Rain rot, also known as rain scald or streptothricosis, is a skin condition in horses caused by an organism. This organism appears with warm, wet conditions and when the skin has been compromised (by a scrape or bug bite, for example). How can you help prevent rain rot?
Grooming your horse regularly helps keep the skin clean and dry. It also gives you a chance to catch scrapes, cuts or bug bites early. Applying an antibiotic ointment or salve to these minor wounds can help.
While grooming is important, be sure not to share your grooming supplies. Rain rot can be transmitted from one horse to another, so be sure to have seperate grooming supplies. Disinfect your grooming supplies regularly to ensure they are clean and sanitized.
Blanketing can help keep your horse dry, but be sure not to overblanket. A hot, sweaty horse under a blanket is the perfect breeding ground for rain rot. It is a moist, warm environment with little airflow - ideal for rain rot. Make sure your horse is blanketed properly, and not made too hot or sweaty.
Whether it is a stall, a three sided shelter, or even a dense clump of trees, ensure your horse has a way to get out of the rain, sleet, and snow. Making sure they have a dry place to hang out is one of the best ways to prevent rain rot.
If you believe your horse may be developing rain rot, contact your vet to set up a treatment plan. Most rain rot can be very easily treated and resolved.
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