Anyone who has ever battled with mud fever will know how persistent it is and how challenging to eradicate. This really is one of those situations where prevention is the best form of cure.
- Keep your horses’ legs as dry as possible. Don’t fall into the trap of hosing off wet mud each night when the horse comes in as you permanently waterlog the skin and seriously contribute to the ease in which the bacteria can penetrate. Sodden skin is soft skin and is far more prone to scratches and abrasions, the perfect entry point for the micro-organism which causes mud fever, Dermatophilus Congolensis
- If your horse comes in wet from the field, dry his legs by using leg wraps which you can take off later in the evening or next morning, stable bandages with fibergee underneath are an alternative option
- Use a proper barrier cream in the heel area before he is turned out which protects and is also medicated
- Clip any feather away. Long hair just remains wet next to the vulnerable skin and legs are much easier to keep dry if you can access the skin
- Check daily for any signs of mud fever and treat immediately and persistently twice daily if you discover any until the scabs and sores are completely absent
Dietary supplementation can support skin integrity and is a specific weapon in the war against mud fever which has several fronts. Nutritional enhancement is particularly useful for horses with some form of compromise such as Cushing’s Disease which not only affects the skin quality but also the immune response and healing time for wounds and cuts. Omegas 3 and 6 and B Vitamins are all essential constituents for strong hair and skin.