Mud Fever Boots - Buyer's Guide
Posted on November 01 2021
Mud fever boots are turnout boots designed to help protect horses prone to mud fever.
Mud fever is characterised by thickened skin, hair loss, scabs and inflammation around the heel and pastern area. These lesions may become infected leading to painful, pussy sores.
As the name suggests, mud fever usually occurs when horses are turned out in muddy fields. These conditions weaken the natural skin barrier and allow harmful bacteria to infect.
Susceptibility is increased if your horse already has a weak skin barrier due to injury, sensitive skin or leg mites.
Management of mud fever is focused on keeping your horse’s legs clean and dry. Mud fever boots have been designed to provide a physical barrier during turnout so that your horse can still enjoy their time in the field. Care should be taken to ensure that your horse’s boots fit well and are dried between uses.
The best mud fever boots should cover the lower limb with a close fit around the heel that provides a seal against mud entry. They should be water repellent whilst also allowing the skin to breathe. A secure fit is necessary to ensure your boots stay in place during field wear.
Our top picks....
Woof Wear Mud Fever Boots
RRP £49.95 (2021)
Size: S, M, M-Wide, L, XL
Designed to provide a secure seal against mud whilst maximising breathability and natural air circulation, the Woof Wear Mud Fever Boot is the most popular on the market. It features a loose-fitting, waterproof and breathable outer. The base of the boot contours to your horse’s heel to help prevent mud entry and riding-up, with a Kevlar-reinforced panel to help protect both horse and boot from overreaching.
Premier Equine Turnout / Mud Fever Boots
RRP £40.00 (2021)
Size: S, M, L, XL
A more traditional turnout boot, The Premier Equine Mud Fever Boot provides a water-repellant, breathable neoprene layer that fits snuggly to your horse’s leg helping to keep it clean and protected. Suitable for year-round use to provide comfortable protection and support to the lower limb with even pressure.
What else can you do to manage Mud Fever?
While mud fever boots are a great tool to help prevent mud fever, you may need to consider other aspects of your horse’s management too.
Where possible, reduce turnout and rotate fields to minimise mud.
Use hardcore in gateways and fence off areas that become mud-spots.
Review drainage, it may be possible to add drainage channels or dredge ditches to improve conditions.
Keep Bedding Clean
Dirty bedding can irritate your horse’s heel due to the high levels of ammonia and damp conditions, this will weaken the skin and make your horse more susceptible to mud fever.
Horses with Feathers
Horses with feathers are prone to leg mite infestation. Leg mites cause itching and irritation which will then predispose your horse to mud fever, but they can be treated by your vet.
Trimming feathers will help you to keep your horse’s legs dry and treat mud fever when necessary.
Be aware that cuts and scrapes will increase the risk of developing mud fever. Take extra steps to avoid mud, keep the wound clean and use a topical barrier cream if necessary.
Avoid Excessive Washing
Preventing mud fever requires keeping your horse’s legs clean and, more importantly, dry. It is often better to allow muddy legs to dry and brush the mud away afterwards. If your horse’s legs need washing then do your best to dry them immediately afterwards with a towel.
There are a number of creams available that can offer mild anti-bacterial benefits and help provide a barrier for the skin. In persistent cases, your vet may be able to prescribe more effective, medicated formulas.