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Is poor immunity causing skin and coat issues with my horse

This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  jan_kast 2 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Is it possible my horse has poor immunity which is showing up as rain rot (a mild case) and now Scratches on his pastern?

    This past spring he shed out very slowly, and his coat became very dull and dry over the summer compared to other horses at the barn.

    Sarah Sue
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 7

    It is definitely possible that there is an underlying health issue, especially if this is a relatively new thing. I would have your vet come out and do an overall health check, do a fecal test for parasites (even if you deworm regularly), check his diet for possible deficiencies, etc. It could also just be a case of skin ickies (as I call it), since fungus and bacteria can be hard to get rid of and easy to spread once it irritates the skin. A good medicated shampoo can help with the rain rot/scratches. I would also try a coat supplement high in Omega 3s like Omega Horseshine. Sometimes all a horse needs is some coat support from the inside and I’ve had success with that supplement, although it takes a couple months to really see results so you have to be patient. Good luck!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I wholeheartedly agree with Sarah Sue. Before experimenting with supplements, feed, etc., the best thing you can do for your horse is a thorough vetting, to rule out any sort of illnesses and (hopefully) find the cause. Poor skin and coat can be symptoms of so many things, some of which require medication (such as Cushing’s). He may be in need of medication rather than a supplement, particularly if you have had him for awhile and this is something new.

    It is never the horse's fault

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Thank you for your answers. That was my train of thought as well. Yes, this is all new to my QH. I did start him on SmartShine and it improved his coat condition and I feel helped be rid of the rain rot quickly. Now we’ll deal with the Scratches.

    He did indeed have a work up/fecal count from the vet. Not a blood work up yet. He is on the upswing and I feel like a blood work up is not needed right now.

    Consulting your vet, or two vets is always a good idea I agree.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    I’m glad you have faith in your veterinarian, jan. Too many posters turn to members of a forum for answers when they ought to be talking to their vet! I had a mare that had scratches, but we’d had a wet winter and she was standing in mud. Once I moved her onto my own property, she never had them again. And she lived for another 20 years! This same mare, a chestnut ASB trail horse, started to get random white spots on her back in the spring. Every year, when she shed her winter coat, she had more white spots. She looked pretty silly–an appaloosa Saddlebred? But the spots didn’t interfere with anything, her skin wasn’t super-sentative there, and nothing scabbed, so I just left it alone. Maybe when the vet next comes, for whatever reason, you could ask him/her what you asked us: whether the underlying cause of your horse’s skin and coat problems is poor immunity, or something else.

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Hi Joan, Thanks.

    Could the white spots on your be ‘birdspotting’?

    I knew a handsome chestnut that also mysteriously developed while dots.

    At the time the vet was a puzzled as the rest of us at the barn.

    I have since learned of white dots appearing on horses called Birdspotting (because that’s what it looks like!) and dark brown random spots also appearing on dark coated horses called Bendor spots, named after a Thoroughbred who developed them. I think this is correct- hope so, it’s interesting at any rate.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Thanks, jan–that is definitely interesting! It happened over 20 years ago and had two different vets scratching their heads. I will look up birdspotting. Thank you!

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Hi Joan, yes, you’ll have fun looking this up. the website I first visited had pictures of very unusual coat patterns, like brindle and lacing. It’s fun to see.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Hi Jan,
    How old is your horse? And what is his breed? Have you ever dealt with laminitis with him? I ask because my vet just tested my mare for PPID – one of the issues in this disorder is sensitive skin.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Mapale, No laminitis is one thing I have never dealt with. Renegade is a QH and 13 years old. I’ll have to look up PPID, not familiar.

    Its a shame that the breeding of horses has caused some poor and some lethal traits to be created. My quarter horse is a carrier for HYPP. We have managed it well with diet and exercise.

    I wish you well with your skin issue, its a real concern isn’t it?

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    That’s good news, Jan. He’s young for PPID (Cushings), and not one of the most common breeds that are vulnerable to it. Also no history of laminitis is good. I was concerned when you said he was slow to shed out this spring and the immunity concerns, all are Cushings symptoms.

    Thank you so much about your well wishes about my mare’s skin issues. I just have to be careful about diluting the liniment and not to leave any shampoo or conditioner on her skin. I’m also supplementing with Omega3 and hope it helps both of our horses!

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Gosh – that’s crazy you were talking about Cushings, that is exactly what the vet was thinking when she saw him earlier in the summer. I just didn’t think it was Cushings.

    My gelding had lost a lot of weight after moving him here from Illinois. What I finally figured out was he was being bullied by other horses in the pasture and apparently stressing out over it.

    The barn owner has allowed Renegade to stay on a smaller paddock with 1 or 2 other quiet horses. I added Grow and Win to his Strategy. He’s on SmartShine and Grand Meadows joint supplement and now is back to his good lookin QH weight.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I’m glad he’s doing better. Stress can present all kinds of symptoms and adapting to a new climate is a challenge. Sounds like you have gotten Renegade all squared away. If you are worried about PPID, you can have a blood test, but you’re probably right, he was just adjusting to a new climate – I hope so.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Hi again, thanks for the suggestions. What a fascinating diversion! According to one forum–I think it was Chronicle of the Horse–a chestnut mare that could have been a half sister to mine had the identical markings in the identical place! And she also had more of them every spring, after shedding her winter coat. The one that really caught my fancy was the white brindle markings on a couple of those horses. I’ve never seen anything like that. Almost like frost running down the horse’s sides.

    Good for you, Mapale, coming up with stress! I was doing some reading about why alfalfa is considered bad by some people. Apparently horses like it so much that they really chow it down, meaning they finished their meal in a hurry and then stand around with nothing to do except worry about when the next meal will come. The result? Stress–and ulcers.

    jan_kast Original Poster
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Joan – I see you did read about the Birdspotting, strange isn’t it? I’m intrigued about your mare’s double, the one that has spots in the same location as your mare. I’m going to look up Chronicle of the Horse, I haven’t heard of it. I also wonder if the birdspotting only occurs on chestnuts.

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