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rain rot + bald horse + arctic weather = ???

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  • rain rot + bald horse + arctic weather = ???

    oh, bleh. Help. Please. I am the worst horseowner on the planet at the moment.

    This fall a couple of the mares got rain rot. First time I've ever had it on my farm/my horses. I'm familiar with it--you don't get to 34+ yrs in this biz without, BUT...

    Used Listerine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Cleared up mostly. Both mares who had it worst cleared up except for a few scabs here and there... the rising 2yo and the pg mare did not get it. Same paddock, same feed, same shelter etc. The 2yo colt never got more than a few scabs, so I didn't even fuss with him. Went back to feeding flax though!

    Tate had it worst, and had a bald spot just in front of each hip--exactly the kind they get from grabbing their hip on a stall door or such. Skin was fine, maybe a tad flakey, just no hair. I've kept an eye on it, but because of the weather, not dressed it.

    The last 2 weeks we've gone from double digits below zero standing air and windchills in the 20-30's below, to 50 degrees (in 36 hrs! ) and back again THREE TIMES. Well, only the one stupid arctic snap, but twice down to single digits/below zero (it was minus 9 when I fed one morning, and 50 degrees 36 hrs later again! )

    Today the girls were all basking in the sun--it's a nice, normal high 20's out there, sun... and I go over to scritch Tate and check her skin... and I have gobs and gobs and gobs of hair coming off her. BIG bald patches on back and hips. Obviously I DIDN'T get a handle on it earlier.

    So here's the thing... I can treat today with Listerine. Bathing is doubly out--not only is it way too cold, but I've not got running water back yet. Soon, but not yet--even still, unless we get another 50 degree day (which we won't, now that I need it) I just do NOT see bathing happening.

    I am going to need to blanket her. There is no doubt about that. Bare skin and arctic temps/windchill = chapping and cracking at the least, frostbite at the worst.

    BUT--I know blanketing is bad for rainrot too!

    What to do?

    Right now I'm thinking SOAK her in Listerine today. And buy as much Gold Bond as I can... Daily remove blanket and dust with Gold Bond?

    Anything else?

    Obviously now I have to look at why they got it, and why hers is so bad. The obvious answer is feed change. She's been getting plenty of alfalfa this winter, and her sire is alfalfa intolerant. He's also got issues with soy... I have not been feeding oil at all since I hurt my knee. They did not seem to be missing it. Now I'm guessing that is one of the factors. They were off flax for a time due to availability, are back on it. The last two weeks they've been getting TC Sr

    <sigh> Back to plain oats for her first of all, and oil...

    But please, I'd love experience/advice on how to blanket. Right now I'm thinking a breathing/wicking under layer (I have a waffle sweat sheet) that can be washed & disinfected easily... ?? I know moisture and warmth are the enemy... but I can't leave her naked either. They have a run-in they refuse to use. I don't have stalls at the moment. I realize I may have to send her away to board if I can't manage this at home.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

  • #2
    If it's really rainrot, a few days of IM penicillin should knock it out. Ask your vet for dosage.


    • #3
      I think if I were you I'd be inclined to get something systemic from the vet to treat whatever is going on rather than going the home remedy route, and I'd blanket her--I'd put a washable sheet on under her blanket and wash it regularly. I'd take the blanket off for a couple of hours each day that the sun was shining if I could (damn this work stuff anyway...)

      Rain rot tends to be lots and lots of little yellow oozy scabbies rather than large areas of bareness and hair falling out. (I bought a horse once that was covered in it, head to tail. A very yucky mess.) I'd check into ringworm or a fungus as a possiblility also.

      And If I were a horse and you poured listerine on my bald spots at 20 degrees out, I'd kick your butt. So do be careful!


      • Original Poster

        Yes, I warmed the listerine/evo combo.

        Vet is problematic right at this second... I have to trailer in, and trailer is iced in. I've got a few calls in to friends w/ rigs, but so far everyone's in the same boat as me thanks to the ice storm followed by Nor'easter. I make it a point to keep trailer as open as possible, precisely because of the vet--but right now it's sheer, glaze ice. I salted the last two mild-temp days, will check in the AM.

        It presents like rain rot, scabby bits that the hair comes off with the scabs. Just not the pus. Lots of little scabby bits coming off = large areas.

        When I mentioned the weather swings, I failed to mention the drenching, sideways, flooding rains that came with each swing of temps. They HAVE shelter, but really don't use it all that much. I could, conceivably, lock her in the run-in, but that would lock everyone else out... I could lock everyone in... but man they hate that... 24/7 turnout isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

        I will call the vet tomorrow and ask about penn. I hate giving antibiotics for something that might be viral or fungal... BUT, if it'll WORK, I'm all for it.

        I've also got to order chlorhexidine. Put almost 100 miles on the truck today trying to get some, no one has it. Not even Novalsan.

        She's never shared tack, nor worn a blanket since last January... Absolutely ZERO exposures to anything catchy... I wrecked my knee therefore did NO outside horsey activities this fall. Can they get ringworm without exposure? It was the worst, most awful August on record for rain... I was unable to feed them grain/supplements for about 2 weeks during that, I figured they got a bit run down on just pasture and that plus the lowered fat in the diet contributed to rain rot...

        Poor baby. She's a good girl. I feel like the most rotten owner/manager on the planet.
        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


        • #5
          I got a topical liquid application from my local tack store that works great.

          Several years ago, I bought a horse for my wife. His legs looked like they were rotting off. He had the worst case you can imagine from his knees down. I can not imagine anyone taking such poor care of a good horse.

          I put Absorbine on his legs and it cured it in a short time.

          Several years later, my horse got rain rot on his back. Too much area (he was almost 17h), so I went to the local tack store and got a liquid application.

          It worked in very short order. I put the blanket over it because it happened during some very cold weather.

          If you kill the organizm causing it, you are not going to spread it with the blanket unless you put the blanket, or in stupid mode share a saddle pad, on another horse.

          I will walk down to the barn in a couple of hours to turn the horses out for the night and get the name off the bottle. I will post it tonight.

          Be cool. It can be cured with no effort.

          I like the no effort approach to problems.



          • #6
            In the meantime, read this:



            • #7
              when you get the scabs of and have shampoo the areas that its present in then dry the horse you can appply any nappy rash cream like zinc and caster oil which is barrier cream against moisture do not rug the horse until the hair has grown back but keep the horses in that have it and only turn out when not raining or snowing
              rainrot is a contagious fugus and can be past from horse to horse or human to horse
              and must have the same hygene disfectant rules as ringworm ie foot bath and gloves
              amd once the horse is better disinfect the stable and equipment plus brushes and any tack


              • Original Poster

                Be cool. It can be cured with no effort.

                I like the no effort approach to problems.
                oh, ME TOO!

                Gsl, dahlink... did you READ the post? Incarceration not truly possible. Bath definitely not possible. One other mare has a bit, two others don't. One of the boys has a tiny bit, the two others he's out with don't. SO whatever we have, it's not truly contageous.

                Though of course I wouldn't share brushes or blankets... but they've been turned out together all along... so... <shrugs>
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                • #9
                  No, you are not the worst horse mommie in the world! We had a rescue with the worst, crusty, god-knows-what and I ordered some Muck Itch off line. One or two applications and Voila. It is also oil based, so less likely to freeze. Goeslikestink's recommendation (if I might be so bold to translate from the Brit!) of zinc oxide cream for diaper rash (although "nappie" is so much cuter!) is spot on.


                  • #10
                    Rainrot is not a fungus which is why it can be treated systemically with Pen or SMZ's. Cowboy Magic Crudbuster works very well and quickly provided you really rub it it. I used it to cure a case in a few days this fall even with having to blanket over it. The thing to watch for when blanketing is that the horse doesn't sweat. It is warmth and *moisture* that will encourage it.

                    The bacteria (dermatopholis) that causes rainrot lives in the environment. Some horses are more prone to it either because of a weaker immune system or missing/inadequate nutrients in the diet, primarily omega fats, but other imbalances can contribute as well. Probably your mare is more prone to it than most and perhaps missing out on her flax tipped the balance.

                    Try the crud buster and if it doesn't clear it up quickly, as your vet for SMZ's or pen because with a long winter coat and the need to wear a blanket it can be hard to get a handle on it with topicals.


                    • #11
                      No one here ever develops it so we can talk about that via PM if you wish.

                      Otherwise, when they arrive with it = I use Muckitch. Pour it on, rub it in. Put the blanket right over it. Do it again the next day, groom the whole mess off with a hot towel in a few days. Gone, for the most part.

                      I think it's the triclosan that kills it, but the smell is nice anyway

                      BTW.. has she been stressed by anything? In any pain? Anything at all you suspect amiss?
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                      • #12
                        One thing that helps get rid of rain rot more quickly is proper grrooming/brushing ... along with some variation of chemical application.


                        • #13
                          The name of the last product I used is M-T-G.

                          When you get a bottle and read the directions, you will see that they claim to cure all sorts of skin infections, itches and when applied, grow more mane and tail.

                          I don't know about anything but the rain rot and it did cure it.

                          It has sulfur as its main component, so if you have an office job you might want someone else to apply it in the mornings as sulfur smells and it sticks with you.

                          If you can't find any of this stuff, I would get veterinary Absorbine and mix up the body wash as per instructions except that I might leave out the vinegar, although I might also include it.

                          I would mix it with warm water and sponge it on with a body sponge and then immediately blanket the horse, for two reasons. One is that you apprently are in a cold as hell area and the other is that the blanket will capture the vapors just as a leg wrap does and will increase its effectiveness.

                          Absorbine full stength cured the horse I bought for my wife and I did not even pick off the scabs. He looked so bad that the nearest description I can make is to compare it to a blistered leg.

                          Absorbine is an important tool for the horse owner. When I was a kid first working with horses 70 years ago, we did not have all of the exotic treatments available today and you could not keep horses without lots of Absorbine in the barn.

                          I will bet that either will work for you.



                          • #14
                            Nope. Not the worst horse owner on the planet...I think I am My horse got rain rot early on this fall. I did my muck itch routine and all was well--after a couple days scabs came off, new hair was growing and I was happy enough.

                            Well, at some point he got scratches terribly bad on his right hind. I treated it with Muck Itch but the mud was so deep it didn't seem to matter. Well. The scratches cleared up, finally, BUT I never checked the other leg (why oh why did I not check???) and I never checked the rest of his leg?? Again, I have no idea why. If this horse can be lumpy and bumpy he sooo would be!

                            Now that it's frigid as well as muddy I find he has massive amounts of gunk and funk on the back of his ankles...yes, both ankles I began Muck Itch in that area but it's nearly impossible to treat because no matter what happens he will always have mud over that area-even when the ground is mostly frozen because of how is field is. I could have my trainer leave him in for a couple weeks but how unfair is that??? He's sound and it doesn't bother him until I rub the Muck Itch in but what will I have come spring or rather summer when the ground finally dries up enough to keep that area dry???

                            He's never gotten funk down there before so hopefully it'll heal up well/quickly but still - how horrible am I to not even check him until now??!! This could've been gone before it got so cold if I had been diligent I just keep telling myself rubber gloves are my friend, I can spray on the Muck Itch, slap on a rubber glove, rub it in, and bolt back to my car for warmth Now if I can only maintain clean roads (which so far haven't been an issue) long enough to get to the barn every day to treat him!

                            OP - I don't really have any more advice than what you've already been given. I find Muck Itch to be a miracle worker when the elements don't fight against it (it still works...just takes longer). Keeping the area dry and allowing the fresh air/sun to get to it as much as possible will probably be the best things - assuming it is rain rot that is.
                            Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
                            *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***


                            • #15

                              My Ottb had a severe case when I first bought him. He ended up having to be put on IV antiobotics and kept inside (I know you said this isn't a possibility).
                              Fast forward several years and after being away for a year and a half he came back to me with very big scabs (looked like barnacles on a ship). He did not want his legs touched. The pastures he was on were quite tall and so I'm guessing his legs stayed wet.
                              I bought Equiderma (thanks to another COTH post)

                              and it worked quickly and very well. All of it was gone within a week and I didn't even have to really scrub the scabs; they came off with a brushing. Squirt it on every other day and leave it. No washing needed.


                              • #16
                                I have heard the equiderma works well, and you don't need water.
                                That said, my only experience with rain rot was small crusty sores about the size of a nickol.
                                The fact whole patches of hair are falling out would at least get me to call the vet and ask the question.
                                As a supplement, I have had good luck with grand meadows for dry skin, but first I'd want to know what I was dealing with.
                                As far as blanketing...breathable. A blanket liner with a sheet or medium turnout over it would be good for outdoors. The liner you could easily wash in a regular washing machine.
                                I would stay away from cotton sheets or anything that isn't breathable.
                                good luck.
                                save lives...spay/neuter/geld