Mud Fever

Friday, 23rd October 2015

Weather conditions this autumn are already leading to numerous outbreaks of Mud Fever in horses.

This is usually attributed to the bacteria D.Congolensis which is also implicated in “rain scald” and carried and spread by horses and cattle.

What are the usual signs of Mud fever ?

The areas affected are those which are regularly wetted and matted hair and scabs oozing with pus will be seen with craters left when these removed. If untreated there may be loss of hair, swelling, pain and lameness 

How is Mud Fever treated ?

As with many conditions prevention is easier than cure. 

Muddy areas should be avoided as far as possible and these may be isolated with electric fencing.

Stables and tack should be disinfected at regular intervals to kill bacterial spores.

Skin needs to be kept clean and dry, and the legs can be protected with bandaging or waterproof wraps Protective creams and ointments such as “Mud Defence Cream” can be applied to clean dry skin before turnout “Easidri towels” are ideal for drying wet horses and can be disinfected to avoid spreading infection between animals.

If despite all these precautions signs of mud fever appear then treatment should be started at once.


Affected horses need to be stabled and kept away from any more contact with wet and mud.

The affected area may be clipped and washed with antibacterial “Mudwash Shampoo” containing iodine. Scabs should be removed but stubborn ones may require soaking or poulticing and after the leg is dried thoroughly a cream such as “Dermisol Cream” applied twice daily.

Severe cases may take several weeks to clear up but there may be a tendency for the condition to recur.

In some cases your vet may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs but generally the most important part of treatment is conscientious management of the condition by the horse owner