Losing hair in patches????? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Losing hair in patches?????

About a week ago when I was brushing my mare, some hair brushed off of her as a round spot about 1 inch around. At the time I wasn't too worried as the skin looked totally healthy. The spot has slowly gotten bigger and part of it started to look red and slightly scabby. Then in the space of 1 day, the same thing happened on the other side of her except it started out a lot bigger. As of today, the patches are starting to look healthier but she is still losing hair in small round patches over her side and hind end. I have attached pictures showing the different spots.

I have dewormed her again, and washed her blanket as well as put some ointment on the big spots. My first thought was ringworm as I have never actually seen it before, but I have had numerous experienced horse people say that it doesn't look like ringworm at all. I am trying to get the vet out but they don't seem to be in a rush to come.

I am at a complete loss as to what this could be and I'm getting a bit worried as she is continuing to get more small spots.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 02:37 AM
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Ringworm isn't actually a worm, it's a fungus, so worming won't help anyway.

It doesn't look like ringworm, but it wouldn't hurt to treat everything that touches your horse with an anti-fungal spray or wash, just in case it is something along those lines.

How old is your mare? I know of an elderly gelding that started shedding his coat in patches like that. It was linked to his pituitary glands not functioning correctly. Sort of like Cushings.

If it were me, I would be getting the vet out to take scrapings, that way I would know for sure if it is a fungal/dermatological issue or something else.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 02:43 AM
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odd, the one that is on her side almost looks like a insect/spider bite.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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She is 7 so it shouldn't be an age thing. I will be calling the vet again today to try and get him to come out ASAP. Wouldn't it be weird to have that many insect bites though? Plus it is winter here so normally -25 Celsius outside which is where she was living other than when I rode.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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And I know that ringworm is a fungus, I just figured that it would be good to mention that I had dewormed her recently :)
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-28-2014, 10:06 PM
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She looks like she has lice to me. It is the right time of year and they are really bad right now.

Look up Vitamin A and rain rot and lice on the 'search' feature on the forum. These winter skin conditions are caused by a lack of vitamin A. They will clear up just as fast with no treatment other than to give them Vitamin A. They clear up on their own when the grass greens up. but they can look a lot worse before they get better on their own.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-28-2014, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well the vet came out yesterday and took some samples. She doesn't have lice or ringworm, he actually couldn't find anything wrong and couldn't figure out what the problem is. He said that hopefully it will get better on its own but if it gets worse, he will do a biopsy and more testing with that.
What kind of feed or supplement would have vitamin A in it that would be good to add to her diet? She currently gets fed nice alfalfa as well as cool command. Front Runner 13% Cool Command | Products | Feed-Rite
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-01-2014, 10:08 AM
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Just about all skin conditions and many eye problems that horses get in the winter and spring will respond to Vitamin A almost immediately. You can get her on Vitamin A by using Farnam's 'Mare Plus' supplement. It does not have the blood builders in it of other supplements so horses do not get 'high' and silly on it.

The quickest way to correct it is to give her the injectable form of vitamin A only DO NOT inject it. Just squirt 5 cc into the horse's mouth. It will make rain rot, lice, dandruff and scruffy skin, goopy and crusty eyes, etc disappear with no other treatments. Otherwise, they go away with green grass or new hay. About the only skin condition that is actually contagious is true ringworm. It is nasty stuff and does need to be treated -- but this does not look like ringworm. I really looks like lice or mange mites that are so common this time of year.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-01-2014, 01:56 PM
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The large ones look like bite marks. But if she is wearing a blanket I don't see how that could happen. Is she turned out with other horses?
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-01-2014, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
These winter skin conditions are caused by a lack of vitamin A. They will clear up just as fast with no treatment other than to give them Vitamin A. They clear up on their own when the grass greens up. but they can look a lot worse before they get better on their own.
Interesting - I did not know that. I wonder if my mustang gelding has a bit of a deficiency. When he came from the BLM he was missing patches that were hard to clear up - but MTG and time seemed to eventually help. Now its going on 2 years later and I'm seeing similar issues again.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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