Sooner or later, you’re going to encounter a horse with rain rot.
It’s found most often on horses maintained outside in times of high rainfall, especially if they have thick, winter coats.
If untreated, these spots will spread and often coalesce. Any horse can develop this infection, but it is most likely to occur in horses with compromised immune systems from malnutrition, old age or diseases like Cushing’s.
The organism thrives in the warm, moist conditions against the skin. However, it can also occur as a result of bug bites, too. The same organism (Dermatophilus) also causes severe heel dermatitis (scratches).
The lesions begin as multiple small bumps/scabs, which can spread and grow together to form large patches if not detected and treated early.
The scabs are tightly adherent to the skin and painful to remove. They come oﬀ with the hair and leave open sores. Once the scabs are oﬀ and medications can get to the skin level itself, healing is usually rapid.
The best antimicrobial in the world won’t do any good if it can’t get at the organism. The ability to eﬀectively soften and release dense buildups is therefore important.
For treatment of diﬃcult problems like rain rot and heavily scabbed scratches, the best results combine a medicated shampoo with a medicated topical spray or cream to use between baths. Combining products with diﬀerent types of active ingredients runs the risk of creating additional problems, such as chemical burns.
Treatment and prevention strategies in vet- erinary dermatology include often the use of medicated shampoos. The therapeutic plan should be deﬁned on short and long term basis to obtain the best results, to cope with owners compliance and to limit potential side eﬀects .
A variety of treatments can be used. Iodine-based shampoos and other medicated or herbal shampoos with tea-tree oil may work on mild, early cases, but when crusting is heavy the most they can usually do is slow the appearance of new lesions.
For areas of thick scabbing, the application of a tea-tree-oil based cleaners is helpful. Wet the area and leave it on ﬁve to 10 minutes then rinse.
Crusts/scabs may come oﬀ after a single treatment. The animal can then be bathed with a tea- tree-oil shampoo and open areas protected with a tea-tree-oil based cream. Note: Some horses are sensitive to tea-tree-oil, so do a spot treatment and wait 24 hours to see if there’s a reaction before using the treatment.
A highly eﬀective treatment is the antifungal agents like Anodine. Bathe the horse to remove surface dirt and any loose scabs then rinse in a antifungal agent over the infected areas. Pour it on or apply with a sponge. Scrape away the excess, then let it dry on the coat.
As long as you keep up the cleaning and grooming of your horse and he or she is not constantly in contact with other horses' who have rain rot, using this mixture and these methods should get rid of it!
Anodine Animal Wash is a general coat wash and conditioner and an aid in the treatment of various skin conditions. A must- have equine essential for all horse owners. Anodine is a name for a commonly used concentration of povidine-iodine or PVP-I and is used broadly for the prevention and treatment of skin infections and for the cleaning of wounds.
Povidone-Iodine is a water-soluble complex of iodine and polyvinyl pyrrolidone used for its general antiseptic properties. Povidone-Iodine retains the antimicrobial spectrum of iodine without the disadvantages of staining, irritation or toxicity. It is “tamed iodine”.
The Povidone-Iodine in Anodine is eﬀective against bacteria, fungi and viruses within one minute. Bacterial spores are killed within 15 minutes. The germicidal activity is maintained even in the presence of blood, serum, pus and soap. Povidone-Iodine may be left in contact with tissue for long periods without ill eﬀect. It may even be used underneath bandages.
When Regular Bathing Isn't Enough
If a localized skin infection is left untreated, your animal could wind up on antibiotics, which is something we want to avoid.
Two things to do as soon as you notice a problem:
- Clean the skin and keep it clean
- Disinfect the area regularly to stay ahead of the infection
Treating with Povidone Iodine
For skin infections, hot spots, minor abrasions, and any other skin problem that either is infected or could become infected, we want to disinfect with a gentle solution.
For the purpose of disinfecting skin, you want to dilute the povidone iodine until it's the color of iced-tea. Pour a little of the iodine in a dish and add some warm water to dilute it.
The Disinfecting Process
Take a clean washcloth and soak it in the diluted povidone iodine solution.
All animals, including humans, have normal levels of ﬂora (bacteria) on the skin. The goal isn't to rub the skin raw of all bacteria, but just gently disinfect the area, paying special attention to the areas where there are lesions and eruptions that could evolve into a serious, secondary skin infections. Rinse out the cloth, do one more swipe across the area, and pat it dry. It is recommend you do this disinfecting process twice a day if your animal has a minor skin infection or other problem. Extract from: www.horse-journal.com