Ten Top Tips for Preventing Mud Fever

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  • Management – most winter skin conditions result from a dirty coat which provides the ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Keep coats as clean and as dry as possible with suitable rugs or shelter and regular grooming.

 

  • Hygiene – rugs, tack, grooming and stable equipment can spread contagious skin conditions or repeatedly re-infect the same horse unless you eliminate infectious agents by disinfection and cleaning (veterinary surgeons can advise on suitable products that will not harm your horse).

 

  • Correct Nutrition – poor diets, especially those lacking in essential vitamins and minerals, can have dire effects on the skin health. Consult an equine nutritionist if you suspect current dietary intake is not aiding a healthy skin and coat.

 

  • Vigilance – check horses daily for signs that a skin condition may be imminent. Thick winter coats can easily mask problems such as mud fever, rain scald, ringworm and lice.

 

  • Prevention – if it is known that an individual horse is prone to certain winter skin conditions then preventative measure should be taken. For example, horses prone to mud fever may benefit from a barrier cream or regular treatments with an anti-bacterial cleansing wash such as Activ Wash.

 

  • Clipping and Trimming – it may help to trim or clip horses coats during winter to make them easier to keep clean and dry. Skin problems will often be more evident when coats are clipped and horses in work will be more comfortable as they will sweat less and dry off quicker.

 

  • Treatment – a skin condition must be correctly identified in order for treatment to be as effective as possible. If you are in any doubt or if the condition has appeared for the first time always seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.
  • Washing – continually washing and bathing horses can weaken the skin structure removing essential oils. This can lead to the skin becoming chapped and sore and irritated by particles of soil, leaving it more susceptible to infection. Avoid excessive bathing during winter; grooming will remove dirt and scurf without stripping the coat of its natural oils.
  • Products – anti-bacterial washes can be used prophylactically on susceptible animals or to treat existing skin conditions caused by bacterium. They will help to remove any encrusted debris such as scabs.
  • Healing – removing scabs carefully using an anti-bacterial cleansing wash (if bacterium is the causative organism) will remove any existing bacteria and dirt held in the scabs allowing new clean scabs to form and heal. It is very important that any sponges that are used in the washing process are clean and that the area washed is rinsed well with clean water and then dried thoroughly.

RH-Activ-WashFor more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit www.robinsonhealthcare.com

Author: The Editor

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