How Can I Prevent Rain Rot Before It Starts? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-18-2009, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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How Can I Prevent Rain Rot Before It Starts?

My mare Dai is prone to rain rot in the winter. She and Jake are out 24/7 with access to good shelter but they love to be out regardless of rain or snow. Jake is fine but for the last 2 winters Dai has gotten rain rot. I do try to groom them every day but sometimes they are just soaked if it is raining/snowing when I go out.

I know rain rot is bacterial but I was wondering if a rain sheet would help? Neither are blanketed and do fine with that and I don't really want to blanket them for the cold but just let nature take its course with their fuzzy coats to keep them warm.

Would a rain sheet ****** the growth of her winter coat and do more harm than good in this case?

Btw...I am in the northwest corner of NJ. Temps are usually 20-30F in the dead of winter but do go lower sometimes.

Thanks in advance for any advice y'all have. :)
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-18-2009, 10:57 AM
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The best prevention is keeping a horse dry, the coat groomed, and reasonably clean. To prevent make sure you horse has shelter in rain and a breathable and rainproof blanket. Remember some horses will not use run in shelters and will need to be brought in to be kept dry. Supplementing the diet with a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement will help promote proper skin vitality and health.

The condition usually appears 2-5 days after consistent moisture conditions persist. There has to be high humidity as well, and horses with thick coats are more likely to hold moisture close to the skin. The skin must be broken by a scrape or cut for the actinomycetes to enter the skin. Poor stable management (damp stalls, poor ventilation, and infected barns) is usually a consistent fact or well. It is difficult to prevent cross contamination because the animals can simply brush up on something that another horse follows behind and brushes up against and they are contaminated.

I got this from


Last edited by dashygirl; 10-18-2009 at 10:59 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 12:09 AM
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So, Dashygirl, that would mean to not share brushes or combs between horses that have it and those that don't, correct? Oh heck. I have a rescue I just brought in that is covered in rain rot (clearing up now) but we are sharing brushes with my Hootie that has NEVER had rain rot.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 01:12 PM
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EQ Solutions - The EASY & QUICK Solution to ALL Your Washing Needs.

I recently bought this from my feed store when TSC ran out of Ezall...I love it..I wasnt so sure about the washing out and then reapplying it as a leave in conditioner..but it works fantastic and cheaper that Ezall in this area(and no allergies from the horses on it). I got the one with the foaming tool (small bottle) already on the the feed store I paid I think 12 dollars or so and it lasts a pretty long time. I have 4 horses I use it on...and have actually been able to not wash them for longer periods of time which will be good for when the colder weather comes. If you buy the bigger bottle(no foamer attached) instead of buying the separate foaming tool its actually cheaper to hit somewhere like Lowes and get the garden fertalizer type sprayer that will dilute the solution and making it foamy the same way...learned that when my ezall one broke..and they cost is a major difference..I think it was 6.00 for the one at lowes.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 01:26 PM
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I would also be giving her an immune booster.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your responses!

Dashygirl...I do my best to keep her dry but she hates being inside, they both do, so sometimes it's hard if we have a stretch of ugly weather. Oh...and she is a mud *****...the second she is clean and dry...she's off to find the nearest mud puddle! And I'm scrupulous about not using the same brushes on both horses and cleaning after every grooming as I know that transfers the bacteria. Luckily, so far, Jake has never gotten it!

Mom2ThreeGyrls...I've heard over and over that you can pass from one horse to another using the same brushes so I'd be careful.

hhadavis...I'll check that stuff out. Thanks!

G and Ks Mom...I'll talk to my vet about his recommendation on an immune booster and research on the 'net some more. Thanks for that tip!
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 09:25 PM
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Flax is a great immune booster as its full or Omega 3 and 6
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-19-2009, 09:42 PM
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A blanket can be good or bad. One one hand, it does keep the moisture off them. However, they cut a lot of the air flow off the coat and so the bacteria can fester under the blanket. If I were you I would avoid keeping blankets on for extended periods of time unless it is raining hard or it is cold. Just try to keep the horse out of any deep, wet areas of footing. The more you can clean the paddock/stall and keep it free of manure and urine, the better. I worked with a horse that had rain rot for over a year on a hind leg and currying it every day twice a day worked wonders, so I would recommend currying. The curry comb basically loosens all the dirt and hair, so the bacteria doesn't have as much as a chance to grab on and soak in to the skin. And like others have said, avoid sharing brushes.

If your paddocks get really mucky during the winter, I would advise keeping the horses in fresh clean stalls or shelters until the paddock isn't as mucky.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-20-2009, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Mom2ThreeGyrls View Post
So, Dashygirl, that would mean to not share brushes or combs between horses that have it and those that don't, correct? Oh heck. I have a rescue I just brought in that is covered in rain rot (clearing up now) but we are sharing brushes with my Hootie that has NEVER had rain rot.
Yeah, you probably shouldn't ever share brushes...I learned that the hard way once before.


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post #10 of 11 Old 10-20-2009, 11:50 PM
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I've never had issues with this but I had a friend who mixes up desitin and triple antibiotic ointment and uses it for EVERYTHING. Her horse had some rain rot on his butt and once a week she would wash his butt with an antimicrobial soap like fungasol and let it sit for 20 minutes and rinse. After they dried she applied desitin to it..When it rained she applied more desitin and put on a sheet. Her horse always looked like an appi with a giant white butt! It seemed to work really well.

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