With winter on the way, many equine owners will soon be coping with challenging equine skin conditions as a result of boggy conditions. Mud related skin conditions known as pastern dermatitis, mud rash and mud fever occurs in horses and ponies alike, and is often associated with equines standing in mud over the wetter, colder months.
Mud-caused skin conditions can range from mild skin irritation to painful infected sores, which can cause swelling in the limb, and lameness.
The bacteria which results in a skin conditions can be Dermatophilus congolensis, Staphylococci or Streptococci, which reside in soil as spores, and become active in wet weather. The bacterial and fungal organisms can lead to painful sores and scabs developing, most commonly affecting the pastern and heel area of the equine.
The bacteria can enter the body through small cuts which can result from the wind and rain softening the skin. Interestingly, some horses appear to be more prone to suffering from this condition than others; it is commonly accepted that equines with white hair on their limbs can be more susceptible.
Treatment of mud induced conditions, for example mud fever, involves minimising exposure to mud, removing and cleaning any scabs or lesions, and keeping the limbs as dry as possible. Stabling horses on clean, dry bedding and clipping around the lesions can help, alongside using a medicated spray or cream, or a health supplement. A feed supplement with Zinc, MSM, Biotin, Methionine, proteins and Omega-3 may support the horse nutritionally from the inside out, helping to nutritionally encourage natural regeneration of skin and hair in the affected area. Click here for info on Mud Manager Supplement from the company I represent, Scientific Nutritional Products.