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Help With Rain Rot. Have Tried Everything!

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  • Help With Rain Rot. Have Tried Everything!

    Hi there! I was hoping you all might have some advice. My 24 year old mare has rain rot for the first time every. It got cold early here and she grew her usual wooly-mammoth coat, and then it got warm, like 70-80s. I think the coat, in combination with the temperature spike cause moisture to get trapped under the coat.

    She ended up with rain rot from head to tail. The worst I have ever seen. I have tried everything. We body clipped her, as we couldn't get air to the scabs. We have tried bleach, Listerine, betadine, dandruff medicine, MTG, oral antibiotics, and IV antibiotic treatment. I also started her on omega coat supplements, but that can take a while to show any effect.

    I am at my wit's end. I go out and pic scabs constantly. She is missing huge chunks of hair. To top it off, she does not tie, so it makes it extra fun.

    Is there anything you all can suggest? I hate seeing her like this. It is better, but not solved yet. She is otherwise healthy. Where there is no rain rot her coat is shiny. She eats well, is at a perfect weight. She just looks terrible with the rain rot. I have never seen it this bad.
    "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."

  • #2
    Pick off scabs, dust with Gold Bond powder. Also, work Gold Bond powder into the dry haircoat as a preventative to inhibit spreading of the problem.
    My Equestrian Art Photography page


    • Original Poster

      Okay! I haven't tried that one!
      "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."


      • #4
        If she is body clipped, are you able to leave her unblanketed very much? Air and sunlight inhibit the ability for rain rot to grown.


        • #5
          I've had great results with this product http://www.muckitch.com/, cleared up my gray TB's rain rot in about 2 days. These two places sell it as well: http://www.sstack.com/product/muck-itch-/ and http://www.jefferspet.com/muck-itch/p/TTP-M1/. Hope you find a solution, rain rot sucks!


          • #6
            please dont use bleach on a horses as it burns them

            to get rid of rainrot or rainscald- you need to have the horse in and in the dry and not out in the wet 24/7
            then you need to buy a bottle of anti disinfectant shampoo
            and then you can wash the mare and also i would buy some zinc and caster oil cream this is both soothing to the skin and helps the mare with her sores as nappy rash cream and it also acts as a barrier against moisture

            i would not rug her up and put her out until her back is healed up and has new hair growth

            look here


            • #7
              When in Seattle and my horse got rain rot the vet said treatment was:

              Wash entire horse in 1 bottle of nolvansan let it sit for 20 min, rinse.

              Then 2 times a day, regardless of the weather, apply with a sponge to all effected areas 1T bleach to 1 gallon of water. Sponge on. Run out of the bleach mix - make more. Do this until it is completely gone.

              Wash all brushes, and anything associated with that horse. Do not use brushes on other horses.

              I had one here in the deep south get it also, and I did the SAME procedure, and it went away. No blanket ever should the horse have on. Since you body clipped her, then let it grow back.

              He said it is caused by stress. Takes time for it to go away.


              • #8
                You may have to call vet to administer penicillin. This is last resort, but it works.


                • #9
                  Equiderma. My mare's back was COVERED under her blanket, which was odd and horrible to treat. Nothing worked until I used Equiderma lotion, it cleared up in just a few days and the hair started growing back right away. Love it.


                  • Original Poster

                    I have had her out during the day, unblanketed. We body clipped her 4 weeks ago and she has pretty much a whole coat grown back. Perhaps I will see about moving her into the barn. We haven't had any rain for about a month....but in the interest of keeping her dry I will see.

                    Thank you all so much for the suggestions!
                    "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."


                    • #11
                      Just my opinion but I would stop picking scabs. Scabs are there to protect the skin. When you pick them off you are introducing an open wound to more bacteria. Besides, you're just creating more scabs and irritated skin.

                      From reading on here, and elsewhere, it seems it's best to treat from the inside out.

                      Last year I had a horse with terrible rain rot and the stuff on the legs.

                      I read up on giving Vitamin A, and did it, along with giving Mare Plus supplement. It definitely worked.

                      I have heard great things about Equiderma as well.

                      I was also told it was sort of like a virus. Runs its course. Obviously it's hard to just sit back and do nothing. And if it's on saddle areas you need to address it before you can ride.

                      Not a vet, don't claim to be, and I would read as much as you can. But I just think scrubbing, pouring on bleach, etc is really harsh to already compromised skin. To me it's like scrubbing acne. You want to heal it, not try to scrub it away. It's just going to react and come back even worse.


                      • #12
                        It seems all the typical topicals have been covered, so I won't go there, but I WILL go to the diet.

                        Healthy horses don't get rain rot just because it was warm and rained on their Winter woolies. I actually used to think that 'cause it happened to my then-yearling in a late-ish hurricane that dumped water on his fuzziness. But then he also got scratches on his white socks, and it wasn't until months later that I sort of discovered the connection between enough copper and zinc in the diet, and a healthy immune system that is able to ward off pretty simple things like this.

                        To get rid of the rr he did get, I used liberal applications of Miracle Mist Skin Treatment, never picking off scabs unless they sort of sloughed off. A few applications, iirc, liberal, was all it took
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • #13
                          FWIW, most every horse in have ever cared for has been more prone to rain rot when they're on diets high in corn and/or molasses.
                          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                          • #14
                            Texarkana, my horses were on 24/7 turnout 150 acres of grass, zero grain. Just grass and water. My gelding developed terrible rainrot. I had to body clip he was so bad. Now, he's fed grain and it hasn't come back
                            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                            • #15
                              When we lived in Seattle it rained alot.

                              I just don't think it IS the rain. It is the fungus/bacteria that is on the horse's skin. It has to be treated more than one time. If the horse goes and rolls in the same spot or somebody brushes the horse with the same infected brush, it starts all over again.

                              Rain rot can't go away fast. It has to be long and drawn out and a huge hassle. It is like scratches, abscesses, etc. Just nothing is easy and one day all gone thing. You have to treat it each day until it goes away. Rainrot is a PITA. Each horse is different on how long it takes. I have had three horses now get it, and it did spread to another one's legs (brushes - grrrrrrrr).

                              Really interesting on the corn molasses thing.


                              • #16
                                I'm a big believer in Muck Itch as well. Also, I had great luck with using good ole Corona ointment on the exposed raw spots. For a horse that has never had it before, I would try to figure out some underlying cause that could be affecting their immune system, and perhaps put them on a good vitamin/supplement program. Good luck! I feel your pain, been there!
                                Last edited by Anon40something; Dec. 8, 2012, 08:01 PM. Reason: Correct my spelling


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                  Texarkana, my horses were on 24/7 turnout 150 acres of grass, zero grain. Just grass and water. My gelding developed terrible rainrot. I had to body clip he was so bad. Now, he's fed grain and it hasn't come back
                                  I would be money in that situation your horse was lacking nutrients when only on grass.

                                  I didn't intend for my post to come across as "grain causes rain rot." Not at all what I meant. But when folks have persistent rot problems, there's an underlying component. Often its nutrition, or sensitivity to something in their diet. I have seen many times that corn and molasses can exacerbate rain rot problems.

                                  One of the worst cases of rain rot I experienced was with a mare we were given who was severely overweight, with fat pads and a cresty neck. We muzzled her, no feed, and she slimmed right down to an ideal weight, but broke out in full body rain rot that wouldn't respond to any topical treatment. A few months later, she gave us a surprise foal. I can tell you we all felt TERRIBLE for not considering that!
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                  • #18
                                    Texarkana, sorry if I came off snarky! Typing on my phone sucks so I try to keep it brief. I was just relaying my experience, however I'm sure you're right that he was lacking in nutrients. I've seen horses on all sorts of diets get it. Rainrot (and scratches!) suck...big time.
                                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                    • #19
                                      We get rain scald here at this time of year - my appy mare gets it every. single. year. Taking soy and copra based products (including supplements) and lucerne out of her diet has helped, along with making sure her diet is balanced in terms of vitamins and minerals.

                                      That said, although the severity of the scald has decreased as I have worked out what does / does not agree with her, we still battle with it.

                                      What works for active scald, and for prevention, in my mare's case is Betadine scrub and plain Betadine. The scrub is in a blue bottle and is used pre-op on surgical sites and hand washing in hospitals. I have it in a spray bottle, and every couple of days, give her a bath in the "usual suspect" spots pre-scald, especially after riding. If she develops scald (currently, yes) then every second day I scrub the scalded around and surrounding skin. Hose, spray on, scrub with a dandy brush (or sponge or fingers if at the acute scabby stage), leave 10 minutes, then wash off. I found Betadine scrub works better then the anti-fungal shampoos and is much cheaper.

                                      Once the mare is dry, I spray the area with straight Betadine (Or Riodine) and put her fly mesh rugs on. I will spray any active areas of scald with Betadine twice daily. If at the scabby or bald stage (not just sensitive / pink skin stage) then I also apply Potties White, which is castor oil / zinc cream with some added lanolin.

                                      Given that I originally come from the Rain Scald capital of Australia, and my mare is notorious for having "difficult skin issues" (the sheepskin-covered Diva), I have had lots of experience with scald over the 15+ years of horse ownership in the Cape. I found the above to minimise the severity of the attacks, stop it dead in it's tracks, and clear it up with minimal discomfort to horse and wallet.

                                      An alternative to Betadine scrub is a shampoo called Malaseb. I do alternate with Malaseb though it is more expensive and not always as effective IME.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                        Texarkana, sorry if I came off snarky! Typing on my phone sucks so I try to keep it brief. I was just relaying my experience, however I'm sure you're right that he was lacking in nutrients. I've seen horses on all sorts of diets get it. Rainrot (and scratches!) suck...big time.
                                        LOL, I was trying to do the same, trying to keep it brief with my first post. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound snarky either. No offense taken, and I'm just relaying my experience as well!
                                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO