Skin is a truly amazing organ. It keeps our bodies from drying out, protects us against infection, plus it’s waterproof! I love my skin. Heck, as a cat, I spend several hours a day grooming it just to keep it in pristine condition. But the trouble with skin is that sometimes this protective barrier that surrounds our entire bodies can break down. Let’s take a closer look at the 3 biggest enemies of equine skin: Rain, Sun, and Bugs.
Just about every horse owner has heard of Rain Rot. But, did you know that rain rot is actually caused by a type of bacteria, and not a fungus? And did you know that this same bacteria can cause skin problems elsewhere on the body, like the pasterns and cannon bones? Rain rot is so named because this bacterium happens to thrive in moist environments. This is why it is usually found on your horse’s back or flanks after heavy rainfall, or on the back of his pasterns when he has been standing in a muddy pasture. So, while skin is waterproof, it is not a fan of prolonged exposure to moisture.
You wouldn’t go outside all day in the middle of summer without any sunblock on, would you? Well, the same goes for your white horse, or even your chestnut horse with that little snip on his nose. If you are one of the lucky ones to own a mostly-white paint horse in Florida, you may want to invest in a full-body fly sheet with UV-blocking properties. But, if it’s just a strip or a blaze you need to cover up, daily application of sunblock or a fly mask may suffice. Don’t forget to protect your horse’s skin from sunburn just as you would your own!
Nobody likes being bitten or stung by flies, gnats, bees, ants, and the like. But many horses are actually allergic to the saliva of these pests. As you may have guessed, the skin and hair of these horses is a complete disaster during the buggy season. The owners of these horses may as well invest in fly spray at the rate they have to buy it! Wouldn’t it be great if there were a single product you could apply daily to repel bugs, soothe skin, take away the itch, and treat already-existing bug bites? Well, actually, there is!
To find out about this and other magical equine skin products, don’t miss our free seminar, Managing Skin: From Itch to Funk! this Thursday, June 8th, at 7pm. One of my favorite speakers from Kinetic Vet will be talking about how to manage these and a variety of other equine skin conditions. Oh, and most importantly, I will be there! Check out the Event Page on Facebook for more details!
So, bring a friend, and a treat for me, and I’ll see you Thursday! Be ready to take home some free stuff, but please make sure that I am not among the prizes that wind up in your barn. Sometimes I accidentally go home with people…