Mud Fever – what are the symptoms, and how do you prevent it?

Mud fever is one of the most common horse health problems owners face.

It’s associated with wet conditions that are all too common in this country, especially in the winter months, infecting the lower leg, usually the pastern and the heel, entering through tiny cracks or openings, and then multiplying under the leg hair. The open sores it creates then offer other bacteria and spores an easy entry point, and the wrong bedding, or badly managed bedding, is an ideal breeding ground  – a hotbed – for harmful strains of the most common bacteria such as E. Coli and E. Faecium.

How do you prevent mud fever?

Like all equine diseases, preventing mud fever is far better for your horse’s health and wellbeing – and your pocket – than having to cure it. And according to Horse & Hound, one of the key factors in prevention.  You must ensure bedding is clean, dry and non-irritant at all times. This is always actually basic good advice for choosing the right bedding and for all equine health and wellbeing reasons. But in the case of mud fever, it’s crucial both to help prevent this fungal infection in the first place, or to speed your horse’s recovery if infected.

How do you treat mud fever?

Although many horse owners are loathe to keep their horse stabled, once infection is established it may be the only option. This means that box rest is almost always required for a horse with mud fever, or if stabled in a yard where other horses have been infected by the dermatophilus congolensis agent that causes it. If your horse is confined to the stable 24/7 for several weeks, that clearly makes your choice of bedding even more important.

For the effective treatment of mud fever and to prevent other equine health threats such as respiratory disease, you must provide a bedding that is as clean, hygienic, supportive and as free from airborne dust and spores as possible. Those are all qualities that we have ‘designed into’ Bedmax shavings to help you keep your horses healthy and happy in their stables.

How will Bedmax help with mud fever?

But there is one other major benefit that Bedmax offers to help prevent diseases such as mud fever, and you won’t find this benefit in almost any other bedding. We make our shavings predominantly from Scots Pine timber, because pine has unique antibacterial properties that help fight the bacteria that cause conditions like mud fever. That’s why disinfectant manufacturers put pine in products that ‘kill 99% of all known germs’, and why kitchen chopping boards are traditionally made from pine.

They knew then from tradition and experience that pine had natural antiseptic defences against harmful bacteria. In 2005, government scientists in the German forestry department tested pine against other softwoods and concluded that ‘only pine eradicates bacteria such as E. Coli and E. Faecium and prevents their regeneration’.

So, when your paddocks have turned into mud baths, make sure you have the best defences down on your stable floor – clean, dry, supportive, cushioning, naturally antibacterial Bedmax shavings – and kick disease out of your horse’s stable.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email