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one of my horses has rain rot but it's my understanding he will need to be bathed everyday for 7 days, unfortunately it is still too cold and windy here to bath him, what should i do?
 

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Rain rot is caused by an infection. If the horse is not getting enough of certain vitamins (mainly A) the skin and immune system are weakened and lets this infection take place.

For immediate action if you have any of the original listerine you can pour straight on and let dry. One or two treatments a few days apart usually took care of it for me.

After I started a mineral/vitamin supplement with high doses of Vit A I have not had any skin issues. ADM grostrong has 300,000 IU/lb which is plenty and is what I feed. Sprinkle some on top of their daily ration or leave a bucket out free choice.

If you have any vit A injectable for cattle you can give it orally to your horse also. 5 cc once a week should do it.
 

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Dermatophilus congolensis as its more properly called can be an absolute pig to get rid of.

The protocol to be adopted is rigourous and demanding and whilst some horses may get away with a short acute episode for a lot of horses it becomes a chronic condition and in the main because its so hard to treat properly and effectively.

You have to ensure that the organism is eradicated and the only way you can be certain of that is to have the vet take a skin scrape swab and grow cultures.

The dermatophilus bacterium is endemic but doesn't affect a horse unless there are wet and bacteriologically dirty conditions and an abrasion/cut/wound to enter into the skin - and ordinarily just a tiny abrasion that no diligent owner would necessarily even notice. So the key to managing a horse so it doesn't get it is dilgence and cleanliness and ensuring the horse isn't permanently wet and/or dirty. When you said how you were treating you said you were anticipating "bathing". In fact keeping the horse wet or using the likes of a cream is the worst thing for treatment and in fact it encourages spread. Reason why: it’s anaerobic so it likes dark dank moist places with no oxygen.

Rather you use astringent antimicrobial lotions NOT soap/shampoo and water and ensure the horse is then kept dry in a well ventilated place. It is also not a good idea to ever use ointments, since they hold moisture to the skin (and moisture needs to be removed and oxygen provided for the condition to cease).

The best treatment is to wash the horse with antimicrobial and antibacterial shampoos and astringent rinses. These medications help to kill the dermatophilus congolensis organism. If Betadine, Phenol or Nolvasan is used, you should continue applying them once a day for one week.

Use an antimicrobal shampoo that lathers well. Vigorously lather the horse, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Be sure to follow with an astringent conditioner that works well. Continue this for daily for 1 week.

Remove all scabs that are present. This is usually painful for the horse, so be gentle! The best way I have seen to remove these scabs is to temporarily moisten them (so they become soft and easy to remove). Be sure to dry the horse immediately after scab removal.

There's another posting which you might want to read and where advice similar to the above was given and I feel that this needs addressing. There it was also suggested that rain rot was caused by a deficiency in vitamin A and then asserted it could be treated by feeding supplemental vitamin A.

I was most concerned to see what I consider to be misinformation erring on the side of "dangerous and incorrect advice"

But in that posting I gave the benefit of the doubt and asked the person who said that to:

Cite the evidence for the statement re root cause and also that vitamin A supplement is clinically effective in treatment.

Because you made mention about vitamin A deficiency and immuno compromise I want to ask how you are checking the immune status and vitamin A levels for your horse

In the other posting, the questions posed were never answered.

I feel somewhat obligated to ensure that there's a strong awareness and specifically a correction and caution issued with regard to your "advice" to slam in injections of vitamin A.

Horse owners need to know that giving vitamin A when it's not required is risky and specifically with risks of toxidity.

Vitamins are divided into 2 categories: fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamin A (E, D & K) are all in the former category. Fat soluble vitamins with the exception of vitamin E are more likely to be stored in large amounts in the body and are more likely to be toxic when fed in excessive amounts.

The liver can store a 3-6 month supply of vitamin A and it's quite unusual for a horse to be deficient in vitamin A because of this ability.

If green forage, yellow/orange grains and/or carrots are fed at all then the horse will be getting it's recommended daily requirement which for a working horse is 1400 IU/kg feed.

Signs of deficiency are night blindness, corneal cloudiness, impaired growth, reproductive problems, poor conception rate, abortion, testicular degeneration, ataxia, convulsions.

Toxicity or overdose of vitamin A shows up as bone fragility, peeling or scabby skin, ataxia and a low red blood cell count.

And you can't compare a cow's nutritional requirements for vitamin A with a horse's. It is indeed quite common to inject cattle with vitamin A in the winter when they're totally off all green forage and eating only straw or cattle cake. But not at all appropriate for horses. Indeed IMO most dangerous advice!
 

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I heartily disagree. Horses get loads of Vit A all summer in green grass. In the winter, they get a great deal less and horses that have been on hay for a long time get even less than that. I think you are overly worried as I have been supplementing my horses for years ORALLY with cattle injectable. I NEVER have skin issues now that I have started but frequently did before around this time of the year even using fortified feeds. 5 cc orally for 1k lb horse once a month if they are healthy about 3 months after the hay has been cut has worked flawlessly to keep it away. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and my horses coats are awesome and healthy all year long now for several years.

It heals in under 2 weeks with no other interventon or treatment done per the reports from people who have experimented with oral Vit a. 5 cc given once a week for one month orally for a 1k lb horse with bad rainrot seems to heal it right up. It certainly isn't contributing since it is healing AFTER it is given. This is pretty much common sense deduction. Also, it is being more and more recognised that a horses RDA for Vit A is.most likely too low anyway for horses on hay alone. We know mares need more since there is high Vit A in mare plus.....I think all horses need extra supplementation when the green grass is limited and the hay is several months old or older.

No point in making a horse suffer when the healing can be fast and with ease and easily proven to boot. Try 2 doses for two weeks and see eh?

Dermatophilus congolensis as its more properly called can be an absolute pig to get rid of.

The protocol to be adopted is rigourous and demanding and whilst some horses may get away with a short acute episode for a lot of horses it becomes a chronic condition and in the main because its so hard to treat properly and effectively.

You have to ensure that the organism is eradicated and the only way you can be certain of that is to have the vet take a skin scrape swab and grow cultures.

The dermatophilus bacterium is endemic but doesn't affect a horse unless there are wet and bacteriologically dirty conditions and an abrasion/cut/wound to enter into the skin - and ordinarily just a tiny abrasion that no diligent owner would necessarily even notice. So the key to managing a horse so it doesn't get it is dilgence and cleanliness and ensuring the horse isn't permanently wet and/or dirty. When you said how you were treating you said you were anticipating "bathing". In fact keeping the horse wet or using the likes of a cream is the worst thing for treatment and in fact it encourages spread. Reason why: it’s anaerobic so it likes dark dank moist places with no oxygen.

Rather you use astringent antimicrobial lotions NOT soap/shampoo and water and ensure the horse is then kept dry in a well ventilated place. It is also not a good idea to ever use ointments, since they hold moisture to the skin (and moisture needs to be removed and oxygen provided for the condition to cease).

The best treatment is to wash the horse with antimicrobial and antibacterial shampoos and astringent rinses. These medications help to kill the dermatophilus congolensis organism. If Betadine, Phenol or Nolvasan is used, you should continue applying them once a day for one week.

Use an antimicrobal shampoo that lathers well. Vigorously lather the horse, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Be sure to follow with an astringent conditioner that works well. Continue this for daily for 1 week.

Remove all scabs that are present. This is usually painful for the horse, so be gentle! The best way I have seen to remove these scabs is to temporarily moisten them (so they become soft and easy to remove). Be sure to dry the horse immediately after scab removal.

There's another posting which you might want to read and where advice similar to the above was given and I feel that this needs addressing. There it was also suggested that rain rot was caused by a deficiency in vitamin A and then asserted it could be treated by feeding supplemental vitamin A.

I was most concerned to see what I consider to be misinformation erring on the side of "dangerous and incorrect advice"

But in that posting I gave the benefit of the doubt and asked the person who said that to:

Cite the evidence for the statement re root cause and also that vitamin A supplement is clinically effective in treatment.

Because you made mention about vitamin A deficiency and immuno compromise I want to ask how you are checking the immune status and vitamin A levels for your horse

In the other posting, the questions posed were never answered.

I feel somewhat obligated to ensure that there's a strong awareness and specifically a correction and caution issued with regard to your "advice" to slam in injections of vitamin A.

Horse owners need to know that giving vitamin A when it's not required is risky and specifically with risks of toxidity.

Vitamins are divided into 2 categories: fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamin A (E, D & K) are all in the former category. Fat soluble vitamins with the exception of vitamin E are more likely to be stored in large amounts in the body and are more likely to be toxic when fed in excessive amounts.

The liver can store a 3-6 month supply of vitamin A and it's quite unusual for a horse to be deficient in vitamin A because of this ability.

If green forage, yellow/orange grains and/or carrots are fed at all then the horse will be getting it's recommended daily requirement which for a working horse is 1400 IU/kg feed.

Signs of deficiency are night blindness, corneal cloudiness, impaired growth, reproductive problems, poor conception rate, abortion, testicular degeneration, ataxia, convulsions.

Toxicity or overdose of vitamin A shows up as bone fragility, peeling or scabby skin, ataxia and a low red blood cell count.

And you can't compare a cow's nutritional requirements for vitamin A with a horse's. It is indeed quite common to inject cattle with vitamin A in the winter when they're totally off all green forage and eating only straw or cattle cake. But not at all appropriate for horses. Indeed IMO most dangerous advice!
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For me personally if I need to check anything with my horses I take a sample to the state veterinary diagnostic lab where I happen to work. If I have any concerns I ask one of the vets here. I don't know how anyone else does it.

The facts that I have learned from my own extensive courses in nutrition and from talking with the vets here is this: when a horse is deficient in nutrients they will not have a strong immune system. When the immune system is compromised infection happens. I have discussed this in detail with numerous vets before and they all say that it is very hard to overdose on A. More than likely if a horse is given too much it will simply excrete it through the urinary tract.
 

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I also believe horses have the ability to deal.with more Vit A than we think due to the fact that they eat green grass in unlimited amounts. I had read somehwere that it is believed the current RDA for horses on hay alone is low. I wish someone would publish a study on this so less horses have to suffer well meaning owners trying.to pick sore scabs and scrub in cold weather when a simple dose of vitamins would clear it right up.
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