Lower limb irritations have been prevalent this year due to the wet weather. Good management is vital, so try these tips to help keep the condition at bay.
1 Consult your vet to obtain an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan
2 Where possible, eliminate any recognisable trigger factors, such as mud or mites
3 Stable the horse on clean bedding and turn him out in a manège or a well-draining field
4 Carefully clip (not shave) the affected area, so that air can get to it and allow it to dry
5 Clean scabs regularly with a suitable antiseptic wash (such as chlorhexidine) and warm water to reduce infection. Your vet may first need to sedate the horse to do this effectively
6 Carefully dry the area using clean towels. Blot with kitchen paper or even use a hairdryer with a circuit breaker to prevent the skin remaining wet and waterlogged
7 Apply an ointment or lotion as an emollient to maintain hydration of the skin. Your vet should be consulted
8 Deep heel cracks and big open sores should be dressed with a
9 Severe cases with obvious infection may need antibiotics, which need to be administered responsibly. Your vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as bute to reduce pain and swelling
10 Ensure your horse has been protected against tetanus
To read the full veterinary article about new research into mud fever see the current issue of H&H (20 December 2012)
Read more about mud fever
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