Horses often suffer from different skin diseases due to the fluctuations in the environment. Such skin conditions can cause irritation and discomfort to the animal, as well as steep medical expenses for their owner. If left uncared for, these issues might worsen: hence the need for them to be diagnosed and treated immediately.
Given below are the commonly acquired skin diseases in horses:
* Pastern Dermatitis or Mud Fever
Pastern dermatitis is a skin disease in horses characterized by scratches, scabs, and inflamed skin. In its extreme form, it resembles the size and shape of grapes. It may form into bulky, plaque-like protrusions on the skin.
Scientists havent found any pathogen that directly causes pastern dermatitis. Though studies show that it’s most prevalent in the lower legs of horses. The bulk of the hair along the lower legs absorbs most of the moisture and dirt. Hence, it serves as a breeding ground for deteriorative organisms.
* Rain Rot or Rain Scald
Rain rot is caused by the bacteria, Dermatophilus congolensis. It usually happens when the surrounding air is humid. The bacteria tends to proliferate exponentially in the moist areas of the horses body. The symptoms of rain rot include scabs along these areas, as well as hair fall.
* Ringworm or Fungal Dermatitis
Ringworm is a hairless, circular patch on the horses body. The skin in this area is often broken and crusty. This skin disease can occur on any part of the body. However, its common to body areas such as shoulders, chest, neck, and face. It may also be attributed to the fungal activities of Trichophyton and Microsporum.
* Primary seborrhea or dandruff
Primary seborrhea covers the horses skin with flaky, white crystals. Its commonly found in areas that are usually moist. Dry seborrhea appears as sand-like cracked sheets on the skin. Meanwhile, oily seborrhea produces a waxy fluid on the skin. Both conditions of seborrhea also produce a foul smell in the more extreme cases.
Mange is a skin disease characterized by small, circular protrusions. When the protrusions enlarge, they will form bald spots. Its caused by the accumulation of small mites in the hair and skin. It produces an itchy feeling that causes the horse to constantly rub and bite the area.
* Summer Sores or Fly Sores
Summer sore is also known as Cutaneous Habronemiasis. It’s caused by Habronema and Draschia larvae. These are characterized by small open nodules that can grow along the legs, penis, prepuce, and other moist areas of the horses body. Its usually an open wound that has been irritated by dirt and moisture.
* Urticaria or Hives
Urticaria is a form of allergic reaction in horses. Its a group of plateau-like raised ridges that differ in size. Its acquired due to the consumption of food, vaccines, or medicines that the horse is allergic to. It may also be a non-allergic reaction to excessive fluctuations in temperature, too much physical activity or stress.