Severe Sunburn!

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Severe Sunburn!

This is a discussion on Severe Sunburn! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse has really bad sun burn and scabbing
  • Photosensitivity or sunburn in horses

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    06-07-2013, 05:25 PM
Question Severe Sunburn!

I need help! My gelding developed a sunburn about 3 months back. I have been putting Aloe Gel and Desatin on it at least every other day, with no luck! It has spread completely around his blue eye and down his white muzzle. He is basically missing all the hair on the left side of his face (which by the way is completely white) I am so unsure what to do! It looks absolutely terrible and I feel like a terrible horse owner. I have never had an issue like this before so I am not sure how to tackle it! Please any sort of advice would be greatful!
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    06-07-2013, 05:42 PM
A fly mask that has UV protection would probably be best. Have you tried normal sunscreen instead of Desitin?
    06-07-2013, 05:50 PM
You need to look for what is causing the photo sensitivity. Certain weeds in hay an pasture make horses sunburn very bad. Also get a long nosed UV protecting fly mask and get it on him stat! Any sort of zinc oxide will help protect.
Sharpie likes this.
    06-07-2013, 05:59 PM
He has a long nosed fly mask and I have been keeping him masked. It just isn't getting any better. I feel bad because I just don't feel like a responsible pet owner. The vet did look at it and said it looked like a sunburn. I am desperate! I want him to heal and feel better! I didn't see him for a week and it turned out terrible. I will post some pictures tomorrow when I go to see him. He is literally missing all the hair on that side of his face. (He does have blue eyes as well and his one eye on his white side was tattooed blue)
    06-07-2013, 06:07 PM
Whats he eating? Have you checked his pasture for weeds that cause photosesitivity? Is he on a supplement to help him grow back healthy skin that includes E and Omegas and if he is on hay only, vit A? Bad deep crusty sunburns take time to heal. I once got a gelding with it on his rump where he was white so bad it was huge thick scabs. Took a couple weeks to really heal up and I stalled him durin gthe day.
    06-07-2013, 06:07 PM
Also the possibility is it not "just" sunburn.
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    06-07-2013, 06:11 PM
Ok so he is eating 50/50 hay and alfalfa. He is in a run (dirt) and there is no grass available. He is out in one part of the run during the day with only access to water and they free feed at night time from about 8 pm until 7 am. I have not given him any supplements. At one point his eye was super scabby and crusty, but after putting desatin on it the scabs softened and fell off leaving just really pink skin. It doesn't seem to bother him when riding though. If I don't put medicine on his lips, his lip on the left side will crack and occasionally bleed.
    06-07-2013, 06:13 PM
If you look in my pictures (they are all of him) you can see how white he is. I have now been putting a sunflower sunscreen from Murdochs (a ranch supply store where I live) on his white, but I can't put it so close to his eye. I have also been worried about anything running down into his eye causing more irritation.
    06-07-2013, 06:15 PM
The Vet looked at it and said its a bad sunburn. Maybe I need a new vet lol I will post pictures tomorrow so you guys can see what I am talking about. He likes it when I get a wet paper towel and wipe of the pink skin. He pushes into the towel.
    06-07-2013, 07:06 PM
A burn that is just on the white areas and not on the colored areas is NOT "just" a sunburn. Especially given how long you've been dealing with it. It is a sign of photosensitization, like Trinity said, which can be caused by certain weeds or clovers either in pasture or baled into the hay your feeding (could be that some of that 'alfalfa' in your mix is actually clover/weeds). Photosensitization can also be caused/related to liver issues. You need a good vet.

Photodermatitis Caused by Sun Sensitivity - Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital..
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