Any tips for horse that has had bad sunburn in the past? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Any tips for horse that has had bad sunburn in the past?

Hi all
So I have FINALLY found my horse - the search is over and he arrived yesterday. He has a partially white face and the owner before the lady I brought him from did not look after this at all, he has patches of hair missing from constant burning and blistering and the skin is quite rough and flaky. I am putting sunscreen on daily but wondered if there was something else that might help the skin heal a bit? I doubt the hair will grow back but would like to make it more comfortable for him if I can. I also wondered if daily sunscreening builds up over time and if you need to periodically wash it off? Can put some pics up if that might help.

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post #2 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Also to add, he wears a halter all of the time as he can be a bit naughty to catch sometimes. As soon as he spots a lead rope he wanders off. I would like to eventually get him so I can leave it off as I dont really like leaving halters on 24/7 and he has patches of hair missing from the halter too. For the time being I will leave it on though while we get to know each other. ANYWAY apparantly he wont tolerate any kind of sun shield so thats out.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 04:00 AM
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Sounds to me that rather than sunburn, that this is photosensitisation.

Do you know the horse's history and particularly likely exposure to toxic weeds in pasture/hay?

You might want to get blood/liver function checked.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 04:25 AM
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You can buy cotton nose flaps that attach to the halter - He is already wearing a halter so it should be no big deal.

I have two white faced chestnuts. One has really bad sun sensitivity that started with a reaction to a plant and has never gone away - He has no hair on his pink nose at all.

Normal sunscreen never worked for him. You need a zinc cream, you can use regular white people zinc but I like Filta-Bac which also has antiseptic properties. I have recently veered away from this though as he got a habit of wiping it off on the nearest horse, which made me very unpopular at shows!

I recently found a powdered sunscreen called mypony, it's great, except because he has no hair on his nose it doesn't stick very well. It's great on my mare though, stays on all day, looks natural, and they don't mind it going on.

But basically the only way I manage it fully in the paddock with with some kind of nose cover. He wipes sunscreen off on his legs throughout the day. I use either the cotton nose flap that threads on to a halter, or a nose screen from nag horse ranch (These guys are great!).

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post #5 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 07:48 AM
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One of my horses has white head. I use long-nose fly mask on her.

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 AM
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Some of the stables I worked for in the past had horses with sunburn problems too.
If a good solution couldn't be found for a sunscreen or sunblock use, those horses were turned out in the evenings then brought up to the shade the next morning and kept inside/under overhangs for the strong sunllight hours. If they were working, the rotation allowed for them to be ridden in the mornings, or later evenings.
Once their skin was all healed the sunblocks were more effective or they could be ridden like normal during regular sunlight hours, just not turned out all day in the sun all day everyday.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 05:40 PM
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Forgot to mention that the mesh nose covers attached to flyveils didn't work for my boy either, he still got burnt. He needs solid material.

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 06:28 PM
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If you want a cream that protects and heals, zinc oxide works the best. Just get a generic diaper rash cream.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips! He came with some filtabac, the clear and the white one which I have been using. Even though its messier I quite like the white one as it makes his face looks almost normal, kinda fills in the red bits
His nose seems to be the least affected so not sure how effective a nose guard would be especially if he hasnt liked them in the past although I dont see how it would bother him much if he is used to wearing a halter.
I hadnt heard about photo sensitization before, does that mean that if you can elimate the factors like weeds etc that it gets better? I will ask his old owner about it as she is coming up to visit him this afternoon while I have my first ride on him here.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2012, 02:13 AM
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In my case the weeds started the reaction and it has continued ever since, even after changing paddocks/properties.

However I do know of cases where photosensitivity caused by St Johns Wort healed after removing the weed.

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