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
  • Listerine rain rot recipes

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    08-20-2014, 03:50 PM
Rain Rot

Over the past two years, my 18 year old has been getting rain rot in the middle of winter. It all of a sudden started, and it wasn't too bad the first year. But last year it was from head to toe on him. What causes this in the winter and what can I do to treat it? My wash rack is outside so I can't give him a medicated bath.
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    08-20-2014, 04:14 PM
Super Moderator
You need to find a way to treat him all over with something that's antibacterial and antifungal. Its mostly caused by a bacteria that behaves like a fungus so thrives in moist, warm dark places - underneath a thick horse coat is an ideal breeding ground
You might find it easier to control if you clip him right out and blanket him if it gets that bad - he needs somewhere dry to stand when it rains and to get out of deep mud or try using a thin rain sheet but only on top of a really clean coat and a good regular brushing to help keep the hairs from clumping to the skin and getting clogged up with dirt will also help
    08-20-2014, 05:49 PM
Green Broke
Add some vitamin A to his diet. Either the injectable cattle vitamin A, just a few drops on his feed, no need to inject or Farnam's Mare Plus.

You can spot treat the rain rot with a bucket of warm water and some iodine or listerine and a wash rag. Athletes foot powder if it's real cold. Ordinary garden sulfur, the kind you sprinkle on plants for fungal diseases works too.

Vitamin A starts diminishing the moment the grass is cut and continues disappearing as the hay sits in even the best of storage. Most horses will respond to increased vitamin A in their diet. I've had none since I switched feeds. 2 of the horses I have now were loaded with it when I got them. One so bad she had big bald patches all along her top line, more naked than not. My pony who is a genuine wooly mammoth in the winter has never had it.

Blankets are one of the worst things for rain rot. Holds in the heat and moisture making it the perfect breeding ground and unless you can sterilize that blanket repeatedly it just spreads it right back. Easier to disinfect the brushes with a bucket of bleach water. Keep his coat clean and fluffed up.
    08-20-2014, 06:06 PM
Super Moderator
I've never had anything with rain rot - and I always blanket mine as they get clipped or have really fine coats - you just have to be careful to never put one on a dirty horse and especially a wet dirty horse
    08-20-2014, 11:50 PM
Nutrition & diet. Vit A as already mentioned, omega 3, zinc, copper, magnesium... all among other important things for skin health & resistance to infection, which are commonly deficient in the diet.
    08-21-2014, 12:00 AM
Not uncommon for a horse as it ages to need more nutrients as they become less efficient at utilizing them. He probably has goopy eyes as well and it's all interrelated to his vit A stores. If he loves carrots, feed him a handful everyday. If you want to go cheap, buy a small 100 ml bottle of the injectable Vit A and once a month starting around Thanksgiving give him 5 mls on his feed or shoot it in his mouth like deworming paste. Adding flax seed to his diet is always good for the skin too.
loosie and SoldOnGaited like this.
    08-21-2014, 12:25 AM
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons    
Not uncommon for a horse as it ages to need more nutrients as they become less efficient at utilizing them.
...and as stores become lower & issues noticable, due to long term imbalances. And as long term digestive & other issues start to be chronic enough to effect health. And not just in horses. Nutrition is vital to health & if you wait till something's 'broke' before trying to 'fix' it, it can sometimes be too late.
    08-22-2014, 09:16 PM
So I'm confused, how does por nutrition relate to rain rot? And I'm completely confused on what nutritions you guys are asking me to feed him...
    08-22-2014, 10:03 PM
Diet n nutrition are absolutely vital to health. Our bodies are made from minerals. What we eat/take effects how susceptible we are to infection, among other things. You've probably heard for eg that adequate levels of vitamin C will reduce likelihood and severity of viruses(horses produce own vitC so don't worry about them for that one tho). This is but one specific.

Rain rot is but one 'symptom' that can be due to nutritional imbalance, too high carbs, etc. Just like candida is endemic in humans due to high carb diets. If you don't know anything about diet & nutrition, I suggest you start by consulting an equine nutritionist(or vet who's specialised) to work out what your particular horse needs, as its a huge & complex subject to start at square 1 on, when you already have a problem needing treatment. As for online info/service, I reckon feedxl.com is one great source.
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SeaBreezy likes this.
    08-23-2014, 05:20 PM
So if it's nutritional, why does he only get it in the winter? They are on dry lot all year long with stalling at night. Squares in the summer and round bales in the winter. Does the cold weather affect it?
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