Excerpt from the March issue of Heels Down Magazine.
You might not know the exact scientific name for it, but skin issues on horses can often be described as:
So what on earth do you DO about it? You might be tempted to play internet doctor here, but you still won’t know for sure what’s going on and you won’t be able to write your horse a prescription to take care of the issue. So the easiest thing to do is pass the buck to someone else to figure out why your horse looks like he’s morphing into a hairless, scabby lizard beast. Call your vet.
Why is it important to involve your vet? Well, let’s take a scratch for example, like a scabby and sore infection on the lower leg of your horse. Scratches can be painful, cause swelling (which can cause more problems), and often need systemic drugs to treat. It can also closely resemble photosensitivity, which is often linked to serious liver problems in horses sometimes due to horses eating toxic plants. The treatment is different for each situation.
You also don’t want to mess around with rain rot. Not only is it an icky skin infection, but it’s contagious to other horses.