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Mud fever in horses

When the weather is wet and humid, it creates optimal conditions for mud fever to develop in your horse. Constantly wet and muddy legs often weaken the skin's natural defenses, leading to small wounds and cracks that make it easier for bacteria to penetrate. Learn more about the typical symptoms and how you can treat them easily and effectively.


The horse’s thin skin in the fetlock is very delicate, and if the horse develops mud fever, it will cause tension in the horse’s thin skin. In many cases, the horse can suffer from it for a long time before it is noticed when the horse limps. If mud fever is not treated in time, lymphangitis can occur, which is an inflammation of the lymph vessels in the horse’s leg. The horse’s leg will therefore swell significantly, and the lymph vessels will be unable to drain the fluid, potentially leading to chronic disease.


If the horse has or is developing mud fever, there are a number of symptoms to watch for to reduce its spread. Mud fever is an infection that affects the horse’s fetlock, where sores and fungus will appear. Unfortunately, horses in Denmark have optimal conditions for developing mud fever, so you should be aware of these symptoms and treat it as quickly as possible.

Mud fever in horses manifests as scabs in the fetlock area. It’s an infection that typically affects the lower part of the horse’s legs, commonly around the fetlocks and up the cannon bones.

Mud fever can be caused by fungi or bacteria, and if not treated promptly, the infection can result in swollen legs, lameness, and potentially septicemia (blood poisoning), where the leg swells severely as bacteria spread through the lymphatic vessels.

Treatment of mud fever

he treatment with Bacxitium is straightforward:
  1. Dissolve the mud scabs with Bacxitium mud patches.
  2. Remove the mud scabs; the bacteria reside beneath the scabs.
  3. Spray 1-3 times daily for 7-10 days.
With Bacxitium, mud fever can be easily treated with spray, and improvements are typically seen after 3-5 days.

Mud fever in horses may initially seem like a minor issue, but it can lead to significant problems if not treated properly. Bacxitium combats fungi and bacteria while supporting the natural healing process. If you don’t see noticeable improvement after treating the horse yourself for about a week, don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian.

In most cases, mud fever in horses can be treated at home, and it’s relatively straightforward. There are many home remedies and various products available for disinfection and cleansing. However, Bacxitium offers two products that are effective against mud fever. Meanwhile, it’s equally important to focus on preventing mud fever. In more severe cases or if there’s no improvement, seeking veterinary advice is crucial.


To prevent mud fever in horses and avoid discovering the infection only when the horse is lame, it’s important to manage the hock hair, which is the hair located just above the hoof. Hock hair serves to protect the horse’s fetlock from moisture, dirt, and debris. Some horses have abundant hock hair, while others have less. If the hair is too long, it’s a good idea to trim it occasionally to ensure the horse’s skin can dry completely. For horses with minimal hock hair, it’s equally important for owners to keep the fetlock area clean. Regardless of the amount of hock hair, it’s crucial to check for mud fever on the horse daily.

Moist legs and stable hygiene provide optimal conditions for horses to develop mud fever. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the bedding remains dry and to replace it if it becomes wet inside the horse’s stall. The key factors to prevent mud fever in horses include keeping the fetlocks dry and clean. It’s essential to watch out for any skin abrasions caused by equipment or other sources. Additionally, keeping the paddocks free of mud and cleaning the stable at least once a day are also crucial preventive measures.


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Horse care