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Mud Fever - Say Goodbye with VetCur

Cindy VanDerVelden - Sunday, March 02, 2014

This time of year it is a constant battle with the mud and our horses are at risk of getting mud fever. Mud fever is not a single disease but can come in different forms. It occurs especially in warm, wet weather. It is certainly not limited to horses that are paddling knee deep in mud!Mud fever can range from a mild skin irritation to very painful infected sores, and can in some cases cause significant swelling with severe lameness. It starts off with dry crusts, caused by the inflamed skin weeping.

Bacterium lives in soil as spores and can survive from year to year. These spores become activated by wet weather and this is why we see the disease when the ground is wet. This bacterium cannot invade healthy skin. During the winter the snow and wet weather soften the skin, constant wetting and drying of the legs setting us up for spring which causes the skin in this area to chap, and then the bacteria can enter. Anything which breaks the skin such as a small cut or wound can allow the bacteria to invade. For this reason muddy conditions are not always necessary for mud fever to occur. Some horses seem more prone than others and this is because their skin is a less efficient barrier to infection. For example, horses with white and/or hairless pasterns appear to suffer more and horses with very hairy legs may suffer less (as their skin is a bit more protected). If a horse is suffering from another form of infection such as chorioptic mange or ringworm, the skin can become damaged and this allows a secondary infection to occur. It is important then to identify and treat the primary cause as neither mange nor ringworm will be cured by using antibiotics.

The diagnosis of mud fever is usually straight forward and can be made by identifying the matted hair, crusty scabs and pus on a horse’s leg. The treatment of this condition is unfortunately not always as simple! The importance of regular inspection of the horse’s legs to catch the condition early cannot be stressed enough, and as always, prevention is much better than cure.

The treatment of mud fever begins with thorough washing of the affected areas with an antibacterial shampoo and warm water to remove the crusts and pus as these harbour the infection. The shampoo should be worked into a lather and left on for five minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The leg must then be DRIED thoroughly with a clean towel. It is important to dispose of the scabs properly as they can remain infectious for up to 42 months! The scabs may form again quickly so initially the legs must be washed daily. It may become necessary to stable those who are affected badly, to prevent the skin from any further wetting or exposure to mud until the skin surface is healed. Once the infection has is under control it is imperative to keep on protecting the area until the new skin and hair has formed. By using Cur 1 both morning and night. Within one week the growth conditions for microorganisms are so low that the skin in the treated area is able to begin the healing process. Continue until the area is completely healed and if necessary support with medical treatment.

Once a horse has suffered with mud fever it is not unusual for them to have repeated attacks, it would be better if the horse did not get the infection in the first place. The chronic injury of skin weakens the immune system and natural microorganisms are able to invade the tissue. To strengthen the immune system it would be a beneficial preventative to supplement the feed with a combination of VetCur’s DiVet and ImVet starting in January to prepare for spring.

For horses 15ml of DiVet and 15ml of ImVet, ponies or small horses would be 7.5ml. This will give optimal nutrition to customize your horse’s immune system that will empower your horse’s natural shield against infections. 100% natural phyto ingredients amazingly supporting your horses resistibility against bacteria and disease and will reduce the use of chemical prescription medications.


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