After all the wet weather we had 3 out of our 5 horses have suffered from rain scald. The worst affected being Rocky our big TB, he has it worse than the others because he also suffers from Anhydrosis which means that he already doesn't sweat very well. Rosie had a lot of it, but her's pretty much just fell off. And then poor old Midnight had a few good patches, mostly because she has a thicker coat than the rest of them & the water would have just sat there.
Rain scald is a fungal / bacterial infection that is caused by being wet for long periods of time. It is highly contagious & you must not use any riding or grooming equipment on the other horses. Some horse are more prone to it than others. There are many methods of treatment, but ideally prevention is best. If you are able to keep the horses dry by either putting under a shelter or water proof rugs, this is the best prevention. You can also increase the copper in their diets.
This year to treat the horses we have purchased products from a company called Heritage Downs. They produce shampoos & creams that are sulphate free & made from natural ingredients. We have tried the sulphate free shampoo & then the Greasy heel cream. We had to wash each affected horse with the shampoo, leaving the shampoo to soak for approx 15 minutes before rinsing off. Then pat dry with a towel.
After this apply the Greasy heel cream to the affected areas. It was strange stuff, the smell of it reminded my friend and I off take-away chips the next day or 4 day old fried rice. I actually left the container in the car for a few days & had to take it out, smelt like I had rotten meat in their! Believe me NOT good when you are a vegan..lol...
After you have spread the goop on, (as I call it) you plastic wrap the area & leave for a further 15 minutes. The theory is that when you remove the wrap the scabs will be easy to remove without hurting them.
Here' a pic of Rosie in having her "Beauty Treatment" She was very patient...
After this we washed her & gave her a good scrub with the brush & the scabs pretty much fell off. Rocky's treatment has taken a lot longer. It has now been 10 days since we stated treatment, I have been washing him every 2-3 day (weather dependant) & covering the affected areas after each wash with the goop. This morning I gave him a really good scrub & the scabs are starting to come off easily. Throughout the whole time there has been no sign of infection, which is great. Last year we had a lot of trouble with infection. That's why it is important to remove the scabs, as they can get a very nasty infection underneath where the scab is sitting.
Rosie just needs to grow her hair back now & you will never know she had it. I can highly recommend the Heritage downs products, they smell devine - other than the greasy heel cream, safe to use & compared to other medicated products comparable on price. http://www.heritagedowns.com.au/