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Mud Glorious Mud!

Written by The Team at Fourflax on April 21st, 2017.      18 comments

What is it & what are the signs?


Mud fever is a bacterial skin infection affecting the lower legs caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis. The bacteria is unable to enter normal skin, however if skin is weakened through prolonged wetting, or damaged by a cut, rub, or trauma then the bacteria can enter and multiply starting an infection. White skin tends to be more sensitive, so is easier for the bacteria to get in.

Standing in muddy, wet conditions will weaken horses’ skin and provide these bacteria with the five star accommodation and conditions that they need to survive and breed, which is why when mud fever starts it can quickly worsen.

Mud fever is usually easily recognised as hair becomes matted and contains oozing, crusty yellowy scabs, which when removed have moist lesions underneath. There may also be a thick, creamy, white or yellow discharge. Mud fever causes an acute inflammatory reaction, so the skin will be reddened and warm. Mud fever affects just the lower limbs. Rain scald is caused by the same bacteria and the symptoms are very similar, however the back and flanks are affected rather than the legs.

How do we prevent & treat it?
Mud fever bacteria live under the scabs, as they need warm, moist conditions to breed. This means that to treat mud fever we need to start by removing the scabs. This is best done using a product containing chlorhexidine (which will kill the bacteria) and diluting it in warm water. It is crucial to use warm water as this will help soften the scabs making them easier to gently remove. Mud fever bacteria can’t survive in clean, dry conditions, so with cleaning and a few days out of the wet the condition should quickly clear up.
The key to preventing mud fever is to prevent prolonged mud contact, minimise skin trauma and maintain healthy skin & a healthy immune system. Also keeping your horse clean and dry and treating any cuts and grazes as soon as they occur.
Barrier creams are a really useful traditional way of protecting skin from mud, the most effective ones also have antibacterial and moisturising properties to inhibit bacteria and keep skin supple and in great condition. The next generation of protection from mud are barrier sprays. They act in the same way as creams, but are easier to apply and less messy. Barrier sprays prevent mud sticking to the coat allowing quick removal by simple brushing.
Try our two Mud Fever products from the Nettex collection today!

- Seven Day Mud Away: a preventative spray to stop mud from sticking and building up

- Barrier Cream: with anti-bacterial agents and soothing lanolin to help clear and heal
Available to BUY ONLINE (click here) or at your nearest equestrian retailer!


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