Rain Rot and Old Age in Horses

10 Aug


Lady. 30 years old. Still thinks she’s a teenager, yet her body weight and arthritis say otherwise. Everybody has been worried about her being so skinny. Something you have to understand about senior horses is that lots of them can’t keep weight on. It’s just something that happens. You can’t do anything about it and unfortunately, non-horse people see it as neglect. I took miss Lady to the vet, just to have a professional opinion to back me up. The vet checked for worms, a common cause of weight loss. No worms, totally clear. He asked what I fed, when and how much. I was good there. He floated her teeth, but other than that, he said she’s just old, and old horses don’t keep weight on.

Arthritis is another common issue in old horses. Lady has only started to show it recently.

I have decided to retire her, even though the vet said she likely has a few more years left on her.

We have had a very wet summer. And Lady never bothers to go into the shelter provided. She had this constant wet look. I went out the other day to say hey and lifted up her fur to see if u could fluff it up some. I was shocked and a little taken aback by the results.


It just came right off! I had no idea what was wrong with her. So I asked a friend for help. She explained that Lady has rain rot. Rain rot is caused by water pooling on the horse. It’s basically a fungus. Little spores get under the hair, they thrive with lack of oxygen. They kill the hair shaft.

The way to treat it is to peel/brush off all the nasty, crusty hair. Get all the spores and scabs off. Then you smother the spores to kill them with an oil, I will be using baby oil. Finishing with a water proof blanket to keep her from getting wet again.

I was amazed at the results after just brushing her. This below picture is taken in the same spot before and after.


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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Horse Training


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