Mud fever is a disease caused by a mixture of bacteria, usually Dermatophilus congolensis, and Staphylococcus Spp; its symptoms range from a mild skin irritation to deep open sores. Mud fever can only take hold once it enters the horse’s system through a cut or wound, and often occurs when the epidermis has been compromised, which generally happens through the abrasive action of walking through mud in wet weather. Wet weather can cause dirt and debris to accumulate around the horse’s lower legs, gradually breaking down the protective epidermis, causing mud fever, and cold weather can further exacerbate this situation. Horses spend most of their time standing up, meaning their lower legs are in the most compromising position, close to the mud and dirt where an assortment of bacteria dwell. This scenario creates an unfortunate situation in which mud and dirt wear down the horse’s skin (creating small cuts) whilst also harbouring the bacteria necessary to contract mud fever.
Some of the wound powders available through Farm & Stable also can help prevent mud fever taking root, limiting the abrasive action of mud and dirt. This is achieved by creating a protective waterproof barrier which allows compacted mud to slide off the horse’s skin. This preventative measure can be a huge bonus to any person who owns a horse, especially a professional or sports horse.