Mudfever on a laminitic horse. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-13-2012, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Mudfever on a laminitic horse.

I'm currently in charge of a mare who has recently been diagnosed by a vet with laminitis. The mare is not mine, though I have been looking after her for several months now. Without getting into the whole saga, the mare got out onto lush spring grass whilst under the owner's care for three weeks.

Today I noticed mudfever on a couple of her legs. Whilst I know what it looks like, and have had friends who have had to treat it in the past, I've never had to personally.

Given her situation - mare is on a course of bute and in considerable pain - what can I use to treat it? Owner is preoccupied with personal issues so is there anything homemade/cheap I can get or will I need to get her to buy something from a saddlery (which may take some time)? Horse is a very good patient, so application doesn't bother me, just knowing I can use something in my budget does!

Thanks in advance.

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-13-2012, 10:03 PM
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Many Kudos to you for your willingness to help this horse

I see you're in New Zealand, so the products may not be quite the same but:

1. First cut off all the fetlock hair and shave the hair down to a crew cut in the back of the fetlock joint, if the horse can stand to be touched with the clippers. Regardless of bacterial or fungal, the skin in that area needs air to dry up Mud Fever.

2. If her legs are covered in mud and/or manure, wash them either with some sort of microbial wash like Betadyne or an antibacterial dish soap. I use Dawn dish soap because that is what the rescue folks use to wash ducks and other fowl whenever a big oil spill happens

Pat as dry as possible with paper towels, so you can throw them away.

3. The cheapest & most effective topicals that SHOULD work (nothing's 100%:( is an equal mix of Hemerhoid ointment/Triple antibiotic ointment/diaper rash cream.

Clean legs and apply goop twice a day. I will pull the scabs off if they appear ready to come off and as long as there's no bleeding; that means the sore isn't healed enough for the scab to come off.

It's important to keep the legs clean and healing as Cellulitis can set in. Keep an eye out that the legs don't start to get puffy.

Back to the founder. It's grass founder so the odds are really good the horse has insulin issues; insulin issues can oftentimes compromise the immune system<-----weak immune systems can lead to chronic cases of mud fever, rainrot, thrush. See where all this is going?

That means no grains whatsoever. The horse needs to be put on a low starch diet, quality grass hay and either no pasture (put her in a dry lot if possible), OR put a grazing muzzle on her and limit the time on pasture.

What season are you in right now? The U.S. is heading into Fall and this time of year is actually as bad or worse for grass founder.

We get hard frost at night and fast warm ups the next day. That equals a surge of fructans thru the grasses which, in turn, is what causes the horse to founder.

I know this isn't your horse and your responsibility only goes as far as you have money and time. Hopefully you can re-arrange this horse's eating schedule without dipping into your finances or causing you too much extra time
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-13-2012, 10:09 PM
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vaseline has worked for a few people I know.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-13-2012, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply walkinthewalk! Very informative.

Regarding the laminitis, I'm already checking off most of what you listed. The mare was immediately placed on a dirt spot and just fed meadow hay. Vet came out and suggested we move her onto something kinder to her feet if we could (bit of an uneven area), and thankfully I own a fatty who had eaten down her pen so we could move her. We then got in sand (as couldn't afford shavings and the good ol' huge EQ back here in 2011 left us heaps of liquefaction/sand) which the vet approved and made it so she had an area to relieve her feet and only a small area of "grass" (the pen would be slightly larger than a moderate sized stall) to place her hay on.

She has also got a bit of thrush too :( It's spring here, and we've had some really erratic weather of late so the vet mentioned most of her diagnosis' lately were grass founder, laminitis or abcesses. Darn it that this lovely mare had to end up with it as her care should be controlled by her owner. Nevermind I'm happy to do what I can.

Her legs WERE puffy the day I first found her unable to move. Though that would be more of a stocking up factor from lack of movement, as they have gone down.

Thanks for the treatment ideas, I'll see what I can get my hands on.

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-14-2012, 08:28 AM
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It's good to know the puffiness went out of her legs - I would also think she stocked up from not moving around much.

It's when that puffiness "explodes" before your very eyes and somehow manages to spread to both limbs, move upward and does not go away, that cellulitis could be the issue.

The owner would then have to have their feet held to the fire for the vet bill because cellulitis is a vet bill, including antibiotics

Your erratic Spring weather can be cause for surges of fructan in the grasses but it sounds like you already "have a dog in that race" and merely adding one more horse to the system

Good luck to you, I hope the mare comes around
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-14-2012, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you again walkinthewalk for your informative reply!
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