Another stupid question or two (RE mud fever etc) - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 09:02 AM
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Harley had scratches (mud fever) last summer. We had to treat it using a cream that contained penicillin.

I would definitely be taking preventative steps. My advice would be to trim any long hairs with scissors, wash the area with a tea tree oil based shampoo, dry thoroughly (like with a towel, and then let her stand around a while in a clean area like a stall, or on cross ties while you groom her all over). Then apply diaper cream thickly, focusing on the back of the pastern. Anything with a zinc oxide base will work, and did wonders for keeping Harley from getting worse or developing it again. As a bonus, the diaper cream will stay on a day or two, so every other day should do it. Maybe keep a brush just for removing caked mud (the hard plastic curry combs are good for that - about the only thing they're good for), and when you go back, just start by brushing off mud. If you can see there is still diaper cream underneath, just re-apply, you don't need to wash again. Over-washing isn't good either. If you can time it so you're there after she comes in from outside, you can clean her up for the rest of the day/night, and her skin can breathe for several hours, so going back out in the mud for a few hours a day won't hurt. It's more of a problem if the horse is in it 24/7 and/or never gets its legs cleaned.

And yes, all the vitamins and minerals are necessary. I know you're still waiting on your hay analysis, but the sooner you can start supplementing some basic vitamins, the better. You could already touch base with an equine nutritionist, if you have found one, to ask what you can safely add to her diet immediately (ie, without the results of hay analysis). Things like iron and selenium, you'll want to hold off on, but you may be able to add a few vitamins without any risk.
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hm. So many options haha! I will 100% be ordering some vitamin supplements as that's a great idea. I should have thought of already duh. I've done a LOT of thinking and generally with most of my (100+ exotic rescues) it's better to let the animal and their own immune system do the work, while while they are healthy ofc. I get the vibe that the oil we lather in is just helping what the horse naturally secretes anyway. I'm worried that if I disturb the balance by over brushing or washing it'll be inviting infection just as well as I think I'm avoiding it.

SO. The days I will be there, every other, I will rinse them off with plain water and rub in some oils, taking care not to over brush or damage the skin. She'll have around 14 hours to dry off and for the oils to set in before next turn out. I'll bear in mind that I might need to shave her. I'm worried about using the boots in case they aren't on properly. :'< But look good for hacking!

ps: I'm currently studying horse nutrition in depth while I await the hay analysis. My head, man. My head.
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post

ps: I'm currently studying horse nutrition in depth while I await the hay analysis. My head, man. My head.
Lollol, welcome to the horse health issues club, lollol
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 10:18 AM
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ps: I'm currently studying horse nutrition in depth while I await the hay analysis. My head, man. My head.
Hahaha... yes, I hear you! But it is a fascinating world! You will find, however, that there is a huge amount of conflicting information, and even some bad information (I know, shocker). It is a whole lot easier if there is someone who can help guide you. My trimmer was that person for me - she is also a trained equine nutritionist. Most importantly, I trust her.

It's good that you have experience rescuing other animals, and that you are taking the least invasive approach possible. Right now, it's not a problem for Katie, and it may never be. I would take precautions, but by the same token, her legs will be dry for most of the day, so a couple of hours in mud should not be that big a deal. It is entirely possible you are suffering (just a little) from new horse-mom syndrome. And I am speaking as someone who knows all about it! :)

Oh, as a side-note, I wouldn't use boots either since you're not there all the time, and they will get lost in the mud. You can't ask the BO to go digging for them.
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 10:46 AM
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It's good that you have experience rescuing other animals, and that you are taking the least invasive approach possible. Right now, it's not a problem for Katie, and it may never be. I would take precautions, but by the same token, her legs will be dry for most of the day, so a couple of hours in mud should not be that big a deal. It is entirely possible you are suffering (just a little) from new horse-mom syndrome. And I am speaking as someone who knows all about it! :)
First, I am glad to see that I am not the only new horse mom who spends days/weeks/months on end coming up with a nutrition plan for their horses. Yes, it would be cheaper if I just used what my BO provides free of charge with my full board. Yep, that'd save me about $250 per month... BUT in reality, I know that my horses needs are not the same as every other horse and I don't feel that it is my BOs job to make sure Duke & Loretta have well-balanced diets. I am still a new horse mom, but I actually found my farrier, my BO and the local draft tack store to be my best friends in the whole process. I started researching food, then figuered out what Duke & Loretta needed, then I ran the idea past the BO, then my farrier who primarily deals with drafts, and owns her own herd of them... then I questioned the poor lady at the draft tack store for what must have been 45 minutes about the pros vs. cons of certain foods, and finally, ran it all past my vet who told me I needed a massage & some reiki because I was stressing him out over the phone :p He then told me that in nature, horses live off grass, hay, twigs, berries, anything they can munch on. Horses that need to gain weight EAT MORE. Horses that need to maintain, know how much to eat. My vet is a bit hippy-dippy, but his advice to me was to pick a feed and stick with it. If it does what you want it to do, stick with it. I guess that is kinda common sense...

Second.... I am glad I am not the only one who has new horse mom syndrome! I am glad to see that others care just as much as I do. It is very refreshing because at my barn, I only see 1 other owner and I only see here once every month or so. I cannot tell you how many times I spend an hour AFTER I spend time with Duke & Loretta going from horse to horse making sure that they all get love and attention. I just don't understand how people can make such a huge financial investment and never want to spend time with their horses. Maybe it is just because I am an animal lover. My home is full of rescue animals, and if I had the flat land at home for Duke & Loretta, they'd be home with me...
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Oh god I nearly sprayed my drink everywhere. I definitely have NHMS! I will be looking for a nutritionist - so far have found a veterinary chiro who also fits saddles. I'm looking forward to that one! And @twixy79 you could be me! Katie is stalled next to two others. 1 whose mum comes once a month but gets full livery at *least. She's apparently a bit of a moody mare but she fell asleep on my shoulder for a good time. We get on amazingly. The other is a poor 4 year old whose mum is DIY with zero turnout, but comes once a night, if she's lucky. She's coughing a lot from the ammonia (I went in and my eyes were weeping from the sharpness of it) and while not underweight - yet - is easily going 20 hours without food. The livery manager is trying to deal with it but the owner doesn't seem to take things seriously. I'm about to leave to go to the yard, yay for 2 hour train journeys, and if she's not seen to her mare by the time I get there I will be mucking her out myself and chucking in a haynet. I know it's enabling the abuser, we all know that, but there's only so much neglect that can be rubbed in my face. I will be taking things further if the situation doesn't improve. I'm not a bystander and never will be!
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 11:42 AM
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Oh god I nearly sprayed my drink everywhere. I definitely have NHMS! I will be looking for a nutritionist - so far have found a veterinary chiro who also fits saddles. I'm looking forward to that one! And @twixy79 you could be me! Katie is stalled next to two others. 1 whose mum comes once a month but gets full livery at *least. She's apparently a bit of a moody mare but she fell asleep on my shoulder for a good time. We get on amazingly. The other is a poor 4 year old whose mum is DIY with zero turnout, but comes once a night, if she's lucky. She's coughing a lot from the ammonia (I went in and my eyes were weeping from the sharpness of it) and while not underweight - yet - is easily going 20 hours without food. The livery manager is trying to deal with it but the owner doesn't seem to take things seriously. I'm about to leave to go to the yard, yay for 2 hour train journeys, and if she's not seen to her mare by the time I get there I will be mucking her out myself and chucking in a haynet. I know it's enabling the abuser, we all know that, but there's only so much neglect that can be rubbed in my face. I will be taking things further if the situation doesn't improve. I'm not a bystander and never will be!
@Kalraii good for you! So before we had adopted Loretta, Duke was in a pasture with a petite little mare named Cassie. They got along well, Duke would try to push her around because of his size, but she had the leg up on speed and mobility. Whenever I'd go in to feed Duke dinner, I'd always throw some hay in for her as well. She looked so tiny next to Duke that I felt I needed to make sure he didn't eat them out of hay and leave none for her (because he would, he is a little turd at times) Once she got moved to a new pasture and stall, we kept tabs on her. Her owners have never visited, and apparently, they are actively trying to find a home for her. So we still make sure she always has hay, treats, and lots of love. My husband absolutely adores her and I know if we have room in our new home, he will want to adopt her (and I am 100% fine with that). But right now, in a boarding situation, I am not about to pay board on another horse. If we do, we will never be getting into a new house lol
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-31-2018, 10:27 PM
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Harley had scratches (mud fever) last summer. We had to treat it using a cream that contained penicillin.
Oh! Scratches! Well, golly, I'm still glad @Kalraii asked the question or I wouldn't have know that name! I did see it when I was in the eastern US.

I agree with trimming the hair and washing off the mud. Drying as w'vell as possible is a benefit.

I've never had a secondary infection develop (requiring an antibiotic) but can sure understand that happening if one doesn't have options for getting the horse out of the mud.
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-01-2018, 02:21 AM
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There are no stupid questions, just questions not asked, that should have been!
Scratches, mud fever, are all laymen terms for equine pastern dematitis
It can be caused by numerous organisms,depending what is in the soil. All those organisms, whether bacterial, fungal,viral or even caused by mites, are opportunistic, meaning
there has to be some breach of the skin barrier for them to invade.

What&#39;s New in Treating Pastern Dermatitis | TheHorse.com

Because it can be caused by a variety of organisms , one treatment alone does not work for all cases

Mud alone does not cause it, but rather mud laddened with bacteria or fungus or both
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-01-2018, 08:00 AM
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Mud alone does not cause it, but rather mud laddened with bacteria or fungus or both
True, and very good information Smilie! However, in my experience, if the area remains wet, the skin will eventually get irritated, and sometimes that's all it takes to give the bacteria an opportunity. As for "clean" mud, I don't know about your paddocks/pastures, but mine get filthy pretty quickly when the horses pee/poop everywhere, then proceed to roll in it, and churn it into the ground before I have any hope of picking it up. In other words, real life conditions are such that there is often an opportunity created by the very fact that there is mud, and that mud is often laden with bacteria and/or fungus by virtue of being lived-in by horses.

Yet, when Harley lived here (briefly, I moved him after a month and a half of living in this filth), he didn't get scratches. But last summer, after a brief stay at a horsey camp with my daughter, he got it, and it dragged on for weeks even though there was no mud in sight anywhere. So Smilie is right, just because there is mud, that doesn't mean scratches will develop. It can happen any time of year (the morning dew can cause it in the summer) in a variety of conditions if the horse is somehow vulnerable. Harley is prone to skin conditions, and was in a barn full of strange horses. So you don't need to worry all the time, but they certainly will keep you guessing!

In my (limited) experience, some horses just tend to be more prone to things than others. My mare never gets anything, whereas Harley needs a lot of care.
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