During fall and winter, pastured horses are often exposed to moist, muddy areas. This can result in something called, "Mud fever," or "Pastern Dermatitis," an infection of the horse's legs. While mud fever can be troublesome, it is unlikely to be serious, though some horses take longer than others to recover from the lesions that can result. In this article, we will help you learn how to protect your horse’s legs and prevent mud fever from becoming a problem.
Mud fever is a common condition that affects horses throughout the globe when exposed to wet, muddy conditions. The skin over the pasterns and heels becomes inflamed, resulting in scabby lesions which can become infected and very painful. It is most commonly experienced by horses living in wetter climates, particularly those with white socks, stockings and limbs.
Treatment may involve the simultaneous use of an antibiotic, an anti-fungal, and a topical treatment. Speed of recognition is important in preventing spread or deeper infection. Call your veterinarian as soon as you suspect your horse may have mud fever to discuss treatment options.
Causes of Mud Fever
Although the main contributing factor is damp, wet conditions, other factors can contribute to mud fever. Predisposing factors can include:
Managing Mud Fever
Although there are no 100% guarantees of preventing mud fever, you can take steps to control the likli-hood of your horse having to endure this unpleasant condition.
For more tips on winter and colder weather health care, come back to Morgan’s blog daily!
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