This is the same condition of the skin of the other parts of the limb as cracked heels, and is due to the same cause, or causes, the inflammation extending to the under parts of the belly. The skin is hot and painful (it may be even swollen), and the hair on it is erect, while, when the hand is passed over it, a roughness or eruption can be felt; if not checked the hair will fall off, sores appear on the skin, and much stiffness or lameness, with a certain amount of fever, will be present.

Treatment

This consists in applying to the inflamed skin Goulard's extract (one part) and olive-oil or glycerine (four parts), or veterinary vaseline. If fever is present, give sloppy diet and a mild dose of physic. To prevent mud fever, the body and legs should not be washed when the horse returns to the stable, the dirt being removed by scraping and rubbing with a straw wisp. If there are draughts in the stable - or, indeed, under any circumstances - it is well to apply woollen bandages as high as possible on the limbs. When quite dry, the remainder of the dirt may be removed by the brush, or by a damp sponge and a soft cloth. If the legs must be washed, then this should be done in the stable, and the skin quickly and thoroughly dried and hand-rubbed, some vaseline being afterwards applied, and then flannel bandages. As a preventive, the legs should not be clipped.