After a spectacular summer, Autumn is finally here and with it in the UK, we are expecting wetter weather. One of the concerns at the forefront of many horse owners’ minds is mud-related skin conditions, says Peter Fishpool.
There are several types of mud related skin condition but pastern dermatitis, known as mud rash or mud fever, is the most common.
The mud- related skin condition can cause painful skin irritation and infected sores that can result in swelling of the limb and even lameness! Pastern Dermatitis is caused by a bacteria which resides in soil as spores, and then becomes active in wet weather.
The bacteria enters the body through small cuts which generally occur due to wind, rain or horse owners washing our horse’s legs and softening the skin. These small cuts, once the bacteria has entered the body can then turn into painful sores and scabs as the infection spreads. This skin condition most commonly affects the pastern and heel area of the horse – hence its descriptive name!
How to Prevent and Manage Mud-Related Skin Conditions
Try to keep exposure to wet muddy conditions to a minimum – reduce turn out time if your field is particularly boggy or see if you can swap to a less saturated field. Consider placing hardcore or woodchip in your gateways to help absorb water – a great idea for horses who love to wait by the gate before dinner time!
When you bring your horse in, dry his limbs carefully with a clean towel.
Where required, use a medicated spray or a cream to help fight infection and soothe the skin. If your horse or pony is suffering from mud-related conditions, remove the scabs and clip around the lesions to stop bacteria building up in hair.
You can help mud-related conditions from the inside out with a feed-additive formula with beneficial ingredients including Zinc, MSM, Biotin, Methionine, Protein and Omega-3, like Scientific Nutritional Products’ offers Mud Manager which helps to improve skin and coat condition. It is perfect for cracked and sore skin, encouraging the natural regeneration of skin and hair in the affected area.
Visit horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk to find out more about our full range of supplementary feed products.