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How to Prevent and Treat Mud Fever in Horses?

how to prevent and treat mud fever in horses


Pastern dermatitis is also known as mud fever. It’s a common skin condition that can be found in horses and ponies. It’s caused by bacteria and wet conditions. If not treated, it can cause lameness and discomfort for horses. This article will discuss the best ways to treat and prevent mud fever in horses.

Understanding Mud Fever

Mud fever is caused naturally by bacteria on horses’ skins. However, if they are exposed to water and muddy conditions the bacteria can rapidly multiply and cause infection. Infections can occur on the horses’ lower legs and pasterns, leading to inflammation and scabbing. This can cause severe discomfort and can even lead to lameness.

Signs of Mud Fever

To be able to quickly treat mud fever, it is crucial that you recognize its signs. These are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Cracked and scabbed skin
  • Itching and irritation
  • Reddening of skin
  • Hair loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Important to remember that not all horses will display all these symptoms. Some may not even show any. A vet will be able to diagnose mud fever.

Preventing Mud Fever

Preventing mud fever from developing is the best way to cure it. These are some of the best ways to prevent mud fever:

  • Keep the horse’s paddock and stall clean.
  • Use bedding that is breathable and doesn’t retain moisture.
  • Shelter during rainy and muddy conditions
  • Protect the lower legs by using leg wraps or boots
  • To keep the area clean, spray with repellents or fly spray.
  • After exercise, clean the legs and pasterns of your horse.

Grooming and bathing

Also, it is important to properly groom and bathe your horse. This will keep the horse’s skin clean and free of bacteria that could cause mud fever. To remove dirt and debris from the horse’s legs and pasterns, a mild shampoo should be used.

Treating Mud Fever

Untreated mud fever can lead to other serious conditions like lameness. It is crucial to get rid of the condition as soon and as quickly as possible. The treatment usually includes a combination antibacterial creams and topical medication. Sometimes, the vet might also recommend anti-inflammatory medication or wound dressings to reduce inflammation and irritation.


How can I tell if my horse has mud fever

A vet can help you determine if your horse is suffering from mud fever. A vet can look for signs such as reddening, swelling, itching, irritation, reddening skin, loss hair, cracked or scabbed skin and swelling of the lymph nodes.

How can you prevent mud fever?

It is important to prevent mud fever by keeping the horse’s paddock and stall clean. Use bedding that does not retain moisture. Provide shelter in wet or muddy conditions. Use leg wraps and boots to protect lower legs. Apply fly spray to keep the area clean. After exercise, clean the horse’s legs.


Mud fever can be a serious condition for horses. If left untreated, it can cause lameness and discomfort. Mud fever is a common condition that can cause lameness and discomfort for horses. It is important to be able to identify the symptoms quickly so that treatment can be started. It is important to recognize the signs of mud fever and to treat it quickly.