Mud Fever or Pastern Dermatitis is a dermatological infection, caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus Congolensis, or by some fungal organisms, which attacks the surface layer of the skin, resulting in scabs appearing on the horses lower limbs, and possible swelling, discharge and lameness. Equines most at risk are those constantly standing in wet muddy conditions, Mud Fever has been known to occur when the animals have been standing in wet lush pasture for long periods. Either of these conditions can lead to open sores and raw skin over the heels and pastern area, allowing the infection to take hold which in serious cases could lead to septicaemia
The composition of the soil is thought possibly a contributary factor in causing Mud Fever
Mud Fever can attack all breeds of horses & ponies, those with white socks seem to be particularly prone.
The infection can be spread by contact so it should be regarded as contagious.
Anti-bacterial / anti fungal shampoo’s & ointments have been used as successful treatments, Vaseline has also been used for many years. In severe cases systemic antibiotics and pain relief medications may be needed.
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