Rain rot is a common problem in horses. It is caused by a bacterium known as dermatophilus congolensis. The bacterium normally resides on the skin and doesn’t cause problems. However, the rain rot can open if some circumstances such as poor nutrition, weakened skin barrier, compromised immune system, stressful situations, poor hygiene, as well as wet and moist conditions are present.
The conditions create an optimum environment for the proliferation of the bacteria, and once the bacteria multiply, it begins to irritate the horse’s hair follicles, causing its skin to crust and lose hair on the rump’s top.
The problem is usually mild at first and begins to worsen if aggravating factors are present and you don’t take any measures to treat the condition. Most horse owners assume that the problem will abate by itself, or that the horse has developed immunity and so it won’t get a reinfection. Wrong. If the problem is not treated early enough, it will worsen. And previously infected horses don’t develop immunity to reinfection of rain rot just because they were once infected.
So what do you do to treat your horse and possibly prevent it from developing rain rot?
Regular Grooming sessions – in order to detect any changes on the skin of your horse, you need to groom it daily, and regularly check under the blankets if you notice any changes. If you suspect that the animal is developing rain rot, a prescription of antibiotics can head off that condition.
Tack – You need to expose to the sun the parts of the tack that usually come into contact with the horse to aid in killing the bacteria and fungus. Wash the tack after use, dry it properly, and keep it dry so as to avoid mold.
Shelter- One of the best defenses against rain rot is making sure your horse has good shelter.
And how do you treat rain rot in a horse?
Veterinary experts advise that treatment of horses needs to be multifaceted, meaning, it should be focused on both the outside and inside of a horse.
In focusing inside the horse, you ensure the horse eats well, drinks water regularly, and is not susceptible to stress and depression. Remember a good diet is usually an excellent fort against diseases. It provides the horse with the immunity it needs to ward off all manner of diseases that might come its way.
And if you are treating the horse topically, there is a whole gamut of different ways in which you can treat the horse and restore it to health – fully. However, remember, after removing the crust, you need to dispose it of properly so as to prevent the contamination of the horse’s surroundings and eventual spread of the bacteria.
As far as treating a horse’s rain rot we recommend Vet Aid’s Animal Wound Care Spray or Foam. Use the spray if the rain rot is a wound and if the skin looks red and irritated use the foam. These products are hypoallergenic, fragrance free and provides instant soothing relief to animal’s dermatological problems. The product is patented and it has the right PH balance as well as natural enzymes, all meant to create the right environment.