Rain rot, also known as scald, is where several scabs will form on the surface of the horses skin. The number of scabs will determine the severity of the rain rot.
Cause of Rain
Rain scald is also known as mycotic dermatitis and is caused by dermatophilus congolensis which thrives when kept for a number of days in wet, humid, muddy conditions.
The horses back, flanks and rump are common sites as water tends to sit in these areas preventing the coat from quickly drying out.
The horse will have scabs of often crusty hair which come off easily and underneath the scabs, the skin will be wet, pink or have puss.
Rain Rot Treatment
The horses coat will need to be washed in a disinfectant shampoo solution and allowed to thoroughly dry out, the horse should be kept in to allow the coat time to dry and recover and also to prevent them from rolling in the mud or be re infected by other horses. The application of antibiotic cream will assist the coat in healing.
When the coat has healed the use of a turnout rug or the application of a waterproof based cream is a good idea to help prevent rain scald from happening again.
Care must be taken to regularly inspect horses coats especially during continued wet weather, allowing horses to dry out during the day is essential to help prevent rain scald.
Horses that wear turnout rugs should also be regularly checked during humid weather, a very wet sweaty coat that is not allowed to dry out is also at risk from the dermophilus organism.