Dandruff and scaly skin - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-21-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 710
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Dandruff and scaly skin

Both my Morgan boys have a skin problem right now. They have very thick manes which tend to get dandruff easily. A few weeks ago I noticed the younger one, Cody, had really bad, flaky dandruff in his forelock and over his poll. I bagan treating it with Mane & Tail Pro-Tect, and just Mane & Tail to soften the skin and stop the itching. About a week later it started to spread down the front of his forehead, and I could literally scratch off chunks of hair, leaving little bald patches all over his face. The skin underneath was all bumpy and scaly. Then it spread to his brother, who had a similar mysterious problem on his face last summer. I am treating them both, but the second one has rubbed himself raw in a few spots and it is difficult to treat them because I think it stings or something, they both pull their heads away or put them up so high I can't reach or see what I'm doing. I am going to try aloe vera gel next and see if that helps, but would welcome any suggestions. Does it sound like sweet itch? They both also go through periods of mane and tail rubbing, and I have tried dozens of solutions to no avail.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-21-2013, 05:43 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tennessee
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Are the areas scaly and oily looking ? I used a Tar Shampoo last year, and after the 2nd treatment , he cleared up pretty quickly. But Sonny's skin condition didnt seem to be contagious at all, none of the other horses 'got it'. Do a google search for 'oily dandruff in horses' and look at the pictures to see if you think it's the same thing. I got the tar shampoo at Tractor Supply here in the States.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-21-2013, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: BC Canada
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My gelding sheds really weird and it kind of comes off in strips, he also has dandruff. Underneath the strips of hair it is bald. I put moisturizer on the parts with dandruff and coconut oil on the bald parts. coconut oil helps hair growth. It seems to help, he is looking way better now.

Horses are scared of two things. Things that move and things that don't
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-21-2013, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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What does their diet look like? Do they get fresh grass? I ask because skin problems are often caused by a lack of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these are present in fresh grass, but deteriorate very quickly when it's cut and dried into hay.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 710
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I do not know how to insert several quotes in a reply, but I appreciate all the feedback! As far as being oily, I am not sure. If you pick at the scales the skin underneath looks inflamed and *****, is that the same thing?

I will try coconut oil, thanks- it is not only good but I love the smell!

And they are on very good pasture right now, they also get a supplement because the grass here is deficient in selenium. They were on mainly hay though until about 6 weeks ago.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-23-2013, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,886
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I use Healthy Haircare Moisturizer on my horse. It's a pink liquid concentrate which you mix with water and put in a spray bottle. When I got him 2 months ago he had bad dandruff everywhere, especially on his withers, mane & tail. Both mane & tail had obvious signs of rubbing, too. Everytime I groom (3-4 days a week) I mist the Health Haircare over his whole body and then spend extra time massaging it into the roots of his mane and on the tail head. There are currently no signs of dandruff and he's only had one bath in this time period.

That said, there was no seriously inflamed skin under my horses' scaly patches, so you may have a more serious underlying issue.
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