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Doctoring Rain Rot in Cold Weather


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#1 arienal

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 02:24 PM

My horse has rain rot all over her body. I mean everywhere. It's cold, so I can't bathe her. What can I do?

#2 audrey-mae

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:23 PM

Rainrot happens when horses do not have the proper nutrition. You need to evaluate your feed, get your horses on a good hay, and a good vitamin supplement. Healthy horses with proper nutrition do not get rainrot. I live in the pacific NW, it rains here for weeks straight in the winter, I have not had a horse get rainrot yet.

Aside from fixing your feed plan, you need to have a dry place to put her for at least at night, if that is not possible, you need to get a couple waterproof blankets so you can rotate then every other night (while you wash the one she was just wearing, otherwise you will be reinfecting her every night). And, disinfect your brushes every single night, or you will be reinfecting her. You can wash them in bleach water, rinse well and dry before you use them again.

Finally, get some listerine origional, and wipe her down with that every other night.

#3 BuddyRoo

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:27 PM

Gotta ditto...if you have a bad rainrot problem, there's likely something else going on...either A) deficit in nutrition (typically vit a, e, selenium which all affect integumentary health)

cool.gif immune issue (Cushings horse for example might be more prone due to immune suppression)

C) Poor grooming techniques

If there is a large amount of area affected, I would consult your veterinarian--horse may need some systemic meds as well as a blood panel to see what's up.

Else, 1/2 OTC athletes foot cream like Tinactin or Lotrimin and 1/2 triple antibiotic ointment applied twice daily to affected areas.

You do need to try to loosen the scabs as the meds really can't get down to kill the organism if the scabs are there. After applying meds for a few days, the scabs will likely soften enough that you can gently pull them off.

Using baby wipes to clean the areas every few days would be helpful.

#4 kitten-kat

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 09:02 PM

there is a general antibiotic that can often help, I had a mare who was getting propper feed, but her teeth were bad, and the vet put her on a general antibiotic, when her coat grew back out a bit more, she was fine..

what are you feeding? if your feeding too much grains, and not enough hay, or grasses this could cause her sugar levels to be too high causing her feet to grow to fast, and the skin to stack up, and when the moisture gets in, it is worse.. a nice slicker type dog brush will get all the way to the skin, dont brush too hard though it will be sensitive.. but this will help stimulate the hair shaft, looses the dirt and debrise, and also help keep the hairs sepperated.. if you have access to a warm garage, or a warm barn, you can use iodine on a rag and soak the really bad spots.. make sure she has a blanket on or a warm place till she is completely dry!

#5 Debi Z

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 12:24 AM

You can put a medicated powder on her b4 putting a blanket on her. My horse had rain rot last year, and that's what I did. It kept it from spreading. Just, everytime you take the blanket off, and put it back on, put more powder on her.

#6 WildHorseSpirit

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 03:56 AM

Funny I was always told it was a fungal issue not a feed one. Heck my books even say that. I am sure it helps but not the true cause of it.
I watch my girl's diets so it can't be that.

I guess not all cases are food related. My girl only got her bit of it after numerous days of rain and her refusal to get into her shelter the bugger.

I just brushed her out and sprayed a 90/10 mix of Absorbine Liniment and water, I have used it full strength as well and a few days later it is gone. Do not use on open wounds it does sting em.
Hers is almost gone now. When you brush a circular method really gets those things out of there. PS hers was in warmer weather as to keeping her warm in the winter and treating it is a bit harder.
Iodine has never worked for my girls when they have had it in the past we never get it alot just a rare occassion.

[ 11-24-2007, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: WildHorseSpirit ]

#7 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:25 PM

Many cases of rain rot are bacterial and not fungal. A couple of shots of Pennicilin helps many of them and can't hurt any of them.

It is TOTALLY brought on by a VITAMIN A DEFFICIENCY. You see it in horses that have poor nutrition available and do not have green grass to supply the Vitamin A they need. We see a lot of it around here in fat horses that are being fed oats and grass hay. Oats have 0 carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. Grass hay that is more than 3 or 4 months old also has no Vitamin A in it. So, these horses can be fat have have terrible hair coats, eyes and skin. Horses with an adequate diet that includes around 100,000 units of Vitamin A per day will not get rain rot, no matter what the weather conditions are. The fall is when you start seeing the most of it because the Vitamin A they store in their liver through the summer is running out.

You also see crusty or runny eyes from a Vitamin A deficiency. Again, they are most prevelant this time of year on through the late spring.

You can treat it with eeverything in the book and it will take about a month to lose all of the scabs and start regrowing hair. And if you do not address the Vitamin A defficiency, they still will not have a nice smooth hair coat and will just get it again.

Or, you can give them a million units of Vitamin A orally and they will be growing back hair in 3 or 4 weeks. (You can use the injectable made for cattle but just give it in the mouth) and then get them on a feed that supplies at least 3500 to 5000 units of Vitamin A per pound or put them on a Vitamin supplement that has a high level of A.

We have a custon pellet made for our own use and I have 10,000 units of A added to it per pound. I can't remember the last time I had rain rot in any of my own horses. Visiting mares that come with horrible cases of it are slick and have beautiful coats in about a month.

As an added footnote: we have not had a mare that was on our feed that ever needed to be 'cleaned' after foaling. They all drop their afterbirth within a few minutes and they rebreed very easily. This is also a result of adequate vitamin A.

#8 BB Blue

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 08:12 PM

Cheri-question for you about feed and rainrot.
Horses are on Safechoice. It provides 3500U/lb of Vitamin A. Horses are out 24/7, on grass(still green here), no shelter.
They all have slight to moderate rain rot. Otherwise, bright-eyed, plenty of energy, healthy looking. Is it because they have NO shelter? Not even a good stand of trees.

Disclaimer-I do not have full control over this issue.

#9 jackie2925

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 08:23 PM

I have a mare and filly that have scabs here and there. Asked the vet and he said rain rot but with the cold weather it should go away. Just to get rid of the scabs...however I remember from earlier this summer I would put betadine on something and scrub the spot and let it dry on the skin. It did amazing with the spots of rain rot then. I have since gotten a spray bottle of this Fungus spray. Its in a white bottle with green outlining. I think its a betadine spray.

#10 red robin

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 12:26 AM

I second the proper nutrition part. I have never had a problem with rainrot on my horses when I was keeping them at home and could keep an eye on their feed. This spring/summer I had my horse at a barn that didn't feed him properly. He ended up very skinny and had a bad case of rainrot as well as scratches. He also had NO shelter whatsoever. Now that he is at the new barn and is getting good quality hay and the proper grain it has not come back, even with his thick winter coat. He is on straight oats and corn oil. When I had him at home, he was also on BOSS in a 1:4 ratio with his oats, and he had an awesome coat. He's fattened up a bit, but his coat is still dull, I'll probably put him on the BOSS again.

The way that I used to get rid of it is a mix of betadine and baby oil sprayed on and wiped in with a rag. Lots of currying, too, to work the scabs loose. A rubber curry in each hand in circular movements. You also need to disinfect everything so that it doesn't spread.

#11 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 09:47 AM

We have 50 horses out on pasture with no sheds or shelters of any kind except for the trees and brush. When I keep out enough mineral that has 150,000 units of A in it, I never get rain rot - even whith long extended periods of rain and clouds. They seem to get enough from the mineral. About 25 of the mature horses are on free choice round bales and pasture and no grain of any kind.

Unless you are feeding a large quantity of feed that has 3500 units per pound, they still are not getting enough A. That is one of the main reasons we put 10,000 Units of A in our custom made grain pellet.

#12 BB Blue

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 11:34 AM

Thanks Cheri!
Didn't mean to steal your thread arienal [Embarrassed]
But thought maybe we both could benefit.

#13 edenn3583

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 01:52 PM

I don't think it always goes back to nutrition, I have very healthy horses and some years they get it and some they don't it is a bacteria that gets on the skin and when the hair is wet and matted down it can grow rapidly. I tell you what works quickly and is cheap. Babyoil just squirt it on there, and this will smother it and draw the sunlight to it, I have never had one get sunburnt or hurt in anyway from this and it really work.

#14 audrey-mae

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 03:43 PM

Edenn it does. Like Cheir, said, you can have nice fat horses, but that doesnt mean they are getting hte proper nutrition!

Cheir thanks! After reading all that I think I need to get some A supplements, my baby and my broodie both have a little bit of runny eyes.

#15 BB Blue

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 06:45 PM

As far as healing them, one thing I have found that works on the paints is Eqyss Micro-Tek anti-microbial spray.
But I also wanted to know if there was an underlying (sp?) cause. Because they have it and others don't.

#16 Partner N Crime Enterprises

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

Use Shapleys MTG to get rid of the rain rot, it stinks but it works better then anything the vets ever given me!

No baths required, just put on and rub in!

#17 Bull's Mom

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 02:07 PM

If your horse will let you use a blow dryer. I had to deal with a bad case of rainrot last winter and using the blow dryer made it so I could wash the area then dry it up really well before sending him back outside.

#18 Pamela

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 02:47 PM

It is fungal. I use betidine scrub diluted in water and apply and leave on. Repeat every other day with a good grooming. If you can wash the horse, that would help a lot.
quote:
Originally posted by WildHorseSpirit:
Funny I was always told it was a fungal issue not a feed one. Heck my books even say that. I am sure it helps but not the true cause of it.
I watch my girl's diets so it can't be that.

I guess not all cases are food related. My girl only got her bit of it after numerous days of rain and her refusal to get into her shelter the bugger.

I just brushed her out and sprayed a 90/10 mix of Absorbine Liniment and water, I have used it full strength as well and a few days later it is gone. Do not use on open wounds it does sting em.
Hers is almost gone now. When you brush a circular method really gets those things out of there. PS hers was in warmer weather as to keeping her warm in the winter and treating it is a bit harder.
Iodine has never worked for my girls when they have had it in the past we never get it alot just a rare occassion.



#19 GeneralMyBaby

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 05:04 PM

My horse had very bad rainrot all over and I used MTG. Cleared up the rainrot and the hair grew back immidiately. Not very expensive either. About $20 with tax and I still have some left from last October. Oil based so a little goes a long way. I asked the vet and was told there was some medicated cream I could buy but was very expensive. Said MTG worked just as well. [Wink]

#20 MissMyBud

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 11:27 PM

Use a 'slick groom', one of those black blocks you can get anywhere. It has sulphur in it and will get rid of it quick. No need to bathe, etc. It always works for me.

#21 Snafflebit

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 01:02 AM

Ok We feed Mooreglo, BOSS, Flax seed and grow strong loose minneral. Very, very shinney & healthy looking coats with Rain Rot? What am I missing.

#22 WildHorseSpirit

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 01:01 AM

Okay this is what I meant but it not always being nutritional. This is a repost from www.thehorse.com And yes it is fungal.

Rain Rot: What Can I Do?
by H. Steve Conboy, DVM


Rain rot is caused by the fungal organism Dermatophilus congolensis. Other names of the disease are rain scald and streptothricosis. Contrary to what a lot of people think, the organism has not been demonstrated to proliferate or be present in dirt or soil. The organism is dependent on a carrier horse who has the organism on its skin, and who may or may not be affected by it. There is some natural immunity, but some horses seem to be more susceptible to it, and that's why some horses get it year after year.

In order for a horse to get the disease, several conditions have to exist. You have to have an infected carrier animal, or a fomite such as a brush, blanket, or saddle that has the organism in the form of a spore that makes contact with the susceptible horse. There has to be some form of extreme moisture, like heavy rainfall. Horses that have heavy hair coats keep the moisture in contact with their skin, which helps the spores grow. And, the skin has to be damaged-from an insect bite, cut, or scrape. That lets the organism get down into the epidermis.

This is somewhat a self-limiting disease. The horse will probably get over the problem as it sheds its hair coat. The organism is considered an aerobe or a facultative anaerob. That means it prefers carbon dioxide or a lack of oxygen to grow. So, you need to get rid of the heavy hair coat and the scab that's holding the organism into the skin.

The first thing we do is use a soap-like an iodine soap-that lathers good and work that crust off that's created by serum oozing out through the skin. With gloves on, lather the horse good and try to break the scabs off, which is painful to the horse. Getting the scabs off and letting the air get to the ulcerated areas is the most important part, and it is the most difficult because the horse resists it. Since it's painful, sometimes it takes a couple of days working a little at a time.

Then, any kind of antiseptic is successful in killing the fungus. The one that we prefer to use is a mixture of lime and sulfur. It's made in a ratio of one part lime and sulfur to eight parts water. If you use it any stronger, it can blister the skin. product is a fungicide that's used on plants like roses, so you can get it in a garden store. It's very effective, but the downside is that it has a very bad sulfur odor.

Other things that can be used are povidone-iodine (Betadine), Chlorhexadine, and phenol. Any one of them should be applied daily for five days.

There are complicating factors occasionally. Because this disease causes a moist, warm environment, it's a good place for a secondary bacterial infection like staph, strep, or Rhodococcus . The case can be more difficult to treat, and it might require systemic antibiotics. The Dermatophilus organism itself is very susceptible to penicillin, so your veterinarian may prescribe that for severe cases.

The best way to prevent spread of the disease is to use some form of disinfectant for brushes (like Clorox) and wash your hands thoroughly after working with an infected horse. Blankets shouldn't be used between horses, but if they are, they should be washed and disinfected before being used on another horse. Also, if the horse you're treating is blanketed, make sure to wash his blanket to prevent re-infection.

It's important to disinfect anything you use on an infected horse before using it on another horse-halters, saddle pads, brushes. Even if the horse has a favorite place he rubs, like a stall door or a fence, it can become a source of the organism.

Diagnosis is usually by clinical signs, and the disease can manifest itself in several ways. It can result in rather large, crusty, circular areas. It can also be in small, raised areas with small scabs (less than one-quarter of an inch). When it's like that, there will be a mass of raised hair all over the horse's back. In either case, there is a crust of serum that elevates the hair. As the disease progresses, the crust may increase to a quarter of an inch thick.

The disease is not usually associated with any discomfort or itching except when you remove the scab, which is painful. When you remove the scab, the skin underneath might be gray and healing, or pink and oozing.

To make a specific diagnosis, which we usually don't do, the organism can be identified under the microscope by taking some of the exudate and staining it with New Methylene Blue, Diff-Quick, or a gram stain. It is a gram-positive organism that is branching and may divide into cocci chains that look like railroad tracks. It also can be cultured in blood augar, and the culture can be more successful if you use 20% CO2 in the culture technique.

When the fungus appears around the back of the fetlock, it's known as greased heels or dew poisoning. Again, it's caused by the horse standing in water, or by excessive dew on the grass that keeps the feet wet. It's almost always associated at the fetlock with white skin, not dark skin.

The organism can cause problems anywhere on the horse's body, although the most common place is on the back. Other areas are around the eye and lip margins and at the tips of the ears-areas that are exposed to trauma.

Most veterinarians don't recommend using ointment on any areas but the pasterns because it holds moisture into the skin. If you use an ointment on the pasterns, such as Desitin or an antifungal, you have to get rid of the scab so the medication can get to the organism and hold the water away from the skin.

H. Steve Conboy, DVM, is Director of Veterinary Services at the Castleton Farm , a leading Standardbred breeding operation near Lexington, Ky., and on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

#23 WildHorseSpirit

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 01:06 AM

Thanks Pamela for the back up here. I knew it was.
My filly has a ton of hair and yep grooming is not a 30 minute deal I mean I have to really dig in there to find her undercoat LOL
Her mom and Auntie don't have as thick of coats this year so I figured it had to be her coat thickness holding in the moisture and a friend posted the repost from thehorse and I had to post it here.

quote:
Originally posted by Pamela:
It is fungal. I use betidine scrub diluted in water and apply and leave on. Repeat every other day with a good grooming. If you can wash the horse, that would help a lot.
quote:
Originally posted by WildHorseSpirit:
Funny I was always told it was a fungal issue not a feed one. Heck my books even say that. I am sure it helps but not the true cause of it.
I watch my girl's diets so it can't be that.

I guess not all cases are food related. My girl only got her bit of it after numerous days of rain and her refusal to get into her shelter the bugger.

I just brushed her out and sprayed a 90/10 mix of Absorbine Liniment and water, I have used it full strength as well and a few days later it is gone. Do not use on open wounds it does sting em.
Hers is almost gone now. When you brush a circular method really gets those things out of there. PS hers was in warmer weather as to keeping her warm in the winter and treating it is a bit harder.
Iodine has never worked for my girls when they have had it in the past we never get it alot just a rare occassion.




#24 audrey-mae

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 01:24 AM

Yes it is a fungal infection. However, what we mean by its nutritional, is that a horse with proper nutrition *This does not mean just fat, but getting full requirements of vitamins and minerals as well* will not get rainrot.

I live in the pacific NW, its considered a rainforest here. Every single horse I have ever aquired has come to me with rainrot. I have NEVER had a case of rainrot come up since I have owned a horse, and my horses are outside in the rain a lot.

#25 arienal

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 02:24 PM

My horse has rain rot all over her body. I mean everywhere. It's cold, so I can't bathe her. What can I do?

#26 audrey-mae

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:23 PM

Rainrot happens when horses do not have the proper nutrition. You need to evaluate your feed, get your horses on a good hay, and a good vitamin supplement. Healthy horses with proper nutrition do not get rainrot. I live in the pacific NW, it rains here for weeks straight in the winter, I have not had a horse get rainrot yet.

Aside from fixing your feed plan, you need to have a dry place to put her for at least at night, if that is not possible, you need to get a couple waterproof blankets so you can rotate then every other night (while you wash the one she was just wearing, otherwise you will be reinfecting her every night). And, disinfect your brushes every single night, or you will be reinfecting her. You can wash them in bleach water, rinse well and dry before you use them again.

Finally, get some listerine origional, and wipe her down with that every other night.

#27 BuddyRoo

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:27 PM

Gotta ditto...if you have a bad rainrot problem, there's likely something else going on...either A) deficit in nutrition (typically vit a, e, selenium which all affect integumentary health)

cool.gif immune issue (Cushings horse for example might be more prone due to immune suppression)

C) Poor grooming techniques

If there is a large amount of area affected, I would consult your veterinarian--horse may need some systemic meds as well as a blood panel to see what's up.

Else, 1/2 OTC athletes foot cream like Tinactin or Lotrimin and 1/2 triple antibiotic ointment applied twice daily to affected areas.

You do need to try to loosen the scabs as the meds really can't get down to kill the organism if the scabs are there. After applying meds for a few days, the scabs will likely soften enough that you can gently pull them off.

Using baby wipes to clean the areas every few days would be helpful.

#28 kitten-kat

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 09:02 PM

there is a general antibiotic that can often help, I had a mare who was getting propper feed, but her teeth were bad, and the vet put her on a general antibiotic, when her coat grew back out a bit more, she was fine..

what are you feeding? if your feeding too much grains, and not enough hay, or grasses this could cause her sugar levels to be too high causing her feet to grow to fast, and the skin to stack up, and when the moisture gets in, it is worse.. a nice slicker type dog brush will get all the way to the skin, dont brush too hard though it will be sensitive.. but this will help stimulate the hair shaft, looses the dirt and debrise, and also help keep the hairs sepperated.. if you have access to a warm garage, or a warm barn, you can use iodine on a rag and soak the really bad spots.. make sure she has a blanket on or a warm place till she is completely dry!

#29 Debi Z

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 12:24 AM

You can put a medicated powder on her b4 putting a blanket on her. My horse had rain rot last year, and that's what I did. It kept it from spreading. Just, everytime you take the blanket off, and put it back on, put more powder on her.

#30 WildHorseSpirit

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 03:56 AM

Funny I was always told it was a fungal issue not a feed one. Heck my books even say that. I am sure it helps but not the true cause of it.
I watch my girl's diets so it can't be that.

I guess not all cases are food related. My girl only got her bit of it after numerous days of rain and her refusal to get into her shelter the bugger.

I just brushed her out and sprayed a 90/10 mix of Absorbine Liniment and water, I have used it full strength as well and a few days later it is gone. Do not use on open wounds it does sting em.
Hers is almost gone now. When you brush a circular method really gets those things out of there. PS hers was in warmer weather as to keeping her warm in the winter and treating it is a bit harder.
Iodine has never worked for my girls when they have had it in the past we never get it alot just a rare occassion.

[ 11-24-2007, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: WildHorseSpirit ]