Common Horse Illnesses You Should Be Aware Of

Nothing can quite compare to the feeling of owning your own horse. The bond that you have with them cannot be compared to anything else, and they can offer you years of enjoyment and happiness. If you want to take good care of your horse, then you need to be aware of some of the health conditions and illnesses they can be prone to.

Mud fever

Mud fever is actually a skin condition. It is strongly associated with muddy or wet conditions. The skin on the horse’s legs and on their stomach becomes very inflamed and in some instances, the horse might even develop a high fever. This happens when bacteria enters the waterlogged skin and it causes scabbing. This essentially seals in the infection, causing the problem to get worse. If you want to stop this condition, then you need to make sure that the horse’s legs are cleaned very well and that they are dried too. If the horse is covered in mud then consider letting the mud dry, before brushing it off.

Common cold

You can tell if your hose has the common cold by looking out for yellow discharge from the nose. The horse may have a higher temperature than usual, and it is more than possible for the throat to become swollen as well. It is much more common for a horse to develop the common cold if they are in a stable that is not ventilated properly or if they are in a lorry for a long period of time. Of course, the common cold can also be caught from other horses as well. If your horse does show signs of having the common cold, then you need to call the vet immediately. Try and feed them soft food, and soak it in hay. If your horse has a thyroid issue or other issues with their glands, then this could be due to another health condition. Your vet may prescribe thyrozine if this is the case.


Colic is just one of the many terms used to describe any form of abdominal pain. It can show that there is a problem with the gut and the other organs as well. There are a huge number of reasons why colic can happen, whether it is due to indigestion or even a twisted gut. Signs of colic include a horse that rolls around restlessly or even unexplained swelling. You may also see them trying to kick their stomach, and an elevated pulse rate and temperature.

Rain Scald

Rain scald is another skin infection and it is caused by persistent saturation. This can happen in horses who already have a weakened immune system or even ones that don’t have the natural grease required in their coat to keep them warm and dry. The horse may show signs of patchy hair loss, or even matted hair as well. If you want to stop a horse from getting rain scald then you need to use rugs that are breathable, so that sweat doesn’t collect underneath.


Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and I also love dogs.

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