Common Equine Skin Conditions

Ever find dry skin on your horse and wonder what was causing it? Ever find swelling, looking like bug bites, on your horse and not know how to treat it? Then this article is about equine skin conditions!


Equine Skin Conditions: Rain Rot

What is Rain Rot?

Rain rot is a skin infection caused by bacteria build-up on a horse’s skin.  The bacteria grows due to wet or damp conditions in the horse’s skin or coat.  It can spread from horse to horse, and even from horse to humans by bugs and by direct contact.


Most commonly this occurs when horses live outdoors 24/7  in damp conditions with no shelter. Many pastures offer tree coverage or run-in sheds for horses to take cover from rain or snow.  But, ...


The best way to prevent rain rot is to take a thorough analysis of when your horse could be exposed to wet conditions.  Does your horse live outside 24/7, or does he come in at night? Does your horse have access to shelter when he goes outside?

Equine Skin Conditions: Scratches

What are Scratches?

Scratches is another bacterial infection that causes the skin near a horse’s hooves (their fetlocks and pasterns) to become inflamed and irritated.  The horse’s fur will become matted and they will develop scabs and loose hair in these areas.


Scratches are caused by the same circumstances as rain rot, but near a horse’s feet.  A horse constantly standing in wet, damp footing is likely to develop Scratches. These conditions can be found both in indoor and outdoor environments.


If your horse lives outside and inside, make sure that your horse’s feet are cared for when they are brought inside.  Make sure their feet have been picked and clean, and that their legs are dried off.  

Equine Skin Conditions Treatments

If your horse does develop Scratches, there are ways of treating it, though it can be more difficult to treat than rain rot. It can be treated the same way as rain rot; antimicrobial soaps and shampoos for horses.

I hope this article helped you get a glimpse into two of the most common skin conditions that can affect horses; rain rot and scratches.  If so, please share this article, and share with us your experiences treating rain rot or scratches!


Find more detailed information in the link below

Find more articles about horses in