if they are not an absolutely perfect fit, small amounts of mud can get underneath and rub the skin allowing bacteria into the skin. So, a very careful check of the legs is needed if using these.
· Check your horse’s legs frequently- regularly allow legs to dry and brush clean to check them. This often requires stabling overnight for legs to dry thoroughly.
· Avoid over washing legs.
And on the subject of washing legs: -
· Avoid over washing; repeated wetting and drying of legs weakens its natural barriers to bacteria.
· Always use warm water.
· Dry legs thoroughly with a towel by patting dry, drying wraps or a hairdryer. (If using electrical appliances always use circuit breaker!!)
· Always use shampoos or antibacterial at correct concentration.
· Rinse well if using shampoos
Please contact us if legs are sore, swollen or any discharge.
Other causes of scabby skin and inflammation on horses’ legs are:
· Leg mites
· Other bacterial infection often deep into the skin- bacterial folliculitis
Often these need veterinary care to improve, so call us for advice. For more information, please also see the British Horse Society website https://www.bhs.org.uk/horse-care-and-welfare/health-care-management/horse-health/equine-diseases/mud-fever/