Friday, 9 September 2016

All About ... Rainscald

What is it

Rainscald is a skin irritation which some horses develop when exposed to the environment.  It is caused by the same organism which causes mud fever.  


The hair on the horses back and croup becomes matted and an inflammatory liquid oozes from the skin.  The hair may fall out in clumps and often leaves a raw, bleeding surface.


Long periods of rain causing an irritation of the skin - usually on the back and croup because these areas are flat and take most of the rain when it falls.


Scabs are taken and observed through a microscope to identify the bacteria. 


Rainscald will heal on its own, however, future prevention is advisable.  In the worst cases treatment involves gently removing the loose hair.  The area should then be washed with a mild shampoo and warm water.  This will help soften the scabs and some may lift away.  The horse should then be dried thoroughly. 

Once the coat is dry the horse can be gently brushed with a soft body brush.  Finally, apply an appropriate cream to any exposed skin - this will help keep it moist and supple.  Massage this into the area which will also help stimulate the horses circulation.

As with mud fever this will need reapplying regularly.  As scabs become loose they can be removed being careful not to make the area bleed.  Once the scabs have gone the hair will be able to regrow.


Protection from the elements.  A stable or field shelter for the worst weather, for some horses a turnout rug will be necessary.  

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Until next time!

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