Rain rot

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Rain rot

This is a discussion on Rain rot within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-08-2013, 07:19 PM
Rain rot

A few months ago I purchased a mare that had rain rot. I tried a few different methods to get rid of it, but nothing worked. My vet suggested Shapley's Original M-T-G. This worked well, but because it was oil based she sunburned easily. Once the cooler months came it all cleared up. Here is my dilemma, she gave birth in Sept, and the colt soon got the rain rot before I got the mare's cleared up. I treated him as well as I could considering he wasn't people friendly at first. I am able to be more "hands-on" with him now and I have noticed his rain rot has not only increased but the size of the scabs are considerably large. I am weaning him Friday so he will be stalled for a bit, which I thought would be a great time to treat his rain rot more intensely. My question is, should I continue using the Shapley's that I used on my mare, or should I go ahead and call the vet out and see if he needs treated through medication? I am a full-time student so I have to pinch pennies where I can, but I won't hesitate to call the vet if need be.

Thank you ahead of time.
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    01-08-2013, 09:38 PM
Super Moderator
Horses get rain rot (and lice) because they are deficient in Vitamin A. This usually happens in the winter when there is no green grass or when they are in poor condition. Supplementing Vitamin A will cure it almost immediately without any topical treatment of any kind.

Here is an old thread about it. You can also do a forum 'search' for Vitamiin A and rain rot.
Vit A for Rainrot
It is really simple and really cheap and really works.
    01-08-2013, 09:40 PM
I have heard that listerine will used as a body wash helps.
    01-08-2013, 10:48 PM
Thank you Cherie! I am brand new to this forum and didn't think to look for the same issue already posted. The deficiency would make sense, I bought the mare from a man who claims he wasn't a horse trader.....he didn't fool me. My mare was only 4 weeks from having the foal but you couldn't tell, she wasn't big enough in my opinion. He said she just came in season a few weeks prior. Needless to say the vet gave me ways to fatten her in a healthy way. But not early enough for it to affect him much. He has filled out since his birth tho and is becoming quite the handsome little fella. Again, thank you for your help and the link to the other forum! .
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    01-08-2013, 10:50 PM
I debated using Listerine on my mare, but decided not too. I read in many articles that the Listerine stings, and I just couldn't put my mare through that. Thank you for your insight tho! Every little bit does help.
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    01-09-2013, 08:30 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Kristothatina    
I debated using Listerine on my mare, but decided not too. I read in many articles that the Listerine stings, and I just couldn't put my mare through that. Thank you for your insight tho! Every little bit does help.
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A 50-50 mix of original Listerine and water works very well BUT you are correct it will burn if there are big open sores. The alcohol in the Listerine will cause the burning.

It's another reason to not use MTG. The sulphur in MTG will also cause burning and has been known to bring on allergic reactions in some horses

For this time, if you can afford to, I might give serious consideration to having the vet out. It may be the rain rot has gotten far enough ahead of you the weanling could use some antibiotics and perhaps even a steroid shot. I'm against sterioid shots but sometimes there isn't a choice.

In the mean time, the best you can do is brush him every day.

Ditto on the Vitamin A. I was always skeptic but the more I read, the more sense that makes. My only hesitation in feeding too much Vitamin A is the fact that you're dealing with a baby and not an adult horse

I wasn't much help, was I
    01-09-2013, 08:35 AM
Any insight helps! I've never dealt with foals this experience is new to me. I've been researching the Vit A more. Apparently it helps with a lot of problems, even sunburn! I'm going to call my vet and see if she can suggest a dosage for his size. (Luckily she won't charge for this!)
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    01-09-2013, 08:37 AM
Super Moderator
You're not going to have a problem with the Vitamin A and babies. They actually are even more subject to deficiencies than adult horses. If you make sure horses are getting enough Vitamin A, you will never see another case of rain rot or lice.
    01-09-2013, 08:45 AM
What dosage do you suggest?
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    01-09-2013, 09:26 AM
Super Moderator
We try to get 100,000 IU of Vitamin A into a mature horse and a little less into a smaller horse.

If you use the injectable Vitamin A orally, we have used 5cc once a week until the rain rot is cleared up and then once every 2 or 3 weeks after that. I usually give a weanling 3 cc.

I just squirt it in their mouths, but everyone that has put it on feed tells me it works just as well.

You will find that some horses get deficient in Vitamin A a lot easier than others. They are the ones that get rain rot year after year. I just give them a dose of the injectable every time I deworm and at least once every 2 or 3 weeks every winter and spring and they never get it any more.

We use a loose mineral that has 150,000 IU of Vitamin A per pound. It keeps most horses rain rot free all winter. That just leaves the ones that are prone to it and incoming new horses.

It also keeps them from getting lice in the winter and keeps them from getting runny, crusty eyes, too. When we started getting extra Vitamin A into them during the winter and spring, we NEVER had another retained placenta in a broodmare -- never.

colt, rain rot, wean

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