Getting to Know Rain Rot

February 25, 2014 1 min read

Rain Rot By Emily Konkel Due to our very intense weather conditions this winter, many horse owners will (or have already) found themselves trying to deal with rain scald. Rain rot or rain scald (also known as dermatophilosis) is a common bacterial skin disease caused by wet or very humid conditions. It is often mistaken as a fungal disease. Rain rot causes skin lesions that tend to scab or crust. When the scabs are removed a yellow-green pus is exposed. Dermatophilus congolensis is the bacterium that causes this infection. It lives dormant in the skin until prolonged wetness, high humidity, high temperature or biting insects happen. It is mainly found on horses’ necks, withers, backs, croups and lower limbs. These lesions can sometimes be painful for the horse. Many acute cases tend to heal on their own. However, early or less severe cases should be treated. Antimicrobial shampoos should be used to bathe the horse and remove the scabs. In more severe cases, antibiotic injections by your veterinarian may have to be given. Unfortunately we cannot control the weather but daily grooming with clean brushes is the best way to prevent rain rot. It's extremely contagious and can be spread to other horses through direct contact, grooming tools, or tack. It is best to isolate the infected horse until the rain rot is gone. Grooming tools and tack should be disinfected between each use. For more information visit: understanding-rain-rot

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