The best prevention of skin diseases is good management, good nutrition, and close observation. Always keep your horse and it's environment as clean as possible and treat diseases quickly to keep minor problems from becoming serious.
Scratches: A bacterial, fungal and mite combination. This appears as a red and scabby inflammation of the pastern. Sometimes there will be swelling and even lameness from severe infections. The affected areas need to be washed, the scabs removed and often wrapped to clear these infections. Treatment includes a dry environment and applying antibacterial/antifungal agents. We have created a special cream that is extremely effective in treating Scratches. Talk to our vets to see if this ointment may be an option for your horse.
Bacterial Folliculitis: A common summertime infection. Usually appears as small scabs or crusts that can be pulled off, or hairless areas. This can be found anywhere on the horse's body. Most often it is in areas touched by tack or areas that sweat more. Iodine-based shampoos or chlorhexidine baths can help clear the infection, but usually Bacterial Folliculitis will resolve on it's own. Brushing and washing your horse, especially after work, will help prevent it.
Ear Plaques: Many horses develop white crusty patches on the inside of their ears. Occasionally they can be painful and irritating to the horse, but most of the time this is just unsightly. They are caused by gnat irritation that creates inflammation of the skin.
Allergies/Hives: Hives appear as bumps or welts anywhere on the horse's body. They often appear very quickly. They are caused by allergic reactions. Other signs of allergies include hair loss, itchiness and respiratory problems.
Horses can be allergic to pollens, dust, bedding, insects and certain feeds. Occasionally they'll develop secondary skin infections from itching so much. Treatment includes changing the environment, antihistamines and steroids.
Photosensitization/Sunburn: Usually affects lightly pigmented skin, most often on the muzzle or bridge of the nose. The skin can become very inflamed and sore. Applying ointment or keeping your horse in a stall may be necessary in order to protect against sunburn. Always test products on a small area of skin first to make sure it won't cause irritation itself.