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Horse's hair falling out, fungus? Mites?

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  • Horse's hair falling out, fungus? Mites?

    We have a horse in our barn who we thought was going just shedding out but actually his all of his hair is falling out, including his summer coat. It's not falling out in clumps but it seems to be just continuously thinning, it started getting patchy on his shoulders and is spreading out from there. No really bald spots yet but I think it is just a matter of time. Horse is getting proper nutrition, wormed regularly, and turnout with one other horse who is showing no signs of hair loss. This horse's owner is not very active with him but he gets groom weekly/bi-weekly. Another horse on the farm (in a separate barn) is also losing hair but not as much, neither horse have ever had contact w/ each other in anyway (turnouts on different parts of the farm).

    Farrier thinks it may be mites, BO thinks it may be fungus. I personally have no idea. Vet is due to come out some time this week to look at him. Just curious what ideas COTH has on the subject.

    Thanks!
    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    Is the horse a chestnut? There have been tons of threads this year about chestnuts going bald in patches during shedding out time. The general consensus in those threads seems to be that as long as horse is not itchy and there are no visible sores, the winter coat is just shedding out faster than the summer coat can catch up. This leaves a short bald period before the summer coat comes in.

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    • #3
      Figure out what is on the horse. Either way, if it is either mites or fungas you would need to body clip the entire horse then use a product to combat the condition. For mites on my miniature horse I used a spray. For rain rot I use chlorohex scrub- 2 tablespoons to one gallon of water. Bath, let sit on the horse for 10 minutes, rinse off. Do this 3 days in a row, skip a day, bathe, skip a day, bathe. It should be nipped in the bud by then. You can use betadine instead of chlorohex but it can burn the skin a little bit making the horse tender.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by lesgarcons View Post
        Is the horse a chestnut? There have been tons of threads this year about chestnuts going bald in patches during shedding out time. The general consensus in those threads seems to be that as long as horse is not itchy and there are no visible sores, the winter coat is just shedding out faster than the summer coat can catch up. This leaves a short bald period before the summer coat comes in.
        Hmm, he IS a chestnut (actually both horses are, ironically both are also QHs) but the almost mange-y quality of the hair loss makes want to think it's something more. Very interesting though and will ask the vet about it when he comes. Do they know why some chestnuts do this and others don't? Very weird.
        “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

        !! is the new .

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        • #5
          It's a little late, but lice often favor the neck and shoulders--easy to spot if you look close; they're like little grains of brown rice that wiggle.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            I was wondering what was going on - I swear there's been a bunch of threads about horses going bald! Very strange!

            I didn't read all of the other threads, so might have been discussed, but I think if it were anything disease-y, such as mites or fungus, the skin would be itchy, red, cracked, swollen, scabby, peely, etc. (any one of those things, or a combination). Think athlete's foot, if you've ever had that - that's a fungus. Mites or mange also would make the horse itchy, to the point where it might rub raw spots scratching. Rain rot makes scabby spots... A nutritional problem would have to be pretty severe and would show up in other ways (overall ill appearance, lethargy, digestive symptoms, starvation, etc.)

            If the hair is falling out with no skin disturbance and the horse is otherwise healthy... hm. I'd go with a weird shedding pattern, too. Though it is disturbing!!!

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            • #7
              My chestnut is doing that for the first time this year. So far hes pretty bald on his neck and shoulders. It isnt coming out in clumps either, just shedding aggressively. It isnt a fungus or anything, just strange shedding! Winter coat is going out faster than the summer coat is growing. Its horrible to look at--my horse looks like a neglect case inspite of the fact that he gets the most care of any horse on the farm!
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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              • #8
                My chestnut mare had done that now for the last four years. No idea why, it's quite dramatic to see. Her coat always comes in though!
                We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                www.dleestudio.com

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                • #9
                  Well shoot - I posted this same question today, but in Off Course. My chestnut/white paint is doing this for the first time since I've had him (3 yrs). The almost-bald patches are biggest near his hip, but there are some small ones on his back and shoulders. The skin looks perfectly healthy underneath. I can see hints of the summer coat coming in. There are other horses on the farm with the same problem. Now I'll have to go back and find out if they're all chestnuts.

                  The vet was out for spring shots and speculated that the crazy weather this spring (wild swings in temps from 90s to 40s) may cause odd shedding patterns that are causing the bald spots. Does that sound plausible?

                  I'm tempted to start with the medicated shampoo as a precaution, but the healthy looking skin makes me thing it's not fungus/bacteria/bug related. A friend suggested that perhaps poor hay quality this winter is contributing to a nutritional issue which in turn is causing coat problems. Feeding suppliments at our barn is a PITA but I can make it happen if need be.
                  The big guy: Lincoln

                  Southern Maryland Equestrian

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                  • #10
                    Yep, my chestnut is looking the same way, just shedding out weird

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                    • #11
                      I have a chestnut mare who has been boarded with me for years, and she always sheds out like that. We call it molting! She looks almost completely bald before her new coat grows in. You just have to be careful with sunburn.
                      Kim
                      'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

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                      • #12
                        It's not just chestnuts. I wonder if the crazy weather is to blame like Duckz suggested. I was just out in the barn wondering if I should be shampooing two of our four horses, or if they have just gotten really good at biting each other without taking skin. Neither one is a chestnut.

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                        • #13
                          All of my horses except my two grays are doing this. That covers black, chestnut and bay. I'm not alarmed by it at all. Just seems to me their winter coat is shedding faster than their spring coat coming in and the skin is flaky until that spring coat comes in. I've seen it happen before so I'm not too concerned.

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                          • #14
                            if it is either mites or fungas you would need to body clip the entire horse then use a product to combat the condition.
                            Disagree. You can treat either without clipping.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                              Disagree. You can treat either without clipping.
                              Well there ya go, ask two vets and get two opinions.

                              Years ago the vet told me to clip my mini to help the medicine reach the mites and make aftercare easier.

                              Last week my vet told me to clip my colt to treat the rain rot all over his torso. Rainrot doesn't thrive when air and sunlight reach it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SLW View Post
                                Well there ya go, ask two vets and get two opinions.

                                Years ago the vet told me to clip my mini to help the medicine reach the mites and make aftercare easier.

                                Last week my vet told me to clip my colt to treat the rain rot all over his torso. Rainrot doesn't thrive when air and sunlight reach it.
                                That's an interesting perspective. Since when I've dealt with rainrot the hair typically falls out or comes with the scabs. Plenty of air and sunlight reaches it then and it sure doesn't clear up on its own. I've dealt with a bit of rainrot in my time and I've never once clipped a horse for it. The mites I would understand a bit more. I don't think it would be necessary to clip, but I can see that the medication might work a bit better to get to the mites.

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                                • #17
                                  The SillyFilly is molting too.

                                  No one else is, and I'll admit, I am neither careful with grooming tools (it's a closed farm) nor have I kept blankets separate. Before I knew it was an all-over-issue, I was thinking it was from the pine tree she... um... had a tantrum at. Started neck/chest/face...

                                  But as that grew in, (nicely, I might add) she's now lost patches here and there on her barrel/flank.

                                  It's NOT rain rot. Skin underneath is perfectly healthy. Flakes *after* the hair is out.

                                  MTG didn't seem to do a thing. The new stuff is growing in just as fast as the old stuff before I ran out.

                                  Her blanket was shared by one of the others a couple of storms ago, so if it were catchy, between the blanket sharing and the tool sharing... SOMEONE else would have it. Plus the girls are turned out together and rub on and groom each other...

                                  Hay quality? That I can believe--we didn't get FIRST cut until late August.

                                  I'm more inclined to think it was the feed I was using. I thought soy *hulls* might be ok. They're off all soy and 'falf for now. We'll see how things go.

                                  Been dewormed for tapes, and then again just today did Ivermec as the black flies are coming out... I'll pull fecals though next time I'm in to the vets.

                                  The Heir Apparent(tm) is shedding 'funky', but not down to bare skin like The SillyFilly. The Colonial Spanish isn't letting go of her hair at all. SHE knows we still might get more snow.
                                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    5 horses same field all weird shedding patterns.
                                    Orange chestnut just looks dreadfull but fat and healthy skin but bald on top wooly long underneth along belly.
                                    Bay horse looks like his hair is being peeled off starting at the poll working down neck and along shoulders, but gorgeous spring coat underneath.
                                    Dark Brown-Black gelding same as chestnut nearly bald in areas with some black coat coming in and he has rain rot across back and down butt.

                                    Liver chestnut not shedding thick luxurious coat not shaggy.

                                    One horse I pulled in from field dead winter had rain rot under his T/O kept him up to aggressively treat, his coat is all soft and fluffy shedding nicely but winter coat like a plush toy and not long. wonder if the Copper suppliment he got 30 days on 30 days off made the diffrence??

                                    The strangest weather to hot for rugs then so cold and wet hard to keep horses dry needed rugs??? on off on off rugs a mess as well in side and out.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My liver chestnut is doing the same thing. My trainer who rides her when I'm not there noticed it first and pre-warned me so I wouldn't freak out My horse is 5 and didn't do it last year, but I'm not freaking out though I've never had another horse that did this

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                                        That's an interesting perspective. Since when I've dealt with rainrot the hair typically falls out or comes with the scabs. Plenty of air and sunlight reaches it then and it sure doesn't clear up on its own. I've dealt with a bit of rainrot in my time and I've never once clipped a horse for it. The mites I would understand a bit more. I don't think it would be necessary to clip, but I can see that the medication might work a bit better to get to the mites.
                                        Yes, the hair was thinnning on his flanks, torso and forearms where the rain rot was active. However, the horse had a lot of winter coat still on him which is the perfect environment for the rain rot to spread into.

                                        And my point was that a well respected COTH voice said "no need to clip" just days after another pro who saw the horse said "clip." No big deal, that is just the horse world.

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