It’s that time of year again for Northern Hemisphere horse owners when the grass growth slows down, and mud makes an unwelcome return. For many, mud is simply an irritation that makes fields slippery. As well as the return of extremely dirty clothes and boots. For others mud is a dreaded symptom of the wet and cold weather of winter which triggers mud fever. Leading to a battle ahead to keep limbs dry, clean and infection-free. Here, microcurrent therapy company ArcEquine examine why mud fever occurs. In addition to how their microcurrent device can be a key tool in aiding the treatment and recovery of horses suffering from mud fever.
What is mud fever?
Mud fever refers to a wide range of equine skin diseases. Those that cause dermatitis and irritation to the lower limbs in horses. It is often seen in horses exposed to wet and muddy conditions. Especially during the winter months. Most cases are caused by the infectious agent dermatophilus congolensis. An infection which is able to thrive in wet, muddy and mild conditions. But there are other bacterial organisms and mites that can cause similar symptoms.
Horses standing in muddy fields for long periods of time, or those exposed to long spells of damp and mild weather are the most likely candidates for mud fever. It can also occur if legs are repeatedly washed and not dried off. In the same way our hands can chafe in winter. Standing in dirty stables can also allow mud fever to take hold. As can tight bandaging and rubbing from overreach boots.
What are the symptoms?
One of the most characteristic and recognisable symptoms of mud fever are the crusty scabs that form. Clumping hair in them and with a creamy yellow discharge coming from ulcerated lesions underneath. This discharge contains the organism that causes mud fever, so both the scabs and the discharge must be completely removed. Depending on the severity of the mud fever there may be deep, raw horizontal cracks in the skin above the heel. As well as significant heat and swelling in the leg.
How can mud fever be treated?
The area needs to be completely clean and dry. As the infection organism causing the problem loves warm, wet conditions. As mentioned above, any scabs need to be removed. This is to ensure the discharge can be effectively cleaned and removed. The area then needs to be treated with a mild disinfectant. After this the limb must be carefully (it will be sore) and thoroughly dried. Then treated with an anti-inflammatory agent such as zinc cream. Bandaging may be useful to keep the affected limb/limbs clean. But it is absolutely critical that the skin is completely dry first.
This needs to be repeated until the cracks heals over. This can take several weeks. As the affected area needs to be kept clean and dry for mud fever treatment. This means that they may be on restricted work and turnout for that time.
How can the ArcEquine help support and speed up recovery from mud fever?
The cells in injured tissues, such as those damaged by mud fever, exhibit a significantly reduced ability to heal and regenerate. And while the treatment detailed above removes the infectious organism and prevent infection of the skin it does not accelerate tissue repair. Microcurrent devices have been proven to be highly effective in supporting and accelerating tissue repair. In some cases increasing the recovery time by 50%. Microcurrent therapy is 100% drug free and non-invasive, meaning it can be safely used alongside other veterinary treatment.
The ArcEquine microcurrent device supports the natural currents used by all healthy cells to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Which kick-starts effective healing in damaged tissue much sooner and reduces inflammation. Which means the horse is in less discomfort while that healing takes place. And it can be any limb, as the healing is systemic, meaning the microcurrents travel throughout the body. Using ArcEquine for a minimum of 3 hours a day for 6 weeks will promote tissue repair and recovery from conditions such as mud fever. It can also be used as a preventative measure. In order to keep horses in the best possible condition to fight future infections.
The ArcEquine device is £449.00 for the complete kit.
Explore the ArcEquine online shop here.