The Horse Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I鈥檝e just joined and this is my first time posting 馃檪 I am leasing an 11yo ottb gelding and I wanted to see if anyone else has had any experience with their horse loosing hair in clumps- to the point where you can see bare skin underneath? I鈥檒l put a photo up as well. How long would you leave something like this before calling the vet? I鈥檓 in Australia and it鈥檚 spring so he should be shedding his winter coat, but I didn鈥檛 think it should be that bad? Any advice would be great, thanks!


Super Moderator
14,718 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!!

Where are you seeing the loss of great amount of hair that gives you concern?
I think you are dealing with rain rot, also some call it rain scald...
A bacterial infection of the skin that needs some topical treatment...
Products like shampoo made for skin conditions specific to rain rot, original styled Listerine or the generic store brand mixed 50/50 with water and sprayed on those areas to stop the infection may help depending upon severity.
This can and does spread quickly and from horse to horse so be careful using brushes or any tack one animal to another...
There though is a reason if this is rain rot/scald occurred in the first place...
Winter woolies is often when it is seen because we just don't groom as well as we should and coats are thicker that reduces drying to the skin needs done after sweating of the animal...
Host sites of under a damp blanket often compound the problem.
Other horse care things like Banixx works well to help clear this but you need to address the reason which is a deficiency in vitamin/minerals the animal needs. @walkinthewalk has I believe the amounts given and what to give that I don't know horse to horse..{I alerted walkin to this post to come offer insight & help}

I know what to give my horses but that is my animal and weight and may be different from your animal..
If what you try does not start to show improving in a few days after treating, then call your vet as it may take more than what you can do yourself with some specific antibiotics and specific prescription medications administered...
In the meantime, all tack needs cleaned, all brushes need washed in something like Dawn dish soap that has anti-bacterial ingredients and continued caution and re-washing/cleaning done till this is clear and fully healed in for several weeks. Every saddle pad, blanket, sheet, brush and piece of tack this horse uses needs treated and cleaned.
Good luck.

Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
2,080 Posts
I've read that some horses can have a "discordant shed" where they lose their winter coats before their summer coats come in. And that it's not always a cause for concern, especially if the weather has been really inconsistent. If the skin itself seems okay, you might want to just give it a little time to see if the summer hair starts filling in. Agree though that if it gets scabby at all it's probably rain rot.

10,579 Posts
Hello and welcome!

Great advice from HLG, if you can find those things or something similar.

Yes to a high quality antibacterial shampoo. It can even be human shampoo but use no more than every two weeks, u til the stuff clears up.

HLG is spot on this stuff spreads like wildfire. If you can鈥檛 get it cleared up, Plan B is the vet and they generally want to give the horse steroids, which I鈥檓 against.

You鈥檙e in shedding season, so keep the horse well brushed every day and I might even do some light clipping in the affected areas; just be sure to thoroughly clean the clippers.

You can try spraying the 50:50 original listening:water for starters after you鈥檙e done brushing. A generic brand of listerine works and is cheaper.

I鈥檓 betting this horse is also prone to sweet itch, which you folks also deal with in huge way. You鈥檙e going to have to watch for that as well.

Yes, for the most part, this all goes back to diet, regardless of how great the diet appears to be:)

What is the perfect diet for THIS horse can be slightly deficient for THAT horse.

Precisely what is the horse eating? From type of hay, to what goes in its feed pan, to is it getting plenty of pasture or is it scrounging for whatever morsel of grass might be available? It鈥檚 all important:)

14,644 Posts
If you add vitamin A to his diet, that might clear up no matter what it is. I buy liquid vitamin A at the feed store and mix it in with their food.

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone, the main areas are either side of his withers/ shoulder areas, back and either side of his tail/ thigh area. I have read about rain rot but it doesn鈥檛 seem scabby so wasn鈥檛 sure. He hasn鈥檛 been blanketed this winter apart from a couple of times as it doesn鈥檛 get really cold here, we don鈥檛 put anything on him during the warmer days as it鈥檚 too hot. I do wash him off after a ride when he is sweaty and he goes back into the paddock where he lives all the time- could this have caused it?

He has access to grass 24/7 but we haven鈥檛 had much rain so there really isn鈥檛 much, also he has lost his horse friend he used to share the paddock with so now isn鈥檛 venturing into further paddocks he has access to, just stays around the same area as far as I am aware. I have been told to give him 3 bales of hay some morning, some night as well as 3 scoops of 鈥榦ld timers pellets鈥 and chaff and 1 scoop copra mixed with water once a day. I鈥檒l try to bath him with a medicated shampoo and use the listerine as suggested also wash all tack etc. and see if it clears up before contacting the vet.

Super Moderator
14,718 Posts
Thanks everyone, the main areas are either side of his withers/ shoulder areas, back and either side of his tail/ thigh area. I have read about rain rot but it doesn鈥檛 seem scabby so wasn鈥檛 sure.
These can be prime areas for rain rot...the top of the body where rain would hit and hair would plaster tight to the body...
If the coat not dry to the skin it can harbor the icks that allow the skin irritation and infection organisms to get hold and begin the breakdown of the surrounding skin.
It could also be sweet itch, another pain to get rid of...
You might not be at the point of scabs arriving either..

Try the regimen of products & practices and see if you get a halt to the spread and the beginning of healing of and hair {fuzzies} seen reappearing in a few days time.
If not, indeed get the vet involved as broken skin is a recipe for serious infection to occur systemic.

10,579 Posts
I am sorry he lost his friend - that is added stress on his immune system:(

1. Copra is a good fat additive, but has just about zero nutritional value.

2. I hope the 鈥淥ld Timers Pellets鈥 is not sweet feed or something else full of molasses. If so, try and see if you can get it changed:)

3. Not much pasture equals very little opportunity to get enough Vitamin E into his system, as hay does not offer enough either:)

In terms of feeding him something long term to help him, he needs NATURAL Vitamin E, NOT synthetic.

It鈥檚 not cheap but nothing that helps seems to be, much of the time:)

How much Vit E does the bag say is in the Old Timers Pellets? whatever the amount it鈥檚 not enough, I鈥檓 just curious, lollol

You can feed him an additional 3,000 IU of NATURAL Vit E daily and that can even go to 5,000 IU, according the label on my HorseTech 鈥淣atural Vitamin E 5000鈥.

Vitamin E is supposed to be able to be fed to a horse forever, without ill affects.

4. The Vitamin A is a great idea but it is not meant to be fed long term.

The way we do feed it in the U.S. is to buy liquid cow injectable Vitamin A and feed it ORALLY in the feed pan.

10CCs today, then 10CCs in two weeks.

If that isn鈥檛 clearing things up, wait four weeks, repeat process and that鈥檚 it - no more Vitamin A:)

5. It can鈥檛 be stressed enough to stay on top of this skin issue - it鈥檚 one of those things that needs micromanaging until it鈥檚 cleared up:)

If it gets away from you, as HLG said, you will need the vet and their first go to will likely be some sort of steroid shot.

Hope this helps:)
1 - 8 of 8 Posts