Well we are at that time again when the weather is wet and the ground is muddy.
Mud fever is caused by an infectious agent called dermatophilus congolensis and this thrives in muddy areas.
This agent can lay dormant on the horse’s skin until the horse is perhaps kept out in the wet and mud for prolonged periods of time, and this is when the spores germinate. This can then lead to the cracking of the skin and the skin becomes inflamed.
Other causes of Mud Fever are:
- Sweating under rugs or saddle
- Feathered limbs, this is normally due to excessive washing to get the mud off
- Standing in deep mud or wet bedding
- Ill-fitting overreach boots or bandages that rub the skin and cause trauma
- Unhealthy skin, due to poor immune system
You can help prevent this by making sure that you avoid over washing, make sure that bedding is clean and use of barrier cream. If bandaging a horses legs ensure they are clean and dry first, and use waterproof leg wraps when the horse is turned out.
Prevention is better than cure, as Mud Fever can be hard to deal with.