Your horse's coat is durable and provides a great protective layer. Their coats can be beautiful and unique with many people diligently grooming them in the dry and duster summer. The winter however poses a whole other obstacle altogether: Rain Rot.
Rain rot is a bacteria infection known as Dermatophilus Congolensis. This bacteria lives on the topcoat of the horse and typically manifests in forms like matted hair, inflamed spots, and even scabs.
Scabs caused from rain rot go down into the horse's skin layers and cause pain and discomfort. You may notice irritability and sensitivity to the area of infection. Here at the Co-op we want to help you and your horse through this occurrence as quickly as possible.
To treat this the best this is to apply an antibacterial and antifungal topical treatment as quickly as possible. Depending on infection severity, it could take up to multiple weeks to treat fully so this type of infection should be treated as soon as possible.
Here are the products we have in our Snohomish and Monroe locations to treat this effectively:
Absorbine’s Fungasol: This product is great and has been our go to product here at the Co-op. It is designed for all common bacteria or fungus infection or prevention. This is made to be easy on the coat while effectively ridding the area of the infection. Shampoo is typically the most concentrated version meant to be treated and then rinsed, while the other options are great for in-between washes. Make sure to follow instructions for optimal performance out of these products.
Banixx has a spray in both large and small size depending on your animal, and this is safe for all types of animals. With a more natural remedy this is a great option for treating infection or even irritation.
Mane ‘n Tail has formulated some great options as well that are medicated and highly effective. This not only is ideal for bacterial or fungal infections like rain rot but also good for treating wounds and preventing infection. Read the instructions for these options as well to make sure dosage is correct for best performance!
Corona has put their hat in the ring for this as well and offers a topical fungicide spray that can be used for treatments of rain rot to general discomforts like girth itch and other such annoyances. This is a popular option as well to consider and can also be used for dogs in addition to your horse.
Stop by the Co-op as well and check out our large assortment of rain sheets and horse blankets at both of our locations!
Your horse's coat is not the only thing that gets affected by the rain, but so do their hooves. Horses' hooves are made up of keratin like your fingernails. They are made up of 3 layers and are very thick and hard making them strong enough to take the exercise and demands put on them by the horse.
Why do horses need hoof rimming?
These hooves continue to grow. They do this to heal and repair damaged sections of the hooves as well as to keep up with the natural wearing that wild horses would have as they cover many miles every day grinding down their hooves. In the domesticated horse who doesn’t have this wear, their hooves have to be maintained so they don’t grow too long and become dangerous or cause injury. The typical cycle a ferrier would trim the hooves would be every 6 weeks at the most (usually every 4).
Why do horses wear shoes?
Horse shoes are a more durable and consistent surface to protect the hooves and disperse weight evenly across the hoof. If the horse steps on a hard or sharp object it can cause bruising resulting in pain and even lameness. Shoes are a great choice and if done right pose no threats to the horse at all. Hooves however still must be trimmed when shoes are in use and are replaced at the time of trimming.
Even with this maintenance and care of your horses hooves, you should still be concerned with the damages that are caused by the rain. Rain creates an ideal atmosphere for bacteria to grow and result in a hugely increased rate of infections for horses hooves.
One of the more common infections contracted by horses is Thrush. This bacterial infection starts to deteriorate the frog of the hoof and in some cases if not treated can cause lameness both temporarily or permanently depending on the severity of the infection. This is not something to leave to treat itself and at both of our stores we have some great products to help you get a handle on it right away.
How do I know if my horse has thrush?
1) Temperament: Is your horse acting abnormal or irritable? Does your horse have a loss of appetite? These are signs of a problem and a discomfort that can be caused by thrush.
2) Once you check their hoof do you see any discharge? It will look black and will be concentrated typically in cracks and crevices.
3) Another sign is going to be a strong foul smell coming from the hoof.
4) There will also be obvious signs of discomfort and tenderness from the horse.
*It is important to note that there are multiple other infections and problems that horses can have so diagnosing can be tricky. Certain of the products work on other types of infections such as white line disease with a few of the products. The white line disease is always after an occurance of hoof wall separation so that is a little more obvious when that would be and the infection would appear white instead of black and would be along the outer edge of the hoof instead of the frog. The white line disease however is still a bacterial infection which is why certain thrush products are still effective. As always, contacting a vet or farrier is a great option for optimal care.
If Thrush is reasonably diagnosed, the hoof should be cleaned and dried off. Next the infection should be removed. This can cause some sight pain or discomfort to the tender area so having assistance is helpful. This is often done by a professional depending on experience and comfort.
The products we carry in our store are excellent for preventing the spread and healing in the aftermath of the thrush removal or also for preventatives that can be used all year long but especially in the wet season!
Hoof Magic Thrush Antiseptic is an excellent product that works on Thrush, White Line Disease, Seedy Toe, Abscesses, Cracked Heels, and Coronary Band. It uses Benzethonium Chloride, and Tea Tree Oil. This product is available in a 16 oz bottle.
Durasole is a well known brand and is an antibacterial and antifungal using Formalin, Tannic Acid, Povidone-Iodine, and Gentian Violet which strengthens and toughens the exfoliating sole and frog as well! The stain is to help track application and indicate when reapplication is needed. This item also works for Thrush and White Line Disease. This bottle is 4 oz.
Durvet Thrush Rid makes a great option that is long lasting and fast acting. Thrush Rid is a 2 oz. bottle but works for both treatment and prevention of Thrush using Iodine and Gentian Violet. The stain is to indicate coverage and reapplication needs.
Kopertox is an alternative option to some of the other more mainstream ones which some horse owners swear by this product and its results. This is a copper base making its longevity hard to match. It is waterproofing and protects without additional bandaging over coating. This product stains a dark green color for coverage and reapplication purposes. Can treat Thrush as a preventative or an active treatment. Not to be used on animals intended for consumption however. This bottle is 16 oz.
Absorbine’s HooFlex is a Thrush remedy that is antibacterial and antifungal using Chloroxylenol. Known for preventing and treating while still preventing the drying out of the hoof. This bottle is 12 oz. and this product doesn’t stain.
Our only powder formula available, No-Thrush is effective against Thrush and strengthens hooves and frogs. This bottle is 5.5 oz and the product uses copper salt to provide its active effectiveness against these bacterias.
Another great product that you must have in your tack supplies is the Vetericyn Hoof Care Spray. This is their Thrush remedy using Electrolyzed Alkalescent Dimethyl Carbinol. This is available in a 8 oz bottle and is effective against Thrush, White Line Disease, and Seedy Toe. The great thing about Vetericyn is that all of their products are not just antimicrobial but also promote and increase healing and repair through the use of Hypochlorous Acid. This product has a blue dye to help see coverage and reapplication needs.
Here at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-op we carry everything you need to make a mud proof area in your pasture for your horse which is going to be one of the best hoof care options you can do. Stop by and get your shavings, stall mats, EcoGreen Grid Panels or LightHoof Panels. We carry Stall Dry and Sweet PDZ as well.
Come by and talk with our staff and we’ll get you set up for success.
We’ll see you at the Co-op!