The Horse Forum

The Horse Forum (
-   Horse Health (/horse-health/)
-   -   Mud Fever--Need some questions answered! (

eventerwannabe 02-10-2010 12:18 AM

Mud Fever--Need some questions answered!
Bear got mud fever, and sadly, I didnt even know what mud fever was, or else it would have never happened. He went lame from it, so it was pretty bad. It only broke the skin in two places, and both of the scabs were small. The day after I washed his legs for the first time (and the day I found out he had it) he went super lame! He could barely move, besides following me around the field. I put him in the side field, which I rarely use until summer, as it has less mud. I kept him over there for a few more days until he was walking and trotting around on his own. I have been washing off his legs with warm water and soap every other day. What I do is: Cold hose legs to get all the mud off and just because it helps him a lot, then I get my bucket of warm water with his mane and tail (it seems to be working well) in it, scrub legs down with a spounge, then put on his baby oil stuff (forgot the name).

I lunged him for a minute today to see if he was still lame (it has been a few weeks now, I gave him lots of time off) and he was moving great! He was pretty excited to be worked and actually bolted and attempted to buck (he only does that when he is happy, he didnt spook and wasnt in any pain), gave me some rope burn! ;]

So I am having a few horse friends and the trainer look at him move to get their opinions, that should be on Thursday.

Can you work a horse while it has mud fever, as long as they arent lame?
Am I doing the right thing?
Would MTG work well for the mud fever too (someone told me it would)?
Is there anything else I can do to help him?

He is getting pretty pissed off about not being worked, as he is used to having a job. I am just giving him LOTS of hay and am taking him out and brushing him (I need to since he is shedding like mad!).
Should I do some light bareback (walk) in the arena until I feel he is 100% ready to do walk and trot work and such?
Should I do some inhand and lunging up and down hills?

I hope some of you can help me find answers! =]

eventerwannabe 02-10-2010 02:06 PM

Bump..? o.o

kevinshorses 02-10-2010 02:26 PM

as long as he's not lame then go ahead and use him.

My Beau 02-10-2010 02:29 PM

I would stop hosing his legs off, moisture is a cause of the problem so you want to keep his legs as dry as possible. I would also stop using Mane and Tail on them since they are probably kind of raw that might be irritating.


Can you work a horse while it has mud fever, as long as they arent lame?
I would give him some time off until you get the scratches (mud fever) under control. You don't want to put any unecessary stretching of the skin in those areas. If you really feel the need to ride, I would keep it to a walk.


Am I doing the right thing?
I would wash his legs really well with betadine scrub. Dry them VERY well.

Then you need to pick up some ointments- Desitin (40% zinc oxide, not the 10% kind), Neosporin/Triple Antibiotic, Cortizone Cream and Athlete's Foot Cream (Tinactin). Mix all of these together in a little gladware/tupperware container and apply that mix to his legs 2x daily (if possible). Put it on liberally.

When you go to re-apply just wipe the old stuff off, don't wash it off. The Desitin will act as a water barrier.


Would MTG work well for the mud fever too (someone told me it would)?
I've heard it does, but the above mix works really well! The ointment sticks to it, whereas the MTG would dry sooner, exposing the scratches again.


Is there anything else I can do to help him?
Just watch it, if it doesn't going away within a week get the vet out to check it because he might need antibiotics.


Should I do some light bareback (walk) in the arena until I feel he is 100% ready to do walk and trot work and such?
Should I do some inhand and lunging up and down hills?
I wouldn't lunge up and down hills, but a bareback walk or inhand trail walking wouldn't hurt.

Hope they heal soon!

ksc66 02-10-2010 02:33 PM

We use aloedine ( medicated) shampoo and cleanse the area making sure to remove all of the scabs-very important (cowboy magic crud buster can help if they are difficult) and towel dry the area before applying a thick coat of novalsan, which is a disinfectant cream. We have also used petroleum jelly and wrapped with plastic wrap to loosen the scabs before cleansing. Try to keep it as clean and dry as possible, a medicated cream will help prevent anysecondary infection, if you need to turn out and it is wet use the petroleum jelly as a barrier to moisture which can aggravate the area while healing- we love MTG , in addition to growing long tails it contains sulfur which will help heal -as long as you dont mind the bar-b-que smell. Our gelding once required antibiotics for a difficult case he acquired. We continue to work them as long as they are not in obvious discomfort or the area has not become very swollen. You are on track using the cold water to soothe the area before treatment.

AlabamaHorseMom 02-10-2010 02:39 PM

I'm having a hard time with mud fever too since we've HAD so much rain this year.

What I do is allow the mud thats already on the leg to dry and then brush it off. Its better NOT to wash if you can avoid it, more moisture is not what you want.
If it IS REALLY bad I wash the leg with an iodine wash and then dry with a towel. After the leg is dry again I spray MTG on it.

My OTTB has it REALLY bad last year, and I finally broke down and just gave him a few doses of penicillin and it cleared up within a few days.

MTG will work wonders if you use it regular enough.

My Beau 02-10-2010 02:44 PM

PS- If Bear has chronic scratches he might benefit from copper and/or zinc added to his diet, but talk to your vet about it.

And I never pick off the scabs because it hurts them, how would you like it? If they come off with the initial betadine bath - great! If not, they get covered up with the ointment which softens them. And when you wipe the old stuff off before reapplying they will come off, along with any other dirt that was picked up by the ointment throughout the day. Just my 2 cents.

eventerwannabe 02-10-2010 04:06 PM

Thank you everyone so much for all the wonderful information!

I am using Desitin on him now, and he is responding GREAT to it! I have been using the water because he really likes having his legs cold hosed and because the scabs are coming off when I do. I switched him over to a tea tree oil soap that is really helping (it is awesome for irritated skin). I towel and air dry his legs and then put on the Desitin. I am going to go to the feed store and pick a few things soon hopefully. I am going to pick up some MTG while im there (he needs it for his tail anyways).

Bear has to be turned out, as he has Lymphatic Drainage, aka stocking up. He can be stalled for a day or two if he has pillow wraps and such on, but he does best being out in the pasture. It has been really muddy, more then normal, and he has sensitive skin, so its just a bad mix. ):

He has been off work since the 28th (found out he had Mud Fever on the 27th), so he has had two weeks off. I am going to have a trainer check him out tomorrow night and see what she says. She has a lot of experience with Mud Fever (She has lived in Washington for a while... Washington = rain, rain = mud) and she is good at spotting even the slightest lameness.

He is moving around well now, and isnt limpy or anything. I can mess with all four legs (even in the areas that have Mud Fever) fine, and he just sleeps or watches me. ;]

So what all should I pick up at the feed store?

I hope I cleared some things up! :)

My Beau 02-10-2010 07:05 PM

I would mix at least triple antibiotic in with the desitin to help any open sores (from the scabs coming off) heal up.

They also make a scratches medicine you can pick up at some feed stores you could try. It's pricey, but works very well apparently.
Seashore Acres Scratch Medication - Dover Saddlery.

Let us know what your trainer says!

charlicata 02-10-2010 07:17 PM

Just wondering...How would furazone work on this?

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome