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Little Bald Spots on Horse

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  • Little Bald Spots on Horse

    I've had my mare about five years and she keeps getting this. She just gets little random bald spots that seem to start showing up about this time of year. They were all over, but like on her face where there was no bridle or halter, maybe a few centimeters to a half inch.

    She seems to be starting again in conjunction with blanketing and any kind of rubbing. When this happened before, there was no crusty or anything. Now I have some spots that seem a little scurfy, and when I clean it off, she's bald on her hips and back. It may be in relation to the saddle and blanket rubbing, but it seems more than that as it just gets hairless.

    I actually was able to talk to Minna Tilde at the World Cup who rode her dad in the Olympics and asked her if she had noticed anything on him. She sort of looked at me weirdly and said no. One of her sons seems to do sort of the same thing on his face. I have two daughters of her almost 2 and 4, but I've not noticed anything on them.

    Any ideas what it would be and any solutions besides trying to keep it clean and rub free? Once bald, it just seems to stay that way until a new coat grows in.

  • #2
    I had a mare that would shed naked each spring...down to bare skin and would start off with just little patches....and then grow in her summer coat. Seems her timing was just off by a couple weeks and it didn't cause any problems for her but a horse that looks vaguely like a Chinese Crested just isn't right.

    Friends have one that this time of year, every single year, gets dime to quarter sized spots that look just bare but apparently are ringworm. She gets OTC tinactin, rubs each spot with it twice a day for about 7-10 days...new hair growth and they go away. No inflammation or irritation or flakiness or anything, just goes bald in these little spots.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    Northern NV


    • #3
      It sounds a little like a fungus... Ask your vet about it he should give you something to wash your horse.. In europe there is even a vacconation for it.. I dont know about the US though


      • Original Poster

        Well, she doesn't get bald, but definitely spotted.

        It sounds like the ringworm case, but how can that be ringworm? They have to be exposed, and it wouldn't happen every year.

        As for a fungus, I don't know if that would be so regular either. I think I did have my vet look at it, and she didn't have any ideas.

        It may be just her normal balding cycle. I just wanted to know if anyone else has this. My other mare started out as a chestnut and grew little white spots over the years until she turned speckled (no Appy.) Maybe it's just me. I attract spots.


        • #5
          I maybe be completely wrong, but seem to remember some vitamin that helped with this. It's in my mental database, sorry I can't retrieve it accurately.


          • #6
            Vitamin A deficiency is often said to cause skin issues. I am fostering a yearling with a bad case of rainrot, and it is just about gone after two weeks of 5cc oral vit A once a week.


            • #7
              It could also be Alopecia (http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...m/bc/70109.htm). My Arab mare had that. Just random (although usually on the head or neck), small (never larger than a quarter) bald spots with no other symptoms (no crusting, they weren't itchy, etc.). Caused her no problems whatsoever, and occurences have decreased as she has gotten older. (We did a full blood panel on her several times and there were no deficiencies).


              • #8
                My mare had this happen every winter and I finally deduced that she was sensitive to something in the hay she was eating. Brought her home and fed grass hay and they never popped back up.
                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                • Original Poster

                  katyb--You are very sharp. This mare was pregnant 5 years ago and had dry hair and my neurotic vet insisted on doing a blood test. She came back low in vitamin e and selenium. She still thought it wasn't right and insisted on testing for vitamin A deficiency. Her partner vet thought she was nuts because pretty much NO one tests for it and there are only a few labs in the country. She came back MASSIVELY deficient. There is almost no research on this and they don't sell vitamin A for horses. I did my own research and use people vitamin A. She had a normal healthy foal. (The rest of the barn also had itchy tails and a bad coat, and the barn owner also had a mare pregnant at the same time. She doesn't like my vet because she's too neurotic. Her foal died at the end of gestation.) Especially pregnant mares can be massively vitamin A deficient.

                  But, she's not. I always supplement her with vitamin A.

                  Alopecia I think wouldn't grow back, right?

                  I dunno. She's done this ever since I've had her, and I'm at my third barn, so I don't think it would be something allergic.

                  I guess I'll play with "cleaning" them and putting on some antibiotic ointment and see if anything happens. It's not a huge thing, but close up it's not terribly attractive.


                  • #10
                    Alopecia I think wouldn't grow back, right?
                    Yes. All her bald spots have always grown back. (FYI, the alopecia diagnosis was done by a vet, albeit my ex-husband...)


                    • Original Poster

                      Hm. OK, maybe it is the horse version of alopecia where she gets little bald spots and they grow back.

                      I asked so many other vets about my other mare growing spots, and the official diagnosis was unknown random spotting.

                      Sounds good to me.