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How do you treat mud fever and other questions
10

Ellybellyboo · 06/01/2020 12:30

Our retiree has mud fever sadly.

We’ve only had it once before and back then I cleaned and dried her legs, slapped on a ton of sudocream, covered in cling film and then bandaged. Repeated every day until the scabs had fallen off and then just sudocream if she went out

All cleared up pretty quickly

Was up the yard last night and pretty much everyone was telling me I had to keep the cling film and bandaging on until it had fully healed.

I’m a bit Confused. I would have thought the cling film/bandaging would keep it moist when the air needs to get to it to keep it dry?

Sorry, loads of questions

Also - do you wash legs down when they come in? I haven’t - I’ve let the mud dry and then brushed it off. I’ve always read that you shouldn’t wash it as it strips away their natural oils

Feathers - clip or not to clip? I’ve always left them as they protect their legs a bit against the mud but then it would be easier to treat without

And, the million dollar question - any tips to prevent it? We’ve been using pig oil. I bought her some boots but she hates them, walks like a weirdo in them and never keeps them on for long

She has arthritis so need her out as much as possible or she stiffens up. Her field isn’t too bad - very muddy round the gate but decent grass in the actual field. She’s stabled overnight

Thanks!

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maxelly · 06/01/2020 14:39

Ah you have to love the oh-so-helpful advice interferance of yard people.

I'm by no means an expert and can be a bit old-fashioned so prepared to be contradicted if someone has more up to date advice, but I am used to managing horrible sticky clay mud on cobby feet! What I always do is:

-Always wash down legs first thing on bringing in. It would be better to wait for legs to dry and then brush off but due to limited time and aforementioned horrible claggy clay mud which would take hours to dry this is a no-go. I use cold water and a bit of very weak hibi-scrub, then towel dry immediately (keep a stack of old towels at yard for this purpose).

-Sudo cream any sore bits and leave to dry (no cling-film, no bandages, I am of the opinion the sores need to air). Brush off any school dirt/dust straight after riding.

-Leave feathers on unless really really bad sores or mites. I have used pig oil in the past but seems to do nothing on our mud and just keeps their legs damp/greasy which means bacteria fester so I don't bother now.

-Try to persuade YO to manage fields as best as possible, as really this is the only thing that helps prevent/limit mud fever long term. So putting in hardstanding around gates/paths, partitioning off fields/using a track system and resting fields as much as possible, not over-grazing. Obviously this isn't within your control unless you have your own land but you can put it a word with your YO if they are receptive. For us it does mean having to fairly severely limit turnout over the worst of winter as otherwise fields just turn into mud baths, this is really not ideal for me as mine turn loopy if kept in, but needs must. Appreciate your arthritic girl needs to be kept moving but could she go out in a school or pen for part of the time rather than just being stabled? Can you walk her in hand gently for an hour or so to make sure she gets some exercise?

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Ellybellyboo · 07/01/2020 09:02

Thanks

Yes, we have a lot of yard advisors. They’ve all had horses for years and years and years. We’re relative newbies and I always end up feeling stupid and doubting myself

When we had it last time the vet said we had to get rid of the scabs ASAP, hence the cling film and bandaging business. Once the scabs had gone I only used sudocream if she went out

We are also on clay but our YO brings her in for us at about 4, by the time I get to the yard about 6 the mud has mostly dried. Any claggy lumps I sponge off and brush the rest of the mud out but I try not to get her too wet

Unfortunately our YO doesn’t give a shit about the place. It’s been going down hill for years. He won’t concrete the field gate or anything like that. The field is muddy around the gate but fine once you get down into it a bit. Huge field and there’s only her and our other pony on it

There is nowhere else I can turn her out unfortunately. We take her for a walk in the indoor school or down the lane but she gets so stiff and grumpy if she doesn’t get a few hours out everyday

We’re actually moving on the 1st of Feb, the fields are much better and they actually do maintenance on the place

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Cookiedough123 · 07/01/2020 14:17

I think you end up realising what works best for your own horse. People do different things for different horses and if your way if doing it works then stick at it. When mine had mud fever I scrubbed her legs every day with an antibacterial muddy buddy scrub and then towel dried her legs every day until it healed up. I've found that when shes on feed and in a routine over winter she doesnt get it. She goes out in a muddy field every day 8-4. She tends to get it when shes off her feed in summer and it starts to get wet.. I think the mix of wet legs and warm bacteria/moisture is what affects her. Shes a warmblood type with no feather.

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Cookiedough123 · 07/01/2020 14:18

My yard is also full of these know it all opinionated people. I'm happy to listen to advice given if I ask for it but if not I just say no I dont do it like that thanks. I think it annoys people when you disregard their unwanted advice!

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DraughtyWindow · 08/01/2020 15:24

All of the above. Feathers are tricky... basically you’re damned if you clip them and damned if you don’t!
They could take all night to dry (unless you have access to a hairdryer) which then means that the skin is damp all the time...
If you clip them - then at least you can treat more easily. But I wouldn’t clip to prevent mud fever IYSWIM.

Other liveries have found Heel to Hoof good as a barrier (preventative measure). I’ve forgotten the name of the other one - I’ll ask tonight.

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Ellybellyboo · 09/01/2020 12:25

Thanks all

The feathers are all gone now. I got pissed off and took the off with the bluntest pair of scissors known to man. The clipping lady is coming at the weekend to straighten it all out 🤦‍♀️

Her legs are looking much better - 3 of them only had a small amount and the scabs are now all gone. 1 legs was pretty bad but we’re getting there

Just debating now whether to keep her in until we move or let her go back out again

We’ve been turning her out in our indoor school for an hour while we muck out and DD has been walking her in hand around the yard but it’s not enough and she’s quite stiff

The YO doesn’t look after the place at all. Fields are a mess and pretty much every horse on our yard has or has had mud fever.

We’re moving on 1st Feb to a small yard with 2 other friends - it’s still a livery yard but between us we have 6 horses so we’ll be taking over the whole yard. The new place is well maintained and clean, lovely fields, and generally well looked after

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DraughtyWindow · 09/01/2020 15:41

This is on offer - about half price. You could slap this on and turn out?

www.equus.co.uk/products/barrier-heel-to-hoof-soothing-cream

I think the other stuff is called Aroma Heel...

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DraughtyWindow · 09/01/2020 15:42

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pinkpolo · 10/01/2020 20:40

I've had success this winter by doing the following:

Wash legs thoroughly once a week with mud scrub wash
Don't wash legs any other times
Use mud guard cream on his heels before he goes out
Legs get a coating of pig oil and sulphur every other day
His legs aren't clipped - he's a dales so some feather but not loads

Loads on my yard have had mud fever this year, but touch wood, we've been ok up to now🤞🏼

DHorse also struggles with mites, and this seems to be keeping them at bay too.

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Escapedfromthecountry · 10/01/2020 20:47

I slather their legs in equimins udder cream before they're turned out as a preventative measure before turnout and then wash legs when they're brought in followed by thermatex leg wraps to help them dry quickly.

When we have had a spot of mud fever we use medivet to wash legs off followed by pink lotion from our vet to help the legs heal. These are also really good for helping legs heal ofw.one/sox-for-horses

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