What is rain rot? It is a skin fungus that forms between the fur and the surface of the skin. Commonly found in wet climates on horses that do not have proper shelter to let them dry off thoroughly. It forms along the top line of the horse, most commonly on the flat part of the back and rump. It can be just small patches or large areas. The best way to describe rain rot is that it is fur covered scabs that are easily peeled off of the horse with pus of the bottom of them. Not a nice condition at all. It is painful for the horse, it makes them itchy, as they will try to rub themselves raw just scratching from the condition.
The best way to treat the condition is to prevent it in the first place. Provide proper shelter from the rain or blanket the horse with a water proof blanket. It is not the occasional rain shower that will allow the horse to get rain rot, it will be the constant exposure to wet conditions that will aid in the production of the fungus.
If the horse does not seem to be able to dry out between rain showers, I suggest clipping the horse’s coat very short so that the horse dries out rather quickly. Rain rot has a tendency to to form on horses with long coats.
Rain rot is also a take advantage skin condition. Besides tending to form on horses with thick long coats, it tends to hit older horses and horses with weakened immune systems.
Treatment for a horse with rain rot is usually bathing the horse daily with medicated shampoos. Iodine mixed with a human shampoo and water is a great homemade recipe for fungus skin conditions in the horse. Of course keeping the horse dry as possible between the baths is the goal to making the treatment work. Clipping the coat will make the treatment easier and faster.
Horses left untreated from rain rot will often develop secondary infections that will require antibiotics and the local veterinarian.
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