View Full Version : Mud fever
27th Sep 1999, 07:27 PM
One of my horses is a 14 hand welsh cob who I use for Riding for the Disabled. She is 18 years old and suffers from chronic mud fever.
She was diagnosed with this condition some time ago and I have tried all sorts of things to cure it but only seem to be able to keep it at bay at best.
She has feathering on her legs which I clip every couple of months to allow the air to the scabs. I put liquid parafin on her scabs every couple of days and pick them off as soon as possible.
I manage to keep round her heels fairly ok then the problem moves up the legs. she has even been known to have scabs on her tummy!
She does not have mites as this was one of the things that the vet tested for and he assures me it is mud fever even though it persisted during the long dry times that we had during the summer.
She is a very itchy pony and loves being scratched and rubs herself on any tree to hand.
Does any body have any ideas as to what I can try next. I would prefer to go the herbal natural way ifpossible.
28th Sep 1999, 01:26 AM
My piebald cob mare suffers from mud fever quite badly and the only thing that has really worked is some steroidal ointment called Dermobium from the vet. It is quite expensive but works wonders. I know you would prefer a more natural remedy but thought I'd let you know anyway.
Good luck - if you find a miracle cure please let me know!
28th Sep 1999, 12:21 PM
My coloured cob mare also suffers from this problem - particularly on one hind leg just above her fetlock. On a daily basis I've been applying either Hilton Herbs Soothe and Smooth of Spray and Smooth directly to the affected part and topping it up with Equimins Udder Cream. This seems to minimise the crusty build up and keep the surrounding skin supple and free of cracking. Although the problem never totally clears up this has proved to be the best way of keeping it under control. My vet is happy that the condition is under control and is content with the approach I'm taking.
Given my mare has a lot of feather on her legs, I've found it best to keep her legs clipped out all year round. I wash her legs off with Hibiscrub and dry them with thermal leg wraps once or twice a week before reapplying the other preparations.
[This message has been edited by Maria (edited 28 September 1999).]
28th Sep 1999, 02:45 PM
Hi, I was just curious, what is mud fever? I've never heard of it before. Is it something horses pick up from the mud....sometimes to get to our riding ring, we have to cross a muddy path (after a rainstorm) to get to it. Hopefully, it's not something we should worry about here!
28th Sep 1999, 05:47 PM
If I remember rightly, mudfever and the similar rainscald are caused by bacterial infections and are a common problem where horses spend a lot of time in wet, muddy conditions. Both conditions are therefore more common during winter and most cases clear up in the summer. But not always... I found that both rainscald and mudfever could be relieved by first washing the affected area with a tea-tree oil based shampoo (BodyShop's own, actually) to loosen the scabs, drying the area, then applying tea-tree oil in a carrier oil (I think I used grape seed oil). Mudfever's hard to shift though and I haven't used this remedy on a really bad case - but it worked brilliantly on three moderate cases, with no recurrence of the problem.
28th Sep 1999, 11:57 PM
Myrmex, thanks for the info. Hopefully, none of the horses where I ride will have to worry then. Here's hoping all the others with it will heal up nicely.
3rd Oct 1999, 01:41 AM
4 oz emulsifying ointment, 2 oz liquid paraffin, heat till just liquid, mix in 12 drops teatree oil and 12 oz lavender oil, cool and apply daily removing scabs as they lift. You should see results in 3 - 5 days.
3rd Oct 1999, 01:42 AM
Lavender oil - I meant 12 drops!
3rd Oct 1999, 04:39 AM
Being a full-time equine designer I desinged ages ago a mud-fever boot, suitable for wearing in the fields and stables to prevent the bacteria that cause mud fever. The material breathes with pores to prevent moisture heating up the foot and aloows air circulation. For some reason I didn't manage to send the design off to any manufacturer and it is still in my design folders. Anyone interested in having the mud fever boot on the market. Can you suggest pros and cons about the idea? Thanks
P.s The horse book is coming along well. Any more stories can be squeezed in! Reply for details.
4th Oct 1999, 01:11 AM
The horse I purchased has 4 white stockings and is prone to getting mud fever. His last owner said that the only thing to prevent it was to apply MSM cream directly onto the heels, and make sure the legs are dry and mud free each night. It has been very very wet and muddy here the last few weeks, and there is nothing wrong so far!
I have to mention though that a lady who keeps her horse with mine strongly believes that it is actually caused by the mud itself, as her horse suffered really badly but did not get it at all last winter as she moved it to where mine now is - obviously, if it persists all year round, then this may not be the case, unless there are different types of mud fever, and therefore different causes!!!
4th Oct 1999, 06:17 PM
Thank you very much everybody.
Dermobium green certainly worked for a while but as you say it is v expensive and you only get a little for your money. I am also very wary of using it the whole time as I believe it has anti-biotic properties and I would rather use when the situation is really dire.
I am certainly going to try the tea tree and lavender oils if nothing else she will smell very sweet, which will please her boyfriend, Giggles (name comes from his sire - Old Jocus) - my other horse.
4th Oct 1999, 07:04 PM
At last, my internet connection is working!! I've been able to access the board but not leave any messages.
My horse also suffers very badly from mud fever almost all year round. Apparently sunburn irritation causes the break down of the skin in the same way as the wet conditions of winter. The bacteria are then able to enter as they do in winter.
Did your vet do a scab analysis? My horse managed to get a mange type infection to go with his mud fever which required seperate treatment.
All of the methods mentioned are worth a try. Homeopatic remedies include calendula cream on the areas affected after scabs have been removed as this accelerates healing. The use of Thjula (I think thats how you spell it!) tablets was also recommended to me, although you need 100c per day, and I caould only find 30c strength tablets.
Many people swear by the old lard and flowers of sulphur method. Flowers of sulpher is a yellow powder available from pharmacies for approx 80 pence per packet(although it is becoming hard to get as apparently children have been making bombs from it!!!)
You take the powder and mix it with normal lard and spread it thickly on the affected areas, rubbing well in. You then leave it for as long as possible - a week or so - before washing off and reapplying. You may need to do this for several weeks but it usually works on most horses.
As a last resort you obviously have to keep the horse stabled until it has cleared up. Also my vet refused to give me dermobion green as he used this and oral antibiotics as a last resort. He gave me this stuff called leo red which is also used for mastitis in cattle. That was quite effetcive.
Good luck. It's really frustrating when you dutifully cover their legs in udder cream or petrolleum jelly or MSM or whatever on a freezing cold morning and end up with cold slimy hands every day, only to see no results whatsoever. Keep trying - you are not alone!!
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