When I adopted my OTTB at the end of June, she had rain rot on her hind leg and it started spreading to her other legs and up her back. I'd never dealt with it before, so at first I didn't realize what it was until it was too late, and then I didn't know I was spreading it with her brushes and tack. When I showed her leg to my trainer, she explained that it's an actual fungus, not just an infection, so twice as hard to kill. I spent a month trying everything out there that swore to get rid of it, including numerous home remedy's from blogs, suggestions from other boarders, etc. Hundreds of dollars and lots of bottles now that were useless and the infection continued to spread the whole time. I was so upset and frustrated! I am fanatical about keeping her clean and making sure that her stall is always dry and clean, so it was very upsetting to feel so helpless.
Then, I finally asked a racetrack trainer friend of mine and she told me about Bonide Captan powder. She said its a well known secret at the track that daily rinses of the infected areas with a couple caps of Bonide mixed with water will stop the fungus in its tracks and kill it so the skin can heal. Bonide is actually used to kill fungus on plants, and I found a bottle in powder form on Amazon for 8 bux.
Worked like magic! Every day for 2 weeks I would wash my mare with dandruff shampoo from CVS (14 bux), scrub the scabs off the infected areas to get to the actual infection (sometimes scrubbing until they would bleed-which was really hard because I thought I was hurting her, but it didn't faze her) and then rinse her thoroughly and dry her off. Then I would mix about 2 capfuls of Bonide with water to fill the bottom of a bucket about half an inch, and then sponge it on to the infected areas. Leave it on there and let it drip dry. It will look sudsy like soap, but dries clear and you must let it drip dry! Within 2 weeks, maybe less, the infection was gone from all areas completely, her skin had healed and it hasn't come back. It's been about a month. I actually bought extra bottles of this just to keep at the barn. It didn't burn her, or hurt her in anyway and usually I had to scrub down to raw skin to get to the scabs off.
**Just a note, I also took all her brushes home every night and cleaned them with water and bleach until the infection was completely gone. And I used a fresh saddle pad for every ride. I think this is what kept it from spreading even more while I was fighting it with the Bonide. A lot of work, but absolutely worth it. And I never share brushes with anyone or let any other horses use her tack. And just for the heck of it, I now take her brushes home once a week to sterilize them the same way, just in case.***
The picture is her hind leg where it started. Now there is no sign of it anywhere and no scarring, and all her hair has already grown back!
I'm sure not everyone will agree with this, but it's the only thing that cured my girl, so I wanted to share what worked for us in the hopes it might help someone else too. I was able to find different sites on line with actual Vet's recommending this treatment as well. And from pictures I've seen online it can get very severe.....