Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Common Skin problems in Horses

There are a number of common skin conditions and a horse's coat is a good indicator of poor health, or possibly one of the conditions listed below:-

Mud Fever
Most common in Mid Winter. Not caused by mud. Easy to spot usually on lower legs and belly.

Symptoms are:
  • Lesions and scabs with possible discharge,
  • Hair loss,
  • Heat,
  • Swelling and discomfort.
Caused by constant wetting of the skin which causes a breakdown of the protective barrier of the epidermis. This allows bacteria to enter and infection to take hold.

Treatment is mainly keeping the skin dry and clean. The horse may have to be stabled away from the mud and wet outside.

The treatment may include dealing with the specific organisms under the scabs. These therefore have to be lifted and removed at the beginning. Area should be washed using a mild disinfectant such as chiorhexidine, iodine wash, surgical scrub. or use a medicated shampoo. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.

There are several creams and lotion that may help such as Zinc, Caster Oil, Lead Acetate and several others. These can all play a part.


This is an infection of the skin and hair and is caused by a fungus. It can be passed between animals and humans.

Symptoms appear as scaly areas and small crusted spots. It also appears as circular scaly areas of skin. It can appear with or without hair loss.
  • Treatment can be by anti-fungal shampoos and washes.
  • All equipment should also be thoroughly disinfected.

This is an allergic response which causes unsightly lumps over large area of skin. Although unsightly it does not cause the horse discomfort.

It is generally caused by an allergy to something in the feed or environment.

Causes include:-
  • Feed,
  • Medication,
  • Supplements,
  • Change of Hay,
  • Insects,
  • Pollen and mould.
Treatment is to try and revert back to previous environments, feed or bedding.


  1. Many skin problems in Horses can be treated and cured by CleanRound Shampoos, rug wash and yard wash products, recently approved by DEFRA and available for under £20 from outlets and online at

  2. CleanRound shampoos are available in 4 fragrances and are used by many equestrians and trainers to keep their horses free from infections and skin problems. CleanRound kills equine strangles and cures ringworm.