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Mud Fever – our guide to prevention and management

by Fiona Lane May 20, 2022

A horse standing in mud with his rider

Winter is a challenging time for our horses, especially those that are prone to troublesome winter ailments like Mud Fever. While the symptoms aren’t pleasant, the treatment can often be downright distressing for both horses and owners. We’ve worked with thousands of Mud Fever cases all over the world, so here’s our guide to using our professionally formulated oral remedy to help with prevention and management of Mud Fever.

Warning – you may find some of the before photos at the end of this blog post distressing.

The best way to show how this remedy helps is by sharing before and after photos. We’ve included a few at the end of this blog post but please be warned that you may find some of the photos confronting.

What is Mud Fever?

Mud Fever – or Pastern Dermatitis as it is officially known - is caused by a nasty little bacteria called Dermatophilus congolensis. It loves to live in wet and muddy conditions, and while it’s always present, the problems start when it finds a way into the body, usually through broken skin on the lower leg and fetlock. Once in, it can cause inflammation, oozy, scabby sores, and in severe cases swelling and lameness.

Similar symptoms can also occur on other parts of the body such as the back and hindquarters. While this is usually called ‘Rain Scald’, it is caused by the same bacteria.

How do horses get Mud Fever?

Mud Fever and Rain Scald are most common in the winter or rainy season when horses are exposed to wet and muddy conditions. The constant dampness softens the skin, and that makes it prone to damage such as abrasions, small cuts, scrapes, and cracking. It’s this broken skin that lets bacteria in.

While more than one horse on the same pasture is often affected, Mud Fever isn’t contagious. Some soil types are more prone to hosting these bacteria than others, which leads to the whole herd often being afflicted.

How is Mud Fever be treated?

There are many different methods for treating Mud Fever, some of which are expensive and can cause a lot of stress and discomfort for both the horse and its owner. Most methods focus on the external symptoms and involve scraping off scabs and applying messy creams and bandages to often tender skin. These methods can be uncomfortable for the horse, and downright dangerous for whoever is carrying out the treatment!

Our Mud & Rain remedy is given orally and is professionally formulated to support a normal immune response to the most common pathogens associated with Mud Fever. It helps with healing from the inside out and is part of our mission to provide pain free, stress free and mess free solutions to everyday health conditions.

Our remedy can be given straight into the mouth using our pump bottle, added to a treat or given on feed. It can also be dosed via a water trough to treat one horse, or a whole herd. You can find out more about how oral remedies work here.

Should the scabs be removed?

We know they are unsightly, but if you are using our Mud & Rain remedy, we recommend leaving the scabs in place - they’ll dry up and fall away once the skin underneath has healed. In our experience observing the thousands of cases we’ve dealt with over the years, this should take 2-3 weeks.

Can Mud Fever be prevented?

We think so, and so do lots of our customers! We recommend dosing once a week with our remedy before the wet weather arrives. Most horses love the sweet taste so are happy for the remedy to be pumped straight into their mouth. The active ingredients just need to contact a mucous membrane – such as the gums, tongue, or lips – to start doing their job.

You’ll still need to keep an eye on your horses’ legs and increase the dosing frequency at the first sign of any trouble.

Can an oral remedy really work?

Lots of our customers have had success using our oral Mud & Rain remedy, and love to send us before and after photos! So don’t take our word for it – take a look below or read the reviews on our product page!

Warning – you may find some of these photos distressing

We know the ‘before’ photos can be confronting, but it’s hard to show you the results our customers have achieved without including them.


Leanne J, April 2021

 “Thank you!!!!!! NuNu has gone from three-legged lam with a hot swollen, scabby leg that EVERYTHING I tried just made worse, to sound, happy and scab free after 3 weeks. Scabs are just falling off. It must also taste pretty darn good too as he is the worst to get stuff in his mouth, and he literally snatches the bottles trying to get more! I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical but I’m very impressed and very happy!! Thanks!!”

Mud Fever Before And After Photos from Leanne J


Amy H, April 2022

“This is my second purchase of Mud & Rain, after an unusual amount of rainfall this summer (and humidity!). The first bottle I bought had lasted over a year as I was using it as a preventative every other day through the winter. My mare hates me picking at her scabs, so this is the perfect solution – not to mention a lot easier than some routines I’ve heard! Within 7-10 days scabs were drying and falling off. Easy as. Highly recommend!!!”

Mud Fever before and after photos from Amy H


Polly M, September 2021

“My 28-year-old mare has had Mud Fever for at least 4 years, and I have literally spent thousands of dollars on treatments both oral and topical but it never quite goes away and then it’s back with a vengeance. She’s been on Mud & Rain now for about 10 weeks and you can see the massive improvement. I’m so excited.” 

Mud Fever before and after photos from Polly M


Before & After Photos

Images provided by Shani

Mud Fever Before and After Photos from Shani


 Images provided by Samarra W

Mud Fever before and after photos from Samarra W


Images provided by Karina M

Mud Fever before and after photos from Karina M


Images provided by Hope B

Mud Fever before and after photos from Hope B


These are just a few of the 5-star reviews and before and after images for our Mud & Rain remedy. Head to our product page to read and see more!

Wishing you and your horses a pain free, stress free and mess free Winter!


General Disclaimer

Always follow dosing instructions. Our remedies are formulated to support the natural immune system of horses, pets, and livestock. We do not claim to treat, medicate or cure any health conditions. If you are worried an animal may be in pain or suffering please contact your veterinarian.


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