known as mudfever, rainscald, streptotrichosis)
is an ulcerative skin disease caused by the actinomycete Dermatophilus
congolensis and affect mainly equids, sheep and cattle. In temperate
climates the area affected is mainly the distal limb with excessive
feathereing being a contributing factor. In (sub)-tropical the affected
areas can be more wide spread and often affects large dorsal areas.
Symptoms are more severe in these climate regions and incidence
is often increased through arthropod transmission.
moderate climates it is typically a skin disease that affects heavy
horses due to their prominent feathering of the fetlock (and sheep
due to their excessive fleece). However, mudfever is by no means
limited to these breeds and can affect any type of horse. Excessive
exposure to moisture is thought to be the main contributer to the
onset of the disease, making stable and pasture management a main
factor in prevention. There also appears to be individual variation
in susceptibility to mudfever, resulting in repeated re-infection
of patients whilst others on the same yard remain unaffected.
is usually on the basis of reducing the exposure to excessive humidity
and allowing the skin to heal. However, this can be assisted by
clipping of fetlocks and removing excessive scabbing allowing the
skin to be exposed to drying conditions. Particular must be taken
to prevent clipper damage to the skin.
can be further assisted by application of barrier creams or antimicrobials.
Howvever, the effectiveness against this relatively tough micro-organism
should not be assumed as fact.
research focuses on the testing of herbal treatments of D.congolensis
and the development of an effective anti-microbial preventative
and treating cream for mudfever in horses.
For more information on D.congolensis and Mudfever