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Mud fever in horses

Posted in : on 15-11-2021

Mud fever in horses is a fairly serious, often chronic skin condition in the pastern cavity of the horse. A horse with a mud fever often has a few to many wounds, fissures or scabs in the pastern cavity. In severe cases, a horse may be very sick. How does mud fever develop and more importantly, how can you prevent it? You can read more about it in this blog.


Mud fever can be caused in a number of ways, but often has to do with dirt, moisture and minor injuries to the horse’s lower legs. Especially horses that are in a wet environment for a long time suffer from it more quickly. The skin then becomes soft, which gives bacteria a greater chance and mud fevers can develop. This shape is therefore called wet mud fever. Horses with socks, such as Tinkers and Friesians, are also often more susceptible to getting mud fevers. Once the moisture has penetrated the skin, the skin under the socks remains wet for a long time and cannot dry properly. Poisonous plants, the sun or mold can also irritate the skin, causing mud fever to form. Other possible causes of mud fever are thin manure, washing too much or too thoroughly, scabies mites, insect bites or a reduced resistance


  • Red and inflamed skin with cracks and scabs.
  • Damp eczema in the pastern cavity.
  • Thickening of the skin in the pastern cavity.
  • Itching (leg chafing or stamping) and pain.
  • Thick lower leg, lame in combination with one or more of the above symptoms.

Treatment of Mud fever.

Mok can be very persistent, heals quite slowly and therefore requires a serious approach. The treatment method can differ per horse, but here we give you a few basic steps.

  • In case of excess hair, it is good to carefully shave or cut it before treatment.
  • Make a paste of purifying soda with lukewarm water and put this on the infected area and let it soak for a while.
  • Then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and gently pat it dry.
  • Try to keep the spots as dry as possible.
  • Never scratch or soak the scabs! Under the scabs, the skin is in the process of repairing.
  • Spray the spots with Tea Tree Avocado oil to promote natural skin recovery.
  • Always call a vet in case of serious mud feverging!

How can you prevent mud fever?

Mud fever unfortunately cannot always be prevented, but there are a few guidelines that can help reduce the chance of mud fever:

  • Avoid leaving your horse in a wet or muddy environment for long periods.
  • Do not wash your horse’s legs too often and keep them dry.
  • Keep your horse in a clean and dry environment as much as possible.
  • Regularly check the pastern cavity of your horse for wounds and treat them immediately, for example with a first aid spray.


If your horse is sensitive to getting mud fever, it is good not to give too many different types of feed, so that the intestinal flora remains in balance. For example, only choose one type of concentrate if supplementation to the roughage is necessary. Brewer’s yeast can be given as extra support. This supports the stimulating effect on the intestinal flora and digestion, contributes to healthy skin, a beautiful shiny coat and strong healthy hooves.

In addition, it is important that your horse does not ingest too much sugar. The bacteria in the colon and appendix do not cope well with large amounts of sugars. Avoid rewards with large amounts of sugar. If you still want to give something extra, choose rosehip. Horses love it! It is naturally rich in antioxidants, biotin and vitamin C. As a result, it contributes to healthy hoof growth, maintains a good resistance and supports the natural elimination of waste.

In addition to nutrition, support from within can be a good addition. Like for example MSM sulfur. This helps to promote the natural recovery of the skin and contributes to the maintenance of strong hooves.

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