Summertime means sunny days - does that mean sunburn for your horse? Let's look at identifying sunburn, what horses are at risk, preventing sunburn, and treating it if the need arises.
Sunburn in horses is similar to how it appears in humans. If the horse's skin is deep pink or red, dried out and cracked, or scabbed over and peeling, sunburn may be the culrpit. If you are unsure if your horse has sunburn or something more serious, ask your vet to help.
Horses susceptible to sunburn have light colored (pink) skin. Horses with blazes, bald faces, appaloosas, pintos or paints, or dilute color horses like perlino are prone to sunburn.
So how do you prevent your horse from getting sunburn? You have some options.
If your horse gets a minor case of sunburn, it can be treated with aloe vera or diaper rash cream (Desitin). Apply very gently to the affected areas as sunburn can be quite painful to the touch.
If your horse has bad sunburn, with cracked, peeling, oozing, or scabbed skin - contact your vet. They may advise stronger medicated ointments, or an antibiotic.
Have a wonderful summer, and help your horse enjoy the sunshine safely!
The Info Pony