Mud Fever

What is Mud Fever?

Mud fever, also known as scratches, greasy heel or pastern dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects horses’ legs, most often causing scabbing on the back of the pastern.

Mud Fever in Horses

In more severe cases the scabbing can spread to cover a lot of the leg, and can even spread up the body beyond the legs, where it becomes known as rain scald.

Mud fever is often mild, causing general irritation and discomfort and some localised swelling with the scabbing. However, in some instances, mud fever can worsen. It can become a recurring issue, not respond to treatments or lead to deep tissue infection. These infections can lead to swelling, pain and eventual lameness.

What causes Mud Fever?

There are many factors that contribute to the development of mud fever. The primary cause is usually soil born bacteria, but can also be influenced by other bacteria or fungi. It requires other factors to help it get in and take hold. Softened skin is a primary influence which is why mud fever is more prevalent in winter when rain and mud keep skin wet for prolonged periods.

Other risk factors include a deficient diet, severe sunburn, a weakened immune system, insect bites and having pink skin/white socks.

Mud Fever Treatments

Traditional approaches to healing mud fever can be quite distressing for your horse. Advice often includes softening and picking off the scabs, all kinds of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial applications, bandaging and frequent changes. More severe infections may require a course (or more!) of antibiotics which can affect your horses long term resistance.

EquineCare Probiotic Treatment

EquineCare Probiotic is a revolutionary approach to care. With a simple spray bottle, soaking the affected area through spraying or sponging will introduce a host of beneficial bacteria. Regular use will crowd out the bad bacteria causing the problem.


No scab removal, no extra soaps or lotions or bandages or medicines. Of course, prevention is also key, and on top of keeping your horse clean and dry, EquineCare Probiotic is intended for minor skin conditions and can also be used as a preventative to ensure pathogenic bacteria don't take hold in the first place. 

Shop EquineCare Probiotic Now