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Horse Skin Problems - Rashes, Bumps and Bald Patches

Learn About Horse Skin Problems


It's almost inevitable that your horse will have some sort of skin problem during its lifetime. It's not unusual to bring a horse in to find it covered in bumps or sensitive spots. Often small bumps that look like pasture injuries develop into larger problems caused by bugs, allergies,  or viruses. All sorts of things can cause skin problems, from too much rain or bathing, to insect or grooming sprays, not to mention pollen and other environmental irritants.

1. Rain Scald or Rain Rot

Sometimes a run of damp, rainy weather is all it takes for a horse to develop rain rot or rain scald. Yes, you can provide shelter, but horses can be like little kids and not know when to come in out of the rain. Often it's the elderly, or under-condition horses that are affected. But not always. Learn how to identify, treat and avoid the common horses sking problem, rain rot.

2. Ringworm

Ringworm isn't caused by a worm, but it is something you can share with your horse. Again, this is a skin problem that mainly affects horses  in poor condition, but once one horse gets it, the others easily can too, along with all the four and two legged family members. Find out what really causes ring worm, how to avoid the spread of this skin problem and how to treat the whole family if the do get it.

3. Mange

There's no doubt good health goes a long way to prevent many illnesses and diseases, including skin problems. There are a few different types of mange, and they show up on the horse's skin in slightly different ways. Learn what this skin problem looks like, how to treat it and how to avoid spreading mange to other horse's or yourself.

4. Lice

Like their human counterpart, lice aren't too fussy about who they snack on, from expensive racehorse to lowly but loved backyard companion. Lice are usually equated with poor living conditions, but that's not always the case. As long as there is a warm body to hitch a ride on, they'll gladly hop aboard. What can you do about lice? Lean how to clear them up and why lice on your horse probably won't hitch a ride on you.

5. Allergic Dermatitis

Many of us know the agony of seasonal allergies. Or perhaps you know what it's like to be allergic to your cat, dog or even your horse! Horses can have allergies too and the symptoms can range from  a few hives that disappear within days, to severe allergies requiring veterinarian assistance.

6. Grease Heel or Pastern Dermatitis

Perhaps the most difficult skin condition to clear up is grease heel, more properly known as pastern dermatitis. Grease heel does have other several common names as well. Because it happens in an area of the skin that is always bending and stretching and exposed to damp and dirt, grease heel can take a long time to heal. Learn the causes of grease heel and how to handle it.

7. Vitilago

While a horse with flashy white markings is undeniably eye-catching, white markings that suddenly appear around eyes and other thin skinned areas on the horse leave many horse owners worrying. Vitiligo can affect humans too. (But don't worry, it's not contagious and you won't get it from your horse.)

8. Summer Itch or Sweet Itch in Horses

Sweet itch doesn't sound too bad does it? Maybe it's something like a sweet tooth? No, sweet itch is anything but sweet. It can be extremely uncomfortable, causing inflammation and hair loss. The horse can even damage its skin trying to relieve the itch. Nothing sweet about that. Learn what causes sweet or summer itch and how to treat and avoid it.

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