Mud Fever Help Needed
I am in the process of buying my first horse, he is Mecklenburger Cold Blood (a German working horse). Both him and his field mates (2 soon to be 3 Belgians and a Schleswiger) have quite bad mud fever. I know that feathered breds are more prone to it, but it sems none of the treatments so far have worked. I want to be able to hit this hard as this is the first year he has had it. The padocks are not waterlogged and they don't tend to stand a lot in mud as almost everywhere they have access to is very well drained. I know there are various causes of mud fever, but I really want to get this sorted without having to pay masive vets bills just yet! Thank you for any reply.
Hi Wottsitt - welcome to the forum
I have a Clydesdale and the best method of dealing with Mudfever I've found is to wash the affected area and the surrounding skin with Nizoral Shampoo. It's a human anti dandruff shampoo that contains Ketaconisol.
I dilute with hand hot water, lather up really well working deep into the hair down to the skin. Do wash well beyond the actual problem area as mudfever is notorius for spreading ooutwards from the initial infection.
I generally wash once, rinse, towel dry and then do it all again but this time leave the shampoo to dry without rinsing.
Don't be tempted to pick off the scabs asit's painful and because it's lymph congealed around the hair when you remove the scabs forcibley you pull hair out by the roots, break the skin and allow bacteria in.
I've been using Nizoral for around 8 years both on my own and on horses at work with excellent results.
Another thing to do to help reduce the possibility of getting Mudfever is to supply the horse with a multi mineral block that contains Zinc and Copper - both help strengthen the skin from within.
Mud feaver is one of those things which can be a real pain in the neck especially if your horse lives out in a field or on pasture 24/7. Best thing to do for mud fever with heavy feathered breeds is to leave well alone. Washing or hosing down feet can actually cause the problem to spread.
However, I am now going to contradict what I have just said. If the problem has really set in and you are attending the horses for the first time, wash and dry the horses feet and feathers using a very, very mild detergent. You are trying to remove only surface grime. DO NOT REMOVE ANY SCABS. Once you have washed and gently towel dried the hooves and feathers, leave alone. Stable horses overnight as the minute you put them back into a field, you are putting them back where the problem originated. It should clear up in a week to ten days.
A really, really bad case will need vetinary attention as you will need to give antibiotics.
The absolutely best treatment I've found with proven results in less than 2 weeks is MTG. Any local feed store will have it and average price is about $15/bottle. Use it liberally on affected areas every 2-3 days and you won't be disappointed.
Are you sure its mud fever? The only reason I'm questioning is that I thought I had a case of it and treated and treated with everything that has been recommended above, with little success.
Then I read on one of the forums about mites, that it can be confused with mud fever, and since I'm in FL dry land. The forum was talking about giving a shot of Dectomax to clear it up, and it worked great. It took a few weeks before I actually saw a big change, but my gelding wasnt chewing on his legs as bad and the hair was starting to come back in.
The best part was that I didn't have to burn his legs and put him thru more pain with the treatment. All the stuff with sulfur will burn on a leg that has raw spots. All the treating I was doing to the legs my guys was starting to connect the cross ties with his legs being burned and was pitching a fit when he was put on the cross ties.
Front Line and K9 Advantix (products in the US used to treat fleas in dogs) works well when applied to the skin below the feather, if it's being caused by a mite in the mud. If it's being caused by a fungus or bacteria in the mud, then I recommend using diluted dish soap (we use dawn) to initially wash the legs, rinse and towel dry, then I've applied an atheletes food powder to the legs, as it's medicated for fungus and bacteria, and I leave that on. Do it daily. Everyone has their own methods, but these have worked for me...
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