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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
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    Default What do we REALLY know about rain rot?

    It seems most of the information available is speculative and contradictory. Vets don't seem to know exactly what it is or how it's caused. You'd think by now there would be more progress, but alas...

    So what do we REALLY know?



  2. #2
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Usually bacterial, could have a fungal component - pretty well proven information out there.

    http://www.thehorse.com/articles/21190/rain-rot

    Dermatophilus congolensis, the bacterium found to cause this infection, lives in dormant within the skin until the skin is compromised in some way, which can happen when there's prolonged wetness, high humidity, high temperature, or attacks by biting insects, according to The Merck Veterinary Manual. Warm temperatures and high humidity can also cause an increase in the number of biting insects (particularly flies and ticks) present that can spread the infection from horse to horse.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  3. #3
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    Jun. 4, 2001
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    NW Louisiana
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    I have always been told that it is in the soil and I tend to believe that. I leased a place for many years that was very sandy soil with lots of pine trees and my horses has rain rot off and on all year long. I got to the point that when it rained I'd soap up everyones butt with Eqyss medicated shampoo and let the rain wash it off (I know your laughing but it stopped my rain rot issue). The place I bought is clay based soil and no pines trees and I have not had the first case of rain rot in almost 10 years. Not very scientific but something to think about.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Yes, the bacteria that causes it is everywhere.

    However, it takes a compromised immune system to allow it to cause a problem. So, for a horse who just has it all the time, I'd be looking into why HE has it. If there is a barn full of horses with it, I'd be seriously looking into the management there. It's just not something you should expect as a normal thing for most horses.

    Yes, some horses are just going to be prone to it no matter what, but they are the exception. Using sand, or wet weather, or something else as just an excuse as to why it's a constant battle shouldn't be something that's accepted

    Sandy soil vs clay soil areas have a different nutritional perspective, so that's what I'd look at before blaming sand and praising clay Just something to think about
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  5. #5
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    Apr. 23, 2005
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    Default

    And this is kind of what I meant.

    I will read that article, and perhaps it will shed a bit of light. But if you start researching "rain rot" you will get tons of different ideas, theories, causes, cures, etc. Even vets don't seem to agree on one particular rationale.

    FWIW, I strongly believe the humid/wet weather is a huge factor, from personal experience. Another knowledgeable horse person I know says from his experience, it typically occurs in younger horses and they seem to get less sensitive to it as they age.



  6. #6
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    Default

    And then there are those who believe the initial culprit to kicking it off are Neck Threadworms emerging through the skin which then lets in the bacteria, etc.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  7. #7
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    Jun. 29, 2009
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    Massachusetts
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    I know that Listerine Mouthwash full strength cures it. I also know that my 8yr old gelding that I have owned his entire life got rain rot for the 1st time last month after moving to a new farm.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 24, 2007
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    NC
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    Default

    I have a middle aged gelding that has gotten the worst rain rot this year. I have tried every topical treatment known to man.

    He is healthy w/ a shiny coat, just with rainrot all over his rump. I have no idea what has suddenly caused this issue, but I was so frustrated I finally put him on antibiotics. Maybe curing it from the inside will work. I also added a supplement for his skin to see if that helps.

    I have read that some horses are predisposed to the issue. This is the first horse I've ever had that got rainrot...and I've had quite a few.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by qhwpmare View Post
    I know that Listerine Mouthwash full strength cures it. I also know that my 8yr old gelding that I have owned his entire life got rain rot for the 1st time last month after moving to a new farm.

    My ponies just got over a bad case of it. I decided to try something sort of different so I combined Listerine with Vinegar and a bit of Tincture of Iodine and just a week later and it's totally GONE!!



  10. #10
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    Jun. 25, 2001
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    I have an OTTB who gets is sometimes if it's been wet for a while, but it's never so bad that I even try to treat it (seems to get worse if I do); a TB (never made it to the track) who has gotten it once in four years (again not bad enough to treat); and a QH/TB (put him down in September, but had him for 14 years) and an Appy corss who have never had it. All kept together in same field with same care. The OTTB is by far the most nervous in the bunch, although he is the leader.
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."



  11. #11
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    Jul. 14, 2011
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    Warren County, NJ
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    A few years ago when my horse was pasture boarded, he would get it in Oct., when his coat was thick. I think he would get wet from the rain and not have a chance to dry off; warm weather kept his skin damp. He may have had the start of Cushings then too, which made him more susceptible to fungal ickies.

    A few of the other horses in that field would get it too, and some of those were rarely groomed. I also think that there was something in the soil, because he had been pasture boarded a few other places and never had rain rot (but may not have had Cushings then either).



  12. #12
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    Feb. 11, 2011
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    Fairly common around here when we go from hot dry summer (and sunfaded, starting to shed summer coats) to damp fall.

    Generally we if catch right away typically chlorhex or betadine kills the bacteria quickly. But if it has had a chance to establish generally evolves to a fungal frustration and I groom in a lamisil powder spray also....or it just hangs out.

    I think likely why vets/treatment differ is rain rot is a general term and the area you live in and weather patterns and afew other things are going to influence whether it remains strictly a bacterial infection or involve a fungal component too.

    Likely also the god like attitudes of some vets and the masses too and that their opinion is right has something to do with the debate.

    I was chatting once with a friend about a stubborn case I was fighting in one horse and a know it all vet stuck her nose into the conversation without being invited telling me I was not feeding correct vit/mineral to my horse. So I shot right back it her what my exact levels of those vit/minerals that she rattled off. She looked rather like a deer caught in the headlights. Then I added that maybe just maybe the 20 inches of rain we got in just under a month might have something to do with it. She said Oh and walked away. Guess if she could not play hero authority that she was not interested in talking about rainrot. Sigh... some people just have to be that way.



  13. #13
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    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Westchester County, NY
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    I think there is something to be said for the weakened immune system statement. My horse had it on an ongoing basis until we ran some allergy tests. His highest positive was corn, which we immediately removed from his diet. Since then- no rain rot.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 23, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    And then there are those who believe the initial culprit to kicking it off are Neck Threadworms emerging through the skin which then lets in the bacteria, etc.
    Huh, really? Never heard that theory. Just goes to show, haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
    I have an OTTB who gets is sometimes if it's been wet for a while, but it's never so bad that I even try to treat it (seems to get worse if I do); a TB (never made it to the track) who has gotten it once in four years (again not bad enough to treat); and a QH/TB (put him down in September, but had him for 14 years) and an Appy corss who have never had it. All kept together in same field with same care. The OTTB is by far the most nervous in the bunch, although he is the leader.
    Now that I find quite interesting, since the horses you mention lived in the same area with the same owner (you). My mare is on a very large pasture with 10+ horses - some have a bit of rain rot, some don't. Most don't, I think. She's lower on the totem pole, too. Our weather over the past month is the *exact* same as it was two years ago when she had rain rot, though it was worse then.

    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    Fairly common around here when we go from hot dry summer (and sunfaded, starting to shed summer coats) to damp fall.
    We've had a really damp fall this year, and a lot of changing from warm to quite chilly, so I definitely think that's a factor, at least for this area.

    Quote Originally Posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    I think there is something to be said for the weakened immune system statement. My horse had it on an ongoing basis until we ran some allergy tests. His highest positive was corn, which we immediately removed from his diet. Since then- no rain rot.
    Allergy tests, interesting. Though she's not currently getting any corn, it makes sense that something could be triggering a reaction or lowering her immune system. I'm having a fecal done this week to see where her egg count is; last one from the summer was quite low and we've wormed since then. She did have a bit of a health scare last summer that the vets decided came from a worm infestation (not sure that I fully believe this as their tests weren't so conclusive)... of course, at the time, she had a healthy, shiny coat with no rain rot - go figure.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2001
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    I think that a horse with a compromised immune system might get rain rot more easily than one with a normal immune system, but I don't think a horse's immune system has anything to do with whether they get rain rot -- in other words, a horse with a perfectly fine immune system and in good health can still get rain rot.
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
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    I've never found it mysterious or difficult to treat.
    Dermatophilus congolensis is the etiologic agent.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Jun. 15, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghazzu View Post
    I've never found it mysterious or difficult to treat.
    Dermatophilus congolensis is the etiologic agent.
    Haha yup! Just took a Bacteriology test yesterday and this was one we had to know. So vets have learned about it or should of learned about it.



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