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Marks/Scratches on horses face?

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  • Marks/Scratches on horses face?

    Hi all. I have a 4 year old QH gelding. Within the past month or so, he has had scratches/bald marks show up on his face. He never had this before, and I do not know what's causing them! **(he is never left with a halter on). Anyone else seen this in their horses? I'm assuming hes rubbing his face on the trees and getting scratched up, but this is just not typical for him... Thanks! (Pictures are attached)
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  • #2
    He is doing it to himself. He is probably scratching his head on trees or posts. The summer heat and the flies are really bad this year. One of my geldings has a raw spot along the side of his face. If I didn't know better I would swear someone left a halter on him and it rubbed him raw. One of my mares "stabbed" herself with a branch, she has a small gash along her neck. If I hadn't realized what it was I would have thought something attacked her.

    These flies and this heat is just plain awful this year. I had fly sheets on everyone but they have destroyed them. I have only one in a fly sheet and boots now.


    • #3
      I wouldn't be alarmed.

      He could be playing with someone and getting nips of hair pulled off, or scratching his face as farmpony84 suggested. He could be sticking his head in strange places to get to grass or who knows what and scraping the hair off. Either way, it looks super superficial. Hair should grow back in about a month.


      • Original Poster

        farmpony84 Thank you! I figured it was the trees, just thought it was strange because he has never done this before! But like you said, The flies and bugs are extra bad this year probably!


        • Original Poster

          tipzythegreat Thank you so much! That was my concern also, that the hair would not grow back and his poor little face would be all scarred up! Thank you for the reassurance


          • #6
            If he is rubbing to try to get flies off his face, you might try some fly spray (applied liberally to a cotton wash cloth, then rub his whole head/ears with it). A dab of SWAT down the very center of the face can also be effective (just make sure it doesn't get in the eyes).

            If it's a fungus that is causing the hair loss (and the rubbing is secondary because its itchy), then you need an ointment or spray that will deal with that.

            But it wouldn't hurt to do both. And if the scrapes aren't breaking the skin (no scabs), then he shouldn't get scars.
            ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


            • #7
              My gelding gets marks like that. He plays with other horses and they have their little "nip" games and he also tends to rub when the heat and bugs are bad. If it is just hair missing and not an open wound, I basically do nothing and it grows back quickly. If it is itchy, flaky, or leaking any kind of fluid, then I wash and apply a medicated cream or lotion.

              I wouldn't be concerned. You can of course check his area for any sharp or otherwise hazardous objects be may rub on.