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Author Topic: For horses that suffer with mud fever .... Could it be Alfalfa?  (Read 9619 times)

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Offline samboc77

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Please move this if you think it should be else where but I though people might be interested in this.

I have for the last 3 years been battling with Beach's mudfever. Last year and the year before Beach's legs were terrible.... I was bandaging and caring for his legs from September through to March.... it was a nightmare! He is also out 24/7  :-X

I heard though word of mouth that Alfalfa (lucerene) might cause allergies in some horses. I looked at Beach's Diet and he was getting Alfalfa as it was in the Hifi Light I was feeding him. I checked all his feeds and decided that I should see if he might be allergic to it. So as of about April time this year he stopped having ANY alfa alfa.

This year he has not had any mud fever (touch wood) We had muddy fields during the summer months >:(......nothing  :D , normally in late August and Septemeber when we get the dew morning and night he starts getting scabs ..... This year...... nothing :yahoo: We had that heavy rain resently and the field got quite muddy.... STILL nothing.  :o :)

I know we still have the rest of winter to go but normally by now I am plastering his legs in Zinc and caster oil cream wrapping them in bandages and he has scabs left right and center. So far NOTHING :yahoo:

If your horse is prone to mud fever it might be worth checking to see if alfa alfa is in the feed they get.

I am positive this is the underlying cause. I will report back as we get further in to winter but I haven't changed anything other than removing Alfalfa from his diet :nod:

Has anyone else found this?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 10:58:49 PM by samboc77 »

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Offline Danni

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I've heard of alfalfa sensitivities, but hadn't heard of them manifesting as a skin complaint.  Very interesting!  I hope he remains mud fever-free from now on :db:

BTW, what have you given him instead of Hi-Fi Lite?

Offline Cabruze

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Really intersting post!  Bruce has a rash which doesn't bother him but I've tried pretty much everything to get rid of it except taking him of Alfalfa.  Will give it a go and see what happens.
"In horsemanship there is not neutrality.  You are either furthering your horse's wellbeing or destroying it." Charles de Kunffy

Offline Wendy

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Thanks for sharing that - its got to be worth checking.
"A straight horse isn't a horse without bending, but a horse that uses his four legs to step forward in the direction of movement.''
Gustav Steinbrecht (18081885)

Offline Jolene

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Lady used to break out in scabs similar to mud fever, but all over her body, from my old barn's hay.  I had to try three times before I actually believed she could be allergic to hay!  In that case it wasn't specifically alfalfa, but I know a lot of horses are sensitive to it and it can manifest in skin conditions.
Jolene & Handsome
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Offline samboc77

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Fingers crossed :D

I have put Beach on Just Grass by D&H or GrazeOn which range from 6 to 7 a bag so not that bad. I also mix that with a straw chop for added fibre.

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Offline Danni

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Great, thank you for that.

He must be so happy not to have itchy and sore ankles :D

Offline Sundance

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hahaha Ohh that was too funny. Reading through that I was thinking "what the heck is alfa alfa" Then clued in with the other responses that it's alfalfa hehe.
That makes sense though...I mean Sundance can't have Alfalfa as otherwise he has the runs...and very badly I might add. So if it can do that to their insides it doesn't surprise me they can be affected on the outside.
~~Ask me to show you poetry in motion, and I will show you a horse.~~

Offline samboc77

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I am glad that it might help some of you as I know how horrible and long winter can be made to feel when trying to keep one step ahead of mud fever!

Last year I had Trinity with 2 abcesses (one in each back foot) so I was sorting out beach's legs and then having to poultice and wrap up 2 feet on 2 horses that live out 24/7! AARRHHH  :wall: :doh: It was very tough and hard work!

If it is the alfalfa that is causing the mud fever I would be interested to see if other horses that suffer with it also have alfalfa in there grub too! :nod:


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Offline Elinda

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along w/ forage that may cause sensitivities many horses will also respond to fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used on the crops. in time we may find a better correlation between what's added to crops and our horses health.

years ago some GM or franken-corn that had been disallowed for humans went astray and found it's way into all types of products. reports of hives spiked and sensitivities ranged from minor to severe. w/in a month some horses at the barn where i was boarding began to break out in hives too. :o their trainers hadn't been reading reports of the franken-corn in the news and when i mentioned it they weren't convinced and continued to feed the same grain mix and pumped their horses w/ steroids.  ???

the good news is when the franken-corn was no longer included in the feeds (a few months later) the hives mysteriously disappeared. pity the horse's livers had to go through the steroid stress when a change in feed could/might have made all the difference. :doh:

here in the US i haven't seen labs testing forage for additives, the reports are limited to mineral/vitamin content. we might be surprised at the different unexpected chemicals included w/ our food and water choices if we could get a comprehensive analysis.

samboc77, sure glad you found the trigger for your horses mud fever outbreaks. sometimes it's our experimentation and observation skills that save the day :D

elinda
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Offline samboc77

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I was wondering if this could be moved and pinned in the Health section for people to see? I know I have spoken to a lot of people about this and they are all saying this would be very useful to know about. I will keep an update on how we progress through winter ;)

If this observation helps others I would be very pleased as I know how horrible mud fever can be for horses and for the owners.

Hears hoping I might have found the catalyst (if not for all, for some)

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Offline samboc77

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Uperty up ;)

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Offline felicia

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I have read about this as well, especially in grey or chestnut horses  ??? Alfalfa is very high in protein so that possibly has something to do with it. 

Offline samboc77

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Cheers Nix ;)

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Offline Marengo

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Re: For horses that suffer with mud fever .... Could it be Alfalfa?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2007, 07:12:35 PM »
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  • Lutine's creeping leg crud (on her white legs only), which struck late last winter and lasted all summer, has also started dying off since changing her food and cutting out alfalfa. There's some photos on her blog www.lutinedumanaou.blogspot.com . I think it's implicated, like some other legumes, in creating problems with photosensitisation. Her intermittent unlevelness at the front has also started to ease off and she's coming back sound again at all paces. I'm not sure of the mechanisms but I think the alfalfa has been a big part of the picture in this year's 'issues'. Having said that, she's now on TS Cool Condition cubes, which have a small amount of alfalfa in them and yet the symptoms are all receding - but the CC cubes are all balanced for sodium, calcium and magnesium so perhaps that's helping somehow....