Do you dread the winter months when you horse is more susceptible to bacterial infections such as mud fever? In this issue we talk to the team at Equi-Med Ag about mud fever, what symptoms to look for and how their revolutionary new products have changed the way it can be tackled… and with much success.
Mud fever usually occurs during the wet winter months when there is plenty of mud about. Unfortunately it is not only a winter condition as resent study have shown. Studies have also shown we are now dealing with much more aggressive strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus Aureus.
Any type of horse can be affected by it, but particularly those with long hair around the fetlock are at risk. Back legs are more prone to mud fever than front legs and horses with thin skin or white heels are also more likely to be susceptible to the condition.
Inflammation of the skin and underlying tissues leads to the skin swelling, stretching and weeping. Cracks appear, the hair starts to falls out and hard scabs start to form.
Horses exposed to a muddy environment or those that are kept in a dirty or unsatisfactory condition are more susceptible to mud fever. It can be a time-consuming and difficult condition to treat, with efforts to manage the symptoms often frustrating when the owner has no choice but to turn horses back out into the field or paddock that aggravated the condition in the first place.
The signs of mud fever are fairly obvious and easy to recognise…
- Matted areas of hair containing crusty scabs
- Small, circular, ulcerated, moist lesions beneath scabs
- Thick, creamy, white, yellow or greenish discharge between the skin and overlying scab
- The scab, once removed, often has hair roots visible
- Deep cracks in the skin
- Eventual hair loss leaving raw-looking, inflamed skin underneath
- Heat, swelling and pain if pressure is applied to the limb or the limb is flexed or stretched
- If severely affected, lethargy, depression and loss of appetite
Preventing mud fever and killing bacterial infections:
Although it is not possible to guarantee complete protection, half the battle lies in effective preventive measures – As they say prevention is better than a cure!
If horses are turned out, it is advisable to keep their feathers clipped for easy cleaning. Also ensure your horse is stabled on clean dry bedding and provide good living conditions.
Equi-Med Ag advise NOT to apply any topical creams or lotions and use a stable boot with an activated carbon and silver layer to help provide antibacterial properties and fight off any bacteria before it causes bacterial infections such as mud fever.
You can continue turning your horse out to grass and use the boots at night in the stable, however in severe cases you may need to keep him stabled for a couple of days allowing the boots to work effectively.
We always recommend that you consult your vet if your horse has severe symptoms of mud fever.
The Equi-Med Ag range features a variety of wound boots in a various styles and sizes and two lengths of wound dressing to suit your horse’s needs.
For more information on all of the Equi-Med Ag products please visit www.equimedag.co.uk or call on 0191 5118323.