Fight the Good Fight Against Skin Ailments

NEW Medicated Twin Pack from Absorbine®
May 15, 2006

Developing a regular grooming routine will help keep your horse free of skin problems. Not only will "medicated_twin_pack_187"a vigorous brushing remove dirt and debris, it will also stimulate the skin to produce vital oils needed to maintain its overall health.  Groom your horse before and after you ride, paying special attention to the withers, back, and girth areas.  A horse with a sleek, shiny coat is a horse with healthy skin, although maintaining it can be a challenge.  A fragile organ prone to upset, the skin is susceptible to an assortment of fungal and bacterial infections, making identification and treatment an often difficult and tedious process. However, if you’re on top of it and take a pro-active stance, you will be able to combat the most common culprits – ringworm, rain rot, and scratches.

If you suspect your horse might have a skin condition, you should contact your veterinarian to make sure you’ve made the right diagnosis.  If diagnosed with ringworm or rain rot you should isolate your horse to prevent possible further contamination.  If you suspect that he suffers from scratches, removing him from his wet surroundings will help tremendously. 

No matter what the diagnosis, starting a treatment program immediately is important for any fungal or bacterial skin infection.  Prevention and treatment options are available at your local tack shop or feed store.  A popular favorite is Absorbine’s Medicated Twin Pack.  It is a safe, effective two-step treatment system that provides maximum healing and protection from these troublesome skin problems, which are described below.

(Dermatophytosis) Ringworm
Mistakenly thought of as a worm due to its round shape, ringworm is actually a fungal infection. If you notice hair coming out in clumps, leaving round crusty patches with red, scaly skin underneath, then chances are your horse has contracted it. 

Although ringworm can be found anywhere on the body, it typically appears around areas where tack comes into contact with the skin. Highly contagious, it can be transmitted from horse to horse and also from inanimate objects like blankets or grooming equipment.  Ringworm can remain dormant in the environment for up to a year, so be aware that everything from your horse’s stall to the soil in the paddock can become infected.

Ringworm breeds in dark, warm, moist places with outbreaks frequently occurring as a result of exposure to the elements. If your horse has suffered an illness, has become undernourished, is in stressful surroundings, is on immune-suppressing medications, or is in an overcrowded situation, he could be as vulnerable to an attack.

(Dermatophilosis) Rain Rot or Rain Scald
Rain rot, or rain scald, is a bacterial infection, which, like its fungal counterpart, ringworm, is also activated by moisture, and is similarly believed to be contagious.

Horses that are continually fending off insects or are left unprotected in the rain are prime targets. Rain rot is also thought to be transmitted through shared tack, blankets, and grooming equipment, so anything that has come into contact with the horse needs to be disinfected. 

Those affected will develop a series of small bumps that turn into circular scabs with matted tufts of hair, which are quite painful when removed. Lesions are commonly found along the back, rump, neck, and legs.

(Dermatitis) Scratches
Typically occurring in the springtime, scratches, also known as mud fever, greasy heel, or dew poisoning, is most commonly found in horses that continually stand in wet stalls or inhabit muddy pastures. As moisture penetrates the delicate skin at the back of the pastern and bulb of the heel, inflammation, redness, and ulcerations are often the results. 

Speed is of the essence when scratches occur. If left untreated, the raw skin will often crack and bleed, inviting a deeper level of infection stemming from a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Treatment Program
With meticulous attention and care, these skin conditions can be treated successfully. 
Washing the areas with a therapeutic shampoo should be your first line of defense against these skin conditions. Absorbine® Medicated Shampoo is fortified with PCMX (Chloroxylenol) and Tea Tree Oil to kill germs on contact, soothe the skin and coat and guard against infections. 

For best results, when the area is dry apply Absorbine® Medicated Spray, a non-stinging, non-irritating, iodine-free shampoo, ideal for sensitive skin. With the healing benefits of tea tree oil, it’s even gentle enough for every day use.

The Absorbine Medicated Twin Pack is an effective way to combat these common skin conditions and to prevent their recurrence.  It kills germs on contact and guards against infection, giving your horse the protection he needs from these irritating ailments.