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Equine Rain Rot Cures
 By Winniefield Park   •   19th Jan 2015   •   5,850 views   •   3 comments
Equine Rain Rot Cures

The scientific name for this skin condition is dermatophilus, but itís more commonly known as rain rot or rain scald. Rain scald is rare during the dry, sunny summer months. But when the weather turns cooler, darker and damper, and horses are putting on a denser winter coat that doesnít dry quickly after a rain, rain scald can appear.

Rain scald is a relatively common skin problem, and while itís often associated with horses that are in poor condition, thatís not always the case. My own horse has had rain scald, as have several others, and most could be described as being in too good condition. For whatever reason, some horses tend to be more susceptible than others.

Rain scald is caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis. The bacteria is thought to originate in the soil. It may be carried by insects such as horse flies or picked up when the horse rolls or lies down. Once the bacteria finds itself in the warm, damp conditions beneath the horseís thick coat, they will begin to grow.

Rain scald can appear as small bumps that you might mistaken for lumps of greasy dirt or a fine grey dust as you brush your horse. The bumps increase in size, and appear as greasy, grey plaques. If you try to pick or curry them off, your horse might get a bit cranky. Left untreated, the lumps will become quite thick, scabby, and fluid will weepy from beneath them. The hair on the affected area will Ďstareí and eventually fall out, and the horseís skin can become quite inflamed and sore. Areas over the back, neck, haunches and shoulders are most commonly affected. When it affects the lower legs, it can also be responsible for grease heel, scratches or mud fever.

Infected areas on the horse can become itchy and painful. If your horse has even mild rain scald, putting a saddle over the area might be very uncomfortable. Left untreated, infection can set in. Horses that suffer from bad infections are likely those who are also neglected in other ways. Most of us will treat rain scald before it becomes a major health problem.

A quick daily grooming, or at least running your hand over your horseís back and haunches is the best way to check for rain scald. If the weather has been very damp, and your horse has a thick winter coat, you might want to check frequently. It can grow under blankets too, so if you blanket your horse as a rule, take the blanket off to see that all is well under neath.

You can help your horse avoid rain scald by keeping it clean and dry as much as possible. Donít share brushes or blankets with other horses, to avoid spreading the bacteria. Any rain sheets or rugs used should be breathable so that they donít trap the horseís own moisture beneath them.

Often, rain scald goes away as mysteriously as it arrived. But If you discover the telltale bumps or plaques that indicate the bacteria is at work, there are a few home treatments you can try. Some people swear by vinegar or mouthwash rinses. Iím not in favor of these, as you can only imagine how they might sting on sensitive skin. People can get this skin condition too, although itís rare, and I donít think Iíd want to pour vinegar on it. A better option might be an antibacterial soap or lotion. Wash the area or work the lotion in to kill the bacteria. Horses with a thick coat might benefit from clipping. If your horse doesnít show signs of healing within a few days, call your veterinarian.
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Ruby Creek Ranch  
Vitamin A will clear it up from the inside out.
I've used cattle injectable vit A. But fed orally to horse. Mare plus works also. No need for topical stuff. Also, usually during the winter they get rain rot, they start lacking vit. A until green grass comes back.. with the A
  Feb 7, 2015  •  5,870 views
 
Winniefield Park  
That's interesting. I may look into Vitamin A for my girl. Oddly enough, she is ga-ga about eating dandelions, which has one of the highest sources of Vitamin A.
  Feb 8, 2015  •  5,853 views
 
The Crimson Klutz  
Listerine in a spray bottle was always our cure for it, i used to work at a barn where rain rot hit like clockwork no matter what we did so we quickly came up with ways to fix it. But i always had a horse who would shed her coat in a way that looks like the starts of rain rot, it was weird.
  Mar 25, 2015  •  5,586 views
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