It is the season! Winter wet and spring rain may bring “Mud Fever” to your barn. Here in the Pacific Northwest USA we see it nearly every spring!!
Mud fever is a skin reaction caused by the bacteria known as ” dermatophilus congolensis” which most commonly presents itself in the soft tissue of the pastern joint. We frequently see it in donkeys who live in wet areas and are stabled in muddy paddocks and pastures. Donkeys are very prone to this skin infection because their thick hair holds moisture close to the skin. Mud Fever can also present in other areas of the body, but we suggest a daily check of your donkeys pastern and fetlock joints.
Don’t ignore mud fever! This skin disease can take off on you and proliferate into a full blown infection and inflammatory disease. If you see any signs of matted hair, crusty material or scabbing on your donkeys pasterns or anywhere on your donkeys lower limbs it is time to kick into gear! Here are our suggestions for treating Mud Fever:
** Call your Veterinarian if you find scabs that are bloody, redness and inflammation, swelling and/or discomfort!
1. Carefully clip the pastern joint area and all around the matted/ infected area. You must remove all hair! The bacteria hide in and thrive in hair.
2. Clean the area well with Nolvasan or a very, very light concentrate of Betadine Scrub. Never use straight Betadine!
3. Let the area dry well. For at least 20-30 minutes. Towel dry.
4. Apply a Mud Fever product or a high quality Zinc Oxide (Baby Diaper Cream) all over the area. Zinc Oxide is a water repellent and a healer. Do this twice a day.
5. Now the difficult one: Keep your donkey out of wet pastures and wet paddocks. Bring them into a dry barn or a stall. If you cannot do this, you must wrap the pastern/leg and keep this area dry and free of exposure to the wet elements.
There are some good products out there for Mud Fever, our favorite is” Mud Stop”. Mud Stop addresses both the bacterial infection as well as the wetness.
Good luck and remember prevention is the key, check your donkeys lower limbs daily!
NOTE: This photo represents what was discovered UNDER the hair after clipping. This needs a veterinarian’s attention!
GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!