Treating Sid's mud fever - pics added

Jane&Ziggy

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Thanks so much to everyone who made suggestions for how to treat Sid's mud fever.

What has happened so far:

(1) He has had his legs close clipped, and I have bought a pair of clippers so I can carry on with it for the time being. It's so much easier to see where I need to work.

(2) I have been treating the scabs on and around his heels daily with cocoa butter, Hedgewitch Horse Oil and most recently Hoof to Heal.

(3) I've been treating the thickened, scaly flesh behind his knees with the same topical agents.

Good news: hardly any scabs remain on his heels, and when they come off the skin underneath them looks pink and healthy. He objects very much less to having the cream rubbed in and the scabs removed, so presumably they hurt him less. This has allowed me to be more vigorous with removing the scabs. As far as I can tell, he has stopped biting and scratching them.

Not so good: despite a constant shedding of scales, the areas behind his knees are still thickened and it is very uncomfortable for him to have them treated. I'd like to comb the area to remove the debris, but he really doesn't want to let me.

Two questions for you all this time.

(1) What is the aftercare requirement for his feet and heels? Should I keep applying the cream, or is this the time when I switch over to a preventative treatment like pig oil & sulphur?

(2) For his knees, I suspect it is just a question of keeping up the treatment and allowing the thickened skin to soften and slough away over time. But is there anything else I can do to make it more comfortable for him?

I'm really pleased to see the improvements so far, and I have the softest hands in Surrey!
 
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Jessey

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Great news on the heels, I’d keep doing what you’re doing until they’re totally healed, then switch to less frequent preventative maintenance. Jess got that horrific MF a couple of winters ago, I don’t routinely do any prevention but I keep a close eye and slather something on the second it looks or feels vaguely not perfect and we’ve not had any repeats since 🤞

For the mellanders I think you’re on the right track, you might find trying to treat it after a bath, now spring is getting here, will have them at their softest 🤷🏻‍♀️ Like removing thick skin on your feet is easier after a soak
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Great news on the heels, I’d keep doing what you’re doing until they’re totally healed, then switch to less frequent preventative maintenance. Jess got that horrific MF a couple of winters ago, I don’t routinely do any prevention but I keep a close eye and slather something on the second it looks or feels vaguely not perfect and we’ve not had any repeats since 🤞

For the mellanders I think you’re on the right track, you might find trying to treat it after a bath, now spring is getting here, will have them at their softest 🤷🏻‍♀️ Like removing thick skin on your feet is easier after a soak
Thanks @Jessey, I was wondering about a bath myself. He'll have to come over to the house for that.

Apparently you can't cure mallanders as you can mud fever. You just have to keep on top of it permanently. I see why @Cortrasna would have kept Solly's legs pig oiled!
 
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chunky monkey

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Apparently you can't cure mallanders as you can mud fever. You just have to keep on top of it permanently. I see why @Cortrasna would have kept Solly's legs pig oiled!
Yep thats why i have used pig oil and sulphur for some 10+ years now on chunky. How id love to find that magic cure.

Keep doing as you are.

Apart from applying the treatment behind the knees i dont touch/pick the scabs on there. It can make them more sensitive and you might create an annoyed horse who doesnt like his legs touched.

On the mud fever part i note someone said remove scabs for healing better on another thread No experience myself on that front so would go along with what they advise. I know on my sheep when they have similar i just spray with purple spray and put through a zinc foot dip.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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the hoof to heel is great for the scabs which literally fall off and might help on the thickened areas, poor boy they must have been really sore. He's been really good, main thing is to try to avoid causing pain and making him uncooperative. It's amazing that they sold him on and never treated all this.
 

Kite_Rider

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A huge long shot I know but I’m wondering if Thuja cream would work for the thickened skin on the back of his knees? I was very sceptical when my friend suggested it for two small sarcoids that Belle developed but thought I’d nothing to lose by trying, anyway it worked amazingly well on those so might be worth a try on his legs?
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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That's a good idea @Kite_Rider , I treated a sarcoid on Ziggy with Thuja and it helped a lot. I might still have some, I'll have a look.

@diplomaticandtactful the Hoof to Heal is super and did exactly what you said on the mud fever scabs. I've started using it on the Mallanders now and @chunky monkey I'll try to resist picking at the keratoses as they loosen, though it is almost irresistible!

I'll get a little pig oil when things have cleared up and settled down a bit just to make sure he doesn't have a reaction, then just use it as part of my grooming routine. In fact, let's be honest, my grooming routine is non existent, I will try to get one!
 

carthorse

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I'd keep doing what you're doing. If you're going to keep the feathers off I wouldn't bother with pig oil, just put cream on his heels a couple of times a week to keep the skin supple - if the skin isn't broken it's far harder for the bacteria to get a hold.

If behind his knees are shedding scales then what you're doing is having an effect, but you've clearly got a lot of build up there so it's going to take time. For now I'd keep chipping away at it, if in a month you still feel there's a big problem then maybe get the vet to have a look and maybe sedate him so you can have a good go at it without upsetting him.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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I'd keep doing what you're doing. If you're going to keep the feathers off I wouldn't bother with pig oil, just put cream on his heels a couple of times a week to keep the skin supple - if the skin isn't broken it's far harder for the bacteria to get a hold.

If behind his knees are shedding scales then what you're doing is having an effect, but you've clearly got a lot of build up there so it's going to take time. For now I'd keep chipping away at it, if in a month you still feel there's a big problem then maybe get the vet to have a look and maybe sedate him so you can have a good go at it without upsetting him.
Thanks so much @carthorse . That sounds doable!

I have to say, I love a feathery horse but I think he looks really smart with clean legs so will definitely do that for a year.

The back of his knees are shedding scales like nobody's business, my hands are covered in them after applying the cream (yuk, but not so yuk now that I know they are just keratin). I'm hoping that a nice bath, on a warm dry day followed by drying his legs with a dog towel(!) will help to free some more so that I can see what's going on. Even without feather, the hair at the back of his needs is so tough and strong it's hard to see through it.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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That's a good idea @Kite_Rider , I treated a sarcoid on Ziggy with Thuja and it helped a lot. I might still have some, I'll have a look.

@diplomaticandtactful the Hoof to Heal is super and did exactly what you said on the mud fever scabs. I've started using it on the Mallanders now and @chunky monkey I'll try to resist picking at the keratoses as they loosen, though it is almost irresistible!

I'll get a little pig oil when things have cleared up and settled down a bit just to make sure he doesn't have a reaction, then just use it as part of my grooming routine. In fact, let's be honest, my grooming routine is non existent, I will try to get one!
would thuja work on a large sarcoid as Tintin had the full expensive liverpool treatment and the bloody thing has come back and is huge
 

Jane&Ziggy

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"A bit scabby in the feathers" "cob knee". The vet was concerned with whether he could do the job of a hacking schoolmaster. Like everyone else who has owned Sid to date, he didn't consider that skin issues prevented a horse from working!
 
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carthorse

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To be fair they are manageable issues that very rarely have an impact on soundness, and if they were grounds for failing a vetting very few feathered cobs would ever pass.
 
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MrC

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I like pig oil for feathery ponies. With Kia I just used zinc and castor oil Cream as he didn’t have a lot of feather. I pig oiled the wee guys feathers this year as last year I got a bit of bog burn.

For mud fever if really bad I clip and use zinc and castor oil cream daily and wash every three days with Savlon liquid in hot water then get a towel and hold each end using the seesaw motion to agitate the scabs and massage the skin.
 
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