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Rain scald

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    12-24-2011, 04:30 PM
If you are feeding a vitamin fortified feed then be very careful about feeding any additional supplements. As an oil based vitamin Vitamin A can be overdosed and the overdosing is more of a worry than underdosing. Horses on green pasture rarely suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

Skin health/strength can be compromised by the lack of minerals Zinc and Copper and safe supplementing of these is far easier than giving additional vitamins. A soil sample can be easily collected and tested for these minerals. If you think your horse may be deficcient in Vitamin A you need to talk to your vet.

Please read this information sheet before dosing your horse with any additional oil based vitamins. These are vitamins A, D, E & K are all oil based which means they are stored by the body and if given too much can be toxic.
Vitamin A in Horses

Note to cherie - My horses live totally on grass, live out year round, uncovered - they get no hard feed, no supplements but get a multi mineral block that they have free access to. They don't get mudfever or any other problems - vet has only seen them for routine vaccinations. While you may think your treatment with Vitamin A has been the reason for the health of your horses it is more likely that your general care is good and even if you didn't give the Vitamin A they would still become healthy in your care.
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    12-24-2011, 07:36 PM
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
Google "rain rot and vitamin A". Lots of research. You asked for help. I gave it. Sorry if you don't like the answer. It is a fungus and its always around and needs certain conditions to cause problems. "Lot's of it going around" could be a direct result of most horses in the area eating the same vitamin deficient hay. Or who knows what else. Various shampoos, mouthwash, betadine, lysol, pretty much any strong disinfectant will kill the fungus. But unless you correct the underlying condition that is causing the infection. It will re occur. Like putting her blanket back on. All her tack should be disinfected.

I had heard this , too. Have no idea if it's true or not. But Zulu has rainrot, and it's by no means hot or humid here, just cold and damp. And, if like many virus , it's present all the time but only manifests at certain times, maybe it is due to some kind of dietary deficiancey combined with a genetic predisposisiton to susceptabiliy.
    12-25-2011, 03:07 AM
Well turns out the cause is not rain, not directly a fungus, and not Vitamin C deficiency.
Had the vet to him yesterday as he started going quite drastically downhill, both hind legs swelled severely, he was very flat, dehydrated and his temp flew up to over 39*C.

It seems he has managed to get himself a bacterial infection. With the tropical weather, we've had an influx in 'tropical bugs'. It looks like this bacteria has entered through a scratch on his hind leg, and the first symptom was a rain-scald like skin condition which is spreading at a very fast rate. The vet had seem some horses that had been caught late in the infection and nearly died, as it can turn toxic and shut down their organs.

So he's on a double dose of penicillin, being buted to try and ease some of the swelling and pain, another strong antibiotic ointment for his skin, and had 3L of saline fluids.

As I said... this horse likes to do a good job when he is 'in the wars' *sigh*
    12-25-2011, 05:24 AM
Nizoral shampoo
    12-25-2011, 08:29 AM
Wow that sounds horrible ! I hope he gets better very soon !
    12-25-2011, 10:56 AM
Wow Kayty poor boy hope he gets better fast - healing vibes coming your way
    12-25-2011, 11:19 AM
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Again -- it is totally a failure of the immune system. Horses with a good immune system cannot be given it -- no matter if you share blankets, brushes, etc.

It is very difficult to reach toxic levels of Vitamin A. You can feed 100,000 units a day for years and have no ill effects. As a matter of fact, the last comprehensive study I read about used that level to study horses and recommended that level for horses with immune problems, particularly skin and/or eye problems.

It is not caused by a virus. It can be caused by bacteria or fungi but is most often caused by bacteria that normally inhabit the soil. It is exacerbated by damp conditions, but can occur any time of year under any conditions if the horse is not able to fight it off. It is also seen quite often when there is no green grass and the horse has not had grass or freshly cut hay for 2 or 3 months.

Horses store it in their livers. Some store it better than others. But the bottom line is that healthy horses with good immune systems just do not get it.

The same is true of lice. Can't give them to a healthy horse. Can't kill them on one with immune system problems in late winter or early spring. An old (like 75 years old) Vet friend of mine puts it this way: "When someone comes to me in March with a bunch of calves that are being eaten up with lice -- I tell them to dust and spray them and do it 2 or 3 times and it will take about 6 weeks to get rid of them. Then I tell them that if they do nothing, there will be green grass in 6 weeks and they will clear up when they have been on grass for 1 week. It all depends on how much time and money you want to spend." Actually, you feed them a good loose mineral with 150,000 to 200,000 units of Vitamin A per pound or feed a calf feed with 10,000 until per pound in it, calves will never get lice in the winter.
    12-25-2011, 03:19 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I had heard this , too. Have no idea if it's true or not. But Zulu has rainrot, and it's by no means hot or humid here, just cold and damp. And, if like many virus , it's present all the time but only manifests at certain times, maybe it is due to some kind of dietary deficiancey combined with a genetic predisposisiton to susceptabiliy.
Firstly Rain rot is not a virus but is a fungus. If the skin becomes broken - horse rubs scabs off or owner picks them off it can then pickup a bacterial infection. Some horses are very susceptable to this fungal infection. Eg - I moved from one end of the country to the other with my horses one of which I had owned for 8 years, the first year he was fine then he went to one of my students on lease and promptly got mudfever on all his white socks. He was a really healthy horse - he'd never had the vet for anything in all the time I'd owned him. Fed very basic feeds with just a multi mineral block to help himself. We sorted it promptly with the Nizoral and it never came back again.

Many horses will get rain rot in the winter months - either from being exposed to the elements - no cover, or they may be wearing a rug that has leaked in the rain and left them with a damp lining against the skin, supplying the ideal place for the fungus to grow. I have seen some horses with large bare patches on the top of their rumps from just this situation.

Wash with Nizoral and the rain rot will go within days. Make sure that you wash well beyond the affected area as well as being a fungus it always spreads outwards in an ever widening circle - just like the mushroom rings you see in the fields in late summer.

It is interesting to see that more and more people have horses that suffer from fungal infections than in the past. I've worked in the equine industry fo over 40years and have seen the vast change in medical conditions the horses have developed. Much I have put down to the increase in the use of commercially prepared feeds. Feeds full of ingredients that have been historically known for not being good for horses. A massive increase in the use of molasses to bind feeds - fungus LOVES sugar! I remember very few horses or ponies wore covers/rugs/blankets and were as healthy as the day is long. We rarely saw the vet yet we rarely if ever gave our horses any supplements. They got straight oats, barley, meadow chaff and damped with water or sugarbeet. They had good feet and were exceptionally healthy.
    12-25-2011, 03:44 PM
This was from the article posted by Can He Star:

What causes rain rot?

The organism dermatophilus congolensis causes rain rot. Dermatophilus congolensis is not a fungus. It is an actinomycetes, which behaves like both bacteria and fungi. Most
    12-25-2011, 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
this was from the article posted by Can He Star:

What causes rain rot?

The organism dermatophilus congolensis causes rain rot. Dermatophilus congolensis is not a fungus. It is an actinomycetes, which behaves like both bacteria and fungi.
Dermatophilus is the secondary infection - they all start off with a fungal infection. I've been doing a lot of study on this problem for the past five years or more - as I have access to stables of TB's coming in from spelling many with various stages of rain rot/mudfever/greasy heel.

Vets rarely ever see the above in it's early stages and my local equine vet and also a couple of vets I've been working with in the UK will agree to this totally. They are also now advising their clients to use the Nizoral first before treating with antibiotics.

The first thing that people tend to do is to try and remove the scabs. As these are not normal scabs covering an open wound they do not agree to being pulled off. They are made of lymph that has oozed through the skin as a result of the fungal infection - there is no open wound at this time. The lymph congeals around the hairs making a tough scab, note the colour - not reddish but generally yellowish. Owner then forces this scab off which has the same effect as waxing your legs! You pull out the hairs that have been glued together. If the area bleeds then the skin is now broken allowing bacteria to enter the wound. As dermatophilus is generally present in the soil this is the one most likely to get into the wound. The wound then becomes infected and as the fungus has not yet been treated the scabby area expands outwards.

We've all been through the frustrating situation of clearing up one spot to find mud fever has appeared further around the leg. This is typical fungal behaviour - they expand by ejecting spores outwards. Wash firstly with Nizoral or another shampoo that contains Ketaconisol and if you was well beyond the currently damaged are you're unlikely to have further problems. Pick off the scabs and you will! Not only will you end up with a costly vets bill but also a miserable horse that gets more and more grumpy as you take weeks trying to get his skin better.

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