Rainscald is common during the winter months with persistent rain – did you know it can be caused by the same bacteria as mud fever?
Rain scald causes dermatitis and is usually present along the horse’s topline (especially the loins) with the hair on affected areas resembling little paintbrushes. Scabs cause tufts of hair to become matted together, and when removed, they reveal sore skin underneath. Further secondary infection may result as the skin is weakened.
Affected areas need to be cleaned with Malaseb, diluted hibiscrub or similar and horses should be kept dry and free from mud and application of topical antibacterial will speed recovery. Remember that infection can be spread through contaminated grooming kits, so keep any brushes used for the affected horse separate. In severe cases a course of antibiotics may also be required.
Rainscald can sometimes be confused with ringworm (which is a fungal infection) so it is worth getting a proper diagnosis from your vet to ensure that your horse can be made comfortable, and so that you don’t waste time or money on the wrong treatment.