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Equine Summer Skin Problems

Summer, with it's beautiful sunshine and annoying humidity and insects can cause a number of problem's with a  horse's skin, and can lead to the development of several issues.  Horse Sun Protection Products including Sunscreen

Sunburn on Light Colored Horses

Horses that lack pigment on their face, nose, and ears can develop redness and swelling. It can be very painful for your horse. 

Certain plants such as St. John's wort contain ingredients that cause horses to be sensitive to the sun. Medications like tetracycline also can make horses more photo-sensitive. 

Limit the time that your horse spends in the sun and provide shade whenever possible Sunscreen or zinc oxide is effective for horses and can be used in as a preventative measure and also on areas that have already developed sensitivity. Many grooming products and fly sprays might have sunscreen already added. 

Insect Allergies 

Insect bites can result in skin problems in some horses - they also can spread infectious diseases.  Believe it or not, horses can develop allergies to gnat and fly bites. Watch for tell-tale allergy signs.  They can appear as lesions along the back or belly of your horse.  Intense itching is also a tell-tale sign and will sometimes result in hair loss along the mane or tail.  When the horse cannot stop scratching, bacterial infections can occur and cause trauma to the skin.  Needless to say, insect bites can be a serious problem with your horse in the summer. 

The biting midge, blackflies, horn flies, and mosquitoes are all culprits that can cause allergies.  Preventative measures are the most effective treatment!  Catch it before it is a problem.  Dusk and Dawn are important times in the day that your horse should be stabled.  These are prime feeding times for blackflies and other feeding insects. 

The use of fans while your horse is in the stall can reduce the number of flying insects.  A recent effective preventive measure is the use of Fly Prevention Feed Supplements. Equitrol II pellets in horses' feed prevent development of stable and house flies in the manure with 99% effectiveness. Bug Block by Absorbine is proven to kill and repel more than 70 species of flying, crawling , creeping and biting pests including biting flies, gnats, ticks and mosquitoes (including Culex species which have been known to transmit the West Nile Virus).

In addition to these preventive measures, medications prescribed by your veterinarian can be effective.  

Summer conditions are a great time to enjoy your horse, but they can be harmful to your horse's well being.  Prevention is the the key to preventing skin problems in your horse.


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