By Allison Armstrong Rehnborg
From scratches to rain rot to sweet itch, managing skin conditions in horses can be a headache for horse owners. Some skin conditions are related to insect bites, while others are caused by bacteria and fungus, but all of them have at least one thing in common: they can make your horse uncomfortable in a hurry. Plus, contagious bacterial and fungal infections such as rain rot or ringworm can spread quickly through a whole herd, especially if all the horses are pastured together or share the same tack and equipment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for horse owners to stop skin conditions at the start. Whether you own one horse or several, follow these best practices for preventing and containing skin conditions in your herd.
Identify the disease.
There are many skin conditions that can affect horses, and some of them may look
similar to each other. Knowing what you’re dealing with and whether it’s bacterial, fungal or insect-related can help you determine prevention and treatment. If you encounter a skin condition on your horse, call your veterinarian for a diagnosis, but you should also brush up on all the common skin conditions so that you can recognize them when you see them.