When many people hear the phrase ‘skin conditions’, they assume we are talking about humans. Animals, however, all also affected by many skin conditions. Whether it’s a dog, cat or possible horse skin conditions, they can still be serious if not treated.
Unlike many other animals such as dogs and cats, horse skin conditions are usually easier to notice. This makes it easier to get prompt treatment. Many skin conditions in animals start as something minor but turn into a more serious condition because of lack of prompt treatment. The lack of treatment is not so much due to the owner’s negligence as it is because they are not aware there is a problem. Because horses have a shorter coat of hair than dogs and cats, it is usually easy to spot horse skin conditions.
Horse skin conditions can develop almost overnight in your horse. One day your horse may have a beautiful sleek coat and suddenly a few days later may have dry skin or hair missing. These symptoms for horse skin conditions can be from a number of reasons. Some of the first things you need to determine are what part of the horse is most affected, if the horse has prior medical conditions and if other horses are affected as well. Many horse skin conditions will start with the horse being itchy with hair loss. Their skin may be flaky and itchy at first followed by loss of the hair, usually beginning by the tail. Some possible causes for these horse skin conditions are lice, horn flies, gnats and mange. The best type of treatment you can get for these are repellants or flies, treatment for lice or a possible medication from the veterinarian. These horse skin conditions may make the horse’s condition look quite shaggy, but they are all curable.
Observing where the irritation begins on the horse will often make it easier to determine the problem. Gnats will bite the horse by feeding on their belly, mane, inner thighs, withers and head. The horse will try to scratch on anything it can get near, which may rub their hair out, resulting in the hair loss. Bites by the horn fly will also make the horse want to rub, often resulting in hair loss. Another irritant to the horse is Onchocerca infestation, which can cause the horse a lot of discomfort. Since the use of ivermectin, this condition is not as common as it used to be. Pediculosis or lice will cause the horse to rub a lot, lose hair as well as get skin irritations. There are some horse skin conditions that occur without any itching, but there will still be hair loss. The best way to prevent or help with these horse skin conditions is with daily grooming.