Sherry’s Blog - Winter 2018

Fighting mud fever with blue light

by Sherry Scott MBEAt this time of year, you may find your horses plagued by the dreaded mud fever. As a recurring infection a consistent treatment approach is necessary to keep it at bay.

I am often to be found in the muddy fields with my quirky anti-bacterial blue light device. The College of Animal Physiotherapy recently introduced phototherapy wands to be used with the Magnetopulse which feature a single LED bulb (either red or blue light) to apply light to restricted areas. I use a length of bamboo cane with the blue light wand taped to one end, a sort of arm-lengthening contraption!

This versatility means I can go into a field of unbroken, young horses and apply the blue light at a safer distance and without bringing them into a stable – they are happier among their friends.

After the treatment, Stud employee Iulian (from Romania) applies a thick paste as a remedy with a ‘splat’, and the movement pushes away some of the dirt. Sometimes we need a good clean also, but mostly we’ve applied the blue light and then the ‘splat’. This two-pronged approach has been effective on the Stud population. The recipe is made up of 3 scoops udder cream, 1 scoop sulphur powder and 1 scoop pig oil.

In my experience over the years I have found that the application of blue light is painful to a horse with mud fever, which is useful to confirm the diagnosis. It can be tricky to treat but done daily it is very effective at supressing the infection and keeping it in check. Once the painful stage has passed we are simply monitoring and giving the occasional covering of blue light to keep it at bay.

These photos demonstrate how I administer the blue light to a horse who has been successfully treated for mud fever, with Iulian who puts on the tried and tested potion after blue light treatment.