Patricia asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Scratches/ Mud fever ?

my horse just got mud fever and i was wondering if i should treat it or not because the lady that owns the barn where i keep my horse said not to treat it what do you think? i can treat it i no how but any tips

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Scratches/mud fever is actually just a generic term for a mild form of pastern dermatitis. It can have many different causes--often mixed bacteria with staph being the the main one. Dermatophilus can also be found. There can also be a mixture of bacteria and fungi.

    While it is generally self limiting, if the situation is correct and there is some sort of stress on the horse's immune system or there are constant damp conditions, etc this type of infection may require even systemic treatment such as injectible or oral antibiotics.

    In general, the horse should be put in a situation where the legs aren't coming into contact with damp grass, bedding or ground. Then the legs should be cleaned daily with betadine scrub or some other topical antibacterial skin cleanser. After cleaning and removal of scabs, the legs should be dried thoroughly. If there is any dampness in the environment (Iike splashing urine with geldings and stallions) the area should be covered with a layer of diaper rash ointment to help prevent the skin from becoming damp. If there is quite a bit of inflammation in the area, discuss the use of a mixed antibiotic and steroid cream prior to the application of diaper rash ointment. But this is just a first attempt at treatment. If the situation isn't clearing up within a couple of days then a vet exam to have a skin scraping or cultures run to determine the causative agent is recommended.

    Source(s): Registered Veterinary Technician
  • gallop
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Mud fever is a self limiting infection, which means that it will eventually resolve without any treatment. However, most people choose to treat it because of the discomfort to the horse while the infection is active.

    This is a bacterial infection....not a fungus. The bacteria live in the skin and remain dormant until conditions weaken the immune functions in the skin and allow the bacteria to begin multiplying.

    Dermatophilus congolensis is the name of the bacteria. It can infect humans as well as horses. Hibiscrub is the cleanser shown to be most effective in treating it. Since it is an anaerobic bacterium, it thrives in the absence of oxygen. Exposure to air kills the bacteria.

    It is not recommended to apply any topical antibiotics to treat this infection. They are ineffective against dermatophilus, and will kill the good, needed skin bacterial flora that protect the skin from disease-producing bacteria like dermatophilus congolensis.

    Scabs should be removed gently after soaking and softening them. Use sterile 0.9% normal saline to saturate and soften the scabs, then use Hibiscrub to cleanse, and more saline to remove the Hibiscrub before thoroughly drying the exposed sores. I actually usually just use saline, and always have it cleared up within a couple days. But I'm giving you the latest from research done in human and animal cases of infection by these bacteria. You can get both Hibiscrub and saline at your local drugstore. This will not irritate the already sore and compromised skin. I use cotton makeup removal pads to remove the scabs. Once the sores are open to air, that is all you need to do. Be sure to dry the areas completely.

    If any sores are open and bleeding, and especially if insects are a problem, you can apply EMT ointment to the cleaned and dried skin. It will soothe the sores, speed healing and protect from insects. It is a sticky collagen gel that will heal the sores in a day or two at most. I use EMT for all wounds and is the best product on the market, in my experience. You can buy it online or at tractor or farm supply stores. The saline is the best thing to use to flush any wound or lesions, so you should keep it on hand anyway.

    Sometimes the bacteria invade deeper layers of tissue, and topical treatment can't reach the bacteria. If that happens, the vet can administer systemic antibiotic injections. If the skin becomes thickened and swollen, and extremely painful, it is an indication that that is what has happened. When owners are rough, and they curry and rub to remove scabs rather than gently lifting each one off after soaking, that is often the cause of the infection spreading into deeper tissues.

    Source(s): Registered Nurses and 57 years with horses
  • sazzy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It won't go away until you treat it, in fact it will get worse, and it's not fair on your horse to leave it - as it is extremely itchy and sore.

    You need to keep his legs clean, and either stable him or put him in a field where it is dry so it won't encourage the infection to continue. Get him some cream to put on his legs to calm the irritation. Pull the scabs off when they're ready to come off to help get rid of infection faster, and put barrier cream, or even vaseline if you don't have anything else, on him regularly to help stop it getting infected again.

  • 1 decade ago

    first step of treatment is to soften single scrapof the horses body and legs with antiseptic shampoo, and then to remove them . it will expose the bacyeria to drying , then antibotic ointment or aerosols can be applied to kill dermatophilus. everyday the scabs have to be removed skin can be shampooed every three days .... the scabs are infected and should be disposed carefully .......... after shampooing dry the skin COMPLETELY again , softly dry the skin with a towel so you don't damage it even more .......... the infection can sometimes even spread under the body .... if such swelling does occur your horse will need systemic treatment with antibotics , via whole body as a whole , rather just applying more antibotics to the wound. penicellin or trimethoprim perparation are usually affective

    The "cracked Heel" causes chronic problems in its situation ensures that any healing of the skin only takes place slowly

    Source(s): it happened at where i voluenteer and i have a vet book that tells you everything
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  • 1 decade ago

    clean it or it will get worse. the horse already doesn't like it and the more it gets worse, he or she will be more prone to getting infections from the sores and scratches. put some SWAT on the scratches or Furozone.[i think thats what its called].and treat the fever before it gets worse, or you will need to contact the vet.

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