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Friday, 13 November 2015


 Mud Fever Effecting Horses
Mud Fever is the enemy of horse owners in winter with wet cold conditions and the constant of wetting and drying of the horse’s skin, it’s not long with the infection takes control
What is Mud Fever?
Properly called pastern dermatitis, is not a single disease but can be seen in differing forms and refers to a whole range of skin reactions to a number of different irritants. Frequently called cracked heels or greasy heels, and is caused by an infectious agent called dermatophilus congolensis, which thrives in muddy wet conditions and can range from a mild skin irritation to very painful infected sores, and can in some cases cause significant swelling with severe lameness
Infection can stay dormant in the skin, by becoming active when the skin is compromised, usually by prolonged wetting.
Symptoms or signs to look for in mud fever
The condition affects the lower limb, most commonly the back of the pastern. It starts off as matted hair with dry scabby crusts, caused by the infection of inflamed skin
If the skin is injured in anyway or damaged by a cut, wound, bite, harness sore or through prolonged wetting — the balance between host and organism is disturbed. The organism enters the horse’s body through the broken skin, and multiplies in the damp, warm epidermal layers, starting an active infection causing the mud fever
Causes of mud fever
There are various factors as to what causes mud fever such as:
Prolonged damp, wet and then mild conditions
Standing deep in mud, water, soiled conditions
Some opinions are that actually constantly washing the mud off limbs/legs before and/or after work or after turn out to remove dirt without fully drying them afterwards
Even Skin trauma, from rubbing overreach boots or not properly fitted bandages can cause chaffing, such as sand from schools and irritate the skin
Generally unhealthy skin
Poor immune system, if the horse is unwell and the body cannot fight infection
Horses with white limbs (socks) are said to be more prone with the pink skin being more prone
Heat, redness, swelling of pain to limbs
Prevention or Cure?
Drying of the limbs thoroughly is vital to prevention and cure using clean towels, kitchen roll or dry material can be used to blot moisture
Avoid over washing of the limbs as this can irritate the moisture balance of the skin
Be vigilant as the sooner you spot the first signs of mud fever, the quicker you can take action and so prevent a lengthy, and costly, recovery
If you can limit or stop access to the muddy areas to prevent the horses stood in muddy, wet conditions such as fencing off those areas
You can apply barrier on the limbs to prevent water or moisture getting to the skin but when choosing barriers,  Consider topical barrier creams (usually produced in an oily base) such as tea tree oil, sulphur, MSM, aloe vera, honey with vitamin E, calendula )
Good products to look out for are Lincoln Muddy Buddy, Keratex Mud Shield Powder, Protoccon there are many external tropical barriers
You can buy supplements such as Naf Mud Guard or Global Herbs Mud X to help prevent mud fever
Once your horse has mud fever it can be a nightmare trying to control it and completely get rid of the mud fever but there are options to consider.
You can buy supplements to put in your horses fed such as Global Herbs Mud X that will help fight the infection internally
Echinacea is a good natural herb to help strengthen the immune system.
Marigold (Calendula) is also a good natural herb with its blood cleansing properties
Bandaging the affected limbs can be a good way of keeping it clean and dry, but only if the skin has been properly prepared beforehand, and the correct bandaging technique is used. Bandaging that’s too tight or has moisture trapped underneath can encourage an infection to flare up again, so do only bandage if you feel can be done correctly
Washing the legs off with anti-bacterial washes such as hi bi scrub to remove the scabs/crusts of the mud fever and thoroughly drying before apply antiseptic creams, The scabs may form again quickly so initially the legs must be washed and treated daily, as once a horse has suffered with mud fever it is not unusual for them to have repeated attacks so prevention is better than the cure
Once the infection has been eradicated it is imperative to keep on protecting the area until the new skin and hair has formed so that re infection does not start again
In extreme cases of mud fever if the bacteria does penetrate deep into the skin, the leg may become swollen and a course of antibiotics may possibly be required from the vet
If any doubt at all about your horses health then consult your Vet
Below is a list of the products that are available to help with Mud Fever on our website
Internal Supplements

Kelly Rothery E-SQP

Friday, 6 November 2015



Probiotics are a live microbial feed supplement which can benefit the horse by enhancing and improving the microbial balance within the horses gut, resulting in the improved maintenance of good health and condition. A multi-strain will also promote the efficient digestion of food leading to reduced feed costs and enhance the body's defence mechanism to disease.

A probiotic supplement for horses can help to
·         Keep the digestive system in balance.
·         Reduce the risk of digestive upset caused by change of diet.
·         Promote efficient digestion and reduce feed bills.
·         Protect against gastric problems caused by pathogenic bacteria.
·         Protect against the effects of stressful situations such as travel, competition, racing, change of environment, illness, weaning etc.
·         Reduce unwanted side-effects from antibiotics.
·         Keep the immune system boosted.
·         Increase milk production from lactating mares and increase early growth in foals.
·         Maintain overall good health and condition.
·         Reduce the incidence of persistent and sporadic colics.

The horses digestive system has evolved to process large quantities of high fibre forage on an almost continuous basis. Due to the requirements of competition and modern management the horse has to utilise high energy diets. In order to break this down to digestible products it relies on the assistance of billions of beneficial micro-organisms which live in the gut. These micro-organisms produce enzymes that convert food into its basic constituents which can be readily absorbed through the horses gut wall. A probiotic presentation should comprise up to seven strains of naturally occurring micro-organisms including yeasts. These have been chosen to survive the acidity of the stomach and for their ability to multiply rapidly, colonise the gut and replace microflora which has been removed through illness or stress. Probiotics promote efficient digestion and ensures optimum use of the horses feed. Use of a probiotic has been shown to increase digestibility of essential minerals such as calcium and zinc. Elements of the microflora are responsible for the production and bioavailability of B group vitamins.
The delicate balance of microflora within the gut can easily be disturbed by stresses such as competition, travel and changes in diet. This will reduce the efficiency of the digestive system and may result in problems such as scouring or invasion by unfavourable bacteria. The feeding of PROBIOTICS ensures that, whenever the balance of the gut might be disturbed, friendly bacteria are available to recolonise available spaces and restart the sequence of events which will lead to a re-establishment of a stable and beneficial microflora.
Illness, antibiotic therapy and worming, can cause a disruption of the gut microflora which may lead to scouring and invasion of the gut by pathogens*. Some of the organisms present in probiotics produce natural anti-microbial products capable of inhibiting the reproduction of invading bacteria. Colonisation of the gut by probiotic bacteria can exclude potential pathogenic bacteria through competition for space and nutrients.
Bacteria present in probiotics can stimulate the horses immune system through the production of immunoglobins and cells (phagocytes) whose role is to destroy invading pathogens*. (* Pathogen - any agent that may cause disease)
A stimulated immune system coupled with the increased production of interferon may protect against some viral infections which could strike performance horses.

Pregnant and lactating mares have been shown to benefit from the feeding of probiotics. Improvement in the quality and quantity of milk can increase the early growth of foals. New born foals can be inoculated with a beneficial micro-flora through the use of a probiotic and the incidence of scouring in foals may be reduced.
The maintenance of a healthy micro-flora in the horses gut will improve general health, appearance, performance and temperament. Efficient hind gut fermentation can help reduce the incidence of laminitis, azotoria, colics and other digestive disturbances.
PROBIOTICS are natural and entirely safe, have no known overdose levels, no unwanted side effects. 

SH Wetherald E-SQP