Is it Mud Fever or Photosensitivity?

by Fiona Lane June 06, 2021

Is it Mud Fever or Photosensitivity?

Mud Fever and Photosensitivity can present with similar symptoms, but they're actually very different conditions with different solutions. So how do you tell which one your horse has?

If Mud Fever symptoms appear overnight or keep recurring despite careful management, then that's a sign that you might be dealing with Photosensitivity.

The time of year is also a clue. Photosensitivity often occurs in Autumn and Spring when there is lots of lush green grass around that contains fluorescing chemicals such as chlorophyll. When this grass is digested, these compounds pass into the bloodstream where they circulate around the body. In areas where there is little pigment or hair - such as stockings and muzzles - the sun's ultraviolet rays pass easily through the skin and into the blood vessels. This causes the compounds to fluoresce which causes a type of 'sunburn' that occurs from the inside out.

It's not just green grass that can cause a photosensitive reaction. Those blue-green algae in the water trough and other toxic elements in the grazing can impair the liver function needed to rid chlorophyll from the system, causing it to build up over time.

A symptom of Photosensitivity is broken skin, which makes it easier for the bacteria that cause Mud Fever to get in and set up an infection. If you treat the Mud Fever symptoms but don't treat the underlying Photosensitivity, the bacteria keep getting in and infection will keep recurring.

Our Photosensitivity range supports a natural immune response to photosensitivity and comes in a handy 230 dose pump bottle or in Jerry Cans for dosing water troughs. Tap to find out more!

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