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Possible Ringworm: Mysterious Causes & What Else Could It Be?

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  • Possible Ringworm: Mysterious Causes & What Else Could It Be?

    I will admit, I haven't been a great horse mom lately. Between a trip down south and my kitty getting emergency surgery, I haven't been out to the barn a whole lot over the past few weeks.

    When I did go out and spend some one on one time with my mare, I noticed she had what appeared to be dry skin/halter rubs on *one* side of her face: her poll, the side of her face, and her jaw. What concerned me was that while her poll and side of face had no particular pattern, her jaw was a perfect circle.

    Never having seen a ringworm sore myself, I went home and Googled, and contacted a friend of mine who's a vet. My research & her expertise landed us the conclusion that it's very likely ringworm. So for now, I'm treating it as a case of ringworm : diluted bleach, antifungal cream, quarantine to avoid spreading, etc.

    That leads to the question: where did she get it? She's been at her current barn since November, and while she had rain rot when she came, she had no sores resembling this... nor did she have these sores a few weeks ago.

    There are cows (which the horses do not come into contact with) and 11 other horses at the barn. 5 horses were there when she arrived in November, and the others have come after her, with the newest ones being 6 & 8 weeks ago. The barn owner checked everyone over and didn't find any round, hairless "ringworm" sores. They have also asked everyone to go over their horses very thoroughly.

    She had to get it somewhere... so is there another possibility besides from one of the newer boarders? My mare has not been off property, and to my knowledge no one "foreign" has been handling her. We had a farrier out about a week ago but he did not handle my horse.

    And that leads us to our next question... is there something else it might be?

    It's a bit of a conundrum... I appreciate any input/insight!

  • #2
    I don't know where you live but if it is wet, humid and moist it may be a fungus and she is rubbing patches off because of the itchy places? My mule has several places that all the hair is somehow rubbed off every year at this time and he has no fungus or ringworm. I would think that if it was ringworm that some other horse would show evidence of it??


    • Original Poster

      It could just be her rubbing (I'm going to request that she have her halter off outside, regardless of whether this "thing" is), but the fact that the sore on her jaw is a perfect circle stirs me to think that it's not just a coincidence.


      • #4
        Make sure you wear gloves when treating/handling it. If it's ringworm it's very contagious to humans. One of our retirees got ringworm (he never left the farm) two years ago and I was lax about protecting myself, and personally battled systemic ringworm for two years.

        Good luck!


        • #5
          Dogs and cats can have it. One barn we were at, my young horse got ringworm just before his first show (we vetted out...). BO's wife asked me, is this ringworm? and shows me she has a big round patch on her arm! Turned out the dog had it and was sharing with everyone. After that, any time someone new showed up, we'd be like "Don't pet the dog!"

          When it happened, I used bleach to disinfect all my tack and the stall. For the horse, Lotramin (whatever the newest version is - "AD" or something?) worked great. Don't know what the BO's wife used...

          And you do want to be careful as someone said -- my vet tells me that he never gets it himself, but does bring it home to his wife. Sure she loves that.