Horrible rainrot - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 02:24 PM
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While feeding Vitamin A as an additional supplement works - you are dealing with many people who feed a processed feed where Vitamin A is an added vitamin in the mix. Therefore the possibility of overdosing increases.

Washing with Nizoral is often a one off thing - I've never needed to rewash so long as it is done properly. You don't need to pick off the scabs - in fact it is important not to forcibly remove them as the damage caused by doing so risks the introduction of bacteria to the now broken skin.

Like you are finding it is very hard to get people to change their ways to modern technology. Youo know it works, I know it works yet people still subject their horses to the torture of forcibly removing scabs.

Mine now never suffer from rainscald. I feed straights with the Pat Coleby mix and since feeding it have no trouble with rain scald or mud fever since. Where I am the weather is very humid in sumer and wet in winter and I have 12 white knee high socks to look after.
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post #22 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 07:31 PM
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As i said, the simple fact that the horse even HAS rainrot, lice, etc would tell us that no matter what the horse is eating, he is still deficient in vit. A. therefore, the treatment recommended would have no ill effect since it is making up a deficit plus providing stored Vit A for later use.

Also, consider this....

If we know that green grass is very high in vit A and horses eat it by the tens of lbs daily.....

yet all year we typically feed our supposedly well formulated feed no matter if we have green grass or are feeding hay which is proven to have limited to no vit A within a few months of cure,

Just think how much vit A the horse is missing from the green grass when eating 2 or 3 month old hay this time of the year even tho he is still eating his formulated feed. Not all feeds are created equal either. Clearly, the horse is at a deficit from the summer months when he can graze green grass. There can be no dispute.

Further, if he then develops rainrot or lice etc...we can clearly determine that the vit A he is receiving is nowhere near enough to meet his actual needs since his body had some stored in it as well for a period of time on TOP of his daily feed provided amount.

I would submit that anytime a horse is on cured hay, especially this time of the year when its been sitting awhile, supplementing vit A even on top of many of the formulated feeds out there would be prudent. Since it is stored in the fat, 5 cc once a month seems to work perfectly well IME.

Also, Farnams mare plus has around 3 times the amount of vit A as most feeds and it is typically fed WITH another feed ;) they must know something eh?


It has been suggested than the recommended daily allowance of Vit A for equines is actually too low for horses on cured hay when it may be fine for horses on green grass. Simple deductive reasoning and proof through trial tells me that this is clearly true and I will not easily overdose my horse on vit A by supplementing once a month during hay feeding seasonfor prevention and once a week for treatment of a current visible deficit.


Just food for thought. Ive thought about this alot and know from experience that it is true.
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Last edited by Trinity3205; 01-23-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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post #23 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 08:16 PM
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No Trinity3205 just because the horse has rainrot does not mean that he is deficient in Vitamin A. As I pointed out in an earlier post - mine all live out 24/7 uncovered - I feed straights and the horses have access to a mineral block. Prior to providing them with the mineral block and the 'Pat Coleby mix' I had problems with rainrot. Since they have had the minerals they have not had it at all in any form.

Zinc and Copper are also needed for the development of healthy skin. I do not supplement with Vitamin A.
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 09:09 PM
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I cant comment since I have no idea what is in what you are feeding and your local environment/hays etc. Certainly all areas have specific issues with minerals. Copper and zinc are quite deficient in some areas and that is another problem all together.

Vit A is different as it is missing out of the forage from ALL horses eating cured hay only. I know that 99.9999% of the cases of rainrot clear up with supplemented Vit A in this environment.

Again, you would not be overdosing a hay fed horse simply for the fact that the horse is missing the daily summertime green grass in its diet. 2 to 3 month old has has zilch for Vit A. If it helps, you found the culpret. There will be a difference in 2 weeks or 2 doses. Its cheap. Its easy. Anyone with the capacity to think logically should be able to make the green grass to hay missing daily amount of Vit A correlation and that supplementing a couple times to helop make up the deficit cant hurt and in fact had a very big potential to help.

I would be much more worried about overdoing copper or zinc by supplementation unless i had all my forage and water tested for my area. Vit A we can know easily just by what our horse is eating and reading a feed bag.

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Last edited by Trinity3205; 01-23-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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post #25 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 09:15 PM
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The last studies I have read have determined that a 1000# horse needs 100,000 U / day of Vitamin A and may require more when it is showing signs of a deficiency. I have tried to get that much into a horse for more than 40 years -- since being told about the importance of it by a nutritionist that studied mostly dairy cattle, but also worked with big horse breeding farms and cattle feed lots.

I have not treated a single case of rain rot since I started supplementing Vitamin A. This includes many horses purchased or brought in for training or breeding in the winter or spring that had horrible rain rot -- some with their entire backs and rumps covered with lesions and scabs and no hair at all. Vitamin A and getting them on good feed has cleared all of them up in a couple of weeks.

There is actually a big difference in Beta Carotene and synthetic Vitamin A in the form of Vitamin A Acetate and Vitamin A Palmitate. Beta Carotene is the pre-cursor to Vitamin A, so the body only turns what it needs into Vitamin A. It is safe at any level.

We get horses with signs of Vitamin A deficiency (like rain rot, lice and goopy eyes) stated on the injectable form given orally. It is quickly absorbed and has no chance of causing problems in a deficient horse (or normal one).

Then, we get them on the mineral we use. It has 150,000 units per pound as well as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc and trace minerals like Copper. Once the initial rain rot has cleared up, only a few horses need more than what they get in the loose mineral. A few will need the oral each year and it will be the same ones each winter.

You must be very careful with Copper, Selenium and Sulfur. A tiny bit of copper will kill sheep and goats. Many cattle have gotten very sick and some have died around here because ranchers used Sulfur salt blocks (the yellow ones) AND fed a mineral with Sulfur in it. It can be toxic very quickly.

The reason I think that Vitamin A is of far greater importance than the Copper and Sulfur is because the level of it does not change in the winter and it does not go anywhere after grass is cut. The Vitamin A does leave feeds.
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Last edited by Cherie; 01-24-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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post #26 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 10:52 PM
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Obviously both of you have a good knowledge of feeding - BUT the majority of people do not!

It is NOT just the Vitamin A that is producing the result - Cherie as you say when you get the horses in that are in a bad way they go on a good feed that is supplemented with Vitamins and minerals - that in itself will assist in improving the horses resistance to the fungus.

There is Vitamin A in hay - just not as much as in fresh grass. so hay fed horses will still be getting some Vitamin A.

To go back 40 years and the UK - the majority of horses living out DID NOT wear rugs or live in. They grew coats and got soaking wet and snowed on - I have pictures of my horse with ice on her back. They didn't get rain rot/mudfever etc and we certainly didn't feed them any supplements as there weren't any to feed. They got straight feeds and hay. They remained extremely healthy.

I think we have to look at how some people tend to care for horses these days, the advent of processed feeds that contain many ingredients that are not historically good for horses. They get too many supplements of this and that which eventually unbalance the natural levels - we know that some vitamins shouold not be fed with some minerals as they react with them and prevent absorption. We know that bran contains phytates that prevent the absorption of calcium. Horses get washed to the point where they no longer have any protective grease in their coats and they get turned out in synthetic rugs that create a humid environment - try wearing a parka nylon jacket day in day out - you become a sweaty mess - I know that if I get wet feet several days in a row I'll develop athletes foot!
This is good reading
http://www.ker.com/library/proceedin...rotene_p86.pdf
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post #27 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 12:09 AM
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The reasons I say the Vitamin A is so important and is definitely the greatest problem with horses with rain rot and lice are these:

First: I have tried to just use the improved nutrition and to get all of the necessary Vitamin A from better feeds including a good loose mineral and it took several weeks to see the scabs fall off and the skin to get healthy. Same thing is true with lice.

When the weekly doses of straight Vitamin A is given, it takes only a fraction of the time to get mares to cycle, skin to get healthy, lice to disappear, etc. The only difference was adding the high doses of Vitamin A straight from the injectable bottle.

Second: This extreme demonstration of Vitamin A deficiency is only seen in the winter and early spring when Vitamin A stored in the liver from the previous summer is gone. You do not see lice or rain rot in the summer in healthy horses with access to green grass -- even a small amount of green grass. These same horses with everything else the same will get it in the winter.

If you notice, right now is when everyone is complaining about it -- not in the summer.

While the Vitamins and minerals are necessary year 'round, only the Vitamin A deficiency is demonstrated in the winter.

The nutritionist I worked with more than 40 years ago was convinced that Vitamin A , even in very good quality bright green hay, was gone or unavailable within 4 months of being baled. He saw the breeding status and conception rates respond about as quickly as we now see the immune system respond when dairy cattle are given Vitamin A supplements and 'jump-started' with injectables.

His hypothesis was that heavy fertilization and spraying of hay fields could 'tie up' the availability of the Vitamin A content in the hay. I don't know, but I do know that I have seen literally hundreds of horses this time of year that are in excellent condition other than their immune systems. I also know that quickly correcting the Vitamin A deficiency makes the rain rot and lice go away and not return. Treating them any other way is only temporary at best. I have watched people treat them over and over all winter long only to have the lice and rain rot miraculously disappear when the grass comes out.

I used to stand several stallions. I got a lot of mares in to breed in February and March that were fat and well-fed but had rough hair coats, horrible rain rot, lice and often goopy eyes. They were not shedding at all and they sure were not cycling or they had a 6 week long extended cycle with no viable follicle on their tiny, inactive ovaries.

When I started using Vitamin A on them the day they arrived, I started seeing them get rid of their rain rot and lice. They shed weeks earlier and they cycled much more quickly and conceived much earlier than if they did not receive the Vitamin A. Foaling mares also dropped their afterbirth more quickly (NEVER had a Vet out to clean a mare after using Vitamin A), had fewer sickness problems in foals (probably from better immune properties in the Colosterum) and had foaling mares breed back more quickly. Vitamin A (or the lack of it) is HUGE in horse management. Horses that run out are affected, but horses that live in and depend on people for everything are really affected.
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 12:45 AM
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I am a firm believer in MTG. That stuff is magical
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 10:02 AM
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Cherie, I have read 2 to 3 months for it to be gone form cured hay. 4 months is generous. Its still gives us a good time frame to do some simple figuring as to the deficiency the horse will have rather quickly when eating only that hay.

So, for example, if you buy your second cutting hay around ohh...idk, July or August? By November or so, its gone from the hay. I will stick with Cherie on this firmly. Its quite profound and yet simple when you see the difference having had on and off rain rot issues this time of year despite having a fat otherwise healthy animal.

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post #30 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 10:21 AM
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if rain rot only happens with a vitamin A definciency, then how come when horses at my barn got it, it was only the pasture horses, and none of the stall boarders ?

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