Feeds for rain scald, mycotic dermatitis in horses
Rain scald is a condition caused by the actinomycetes organism called Dermatophilus congolensis. Actinomycetes is not a bacteria, nor a fungus, however behaves like both a bacteria and a fungus. This condition occurs mainly when the skin is continually wet, hence the name.
Feeding for rain scald
The organism that causes rain scald grows best under anaerobic conditions, ie in the absence of oxygen, as will occur when the skin is continually wet, or under the dry scabs caused by the condition. Successful treatments involve elimination of the organism by hygiene, cleaning the infected areas, and maintaining good skin condition.
The Stance Equine Feeding System is based on feeds contain coconut oil and MCT in the oil. MCT have been shown to have an effect on dermatitis and skin conditions in humans. These feeds include
- CoolStance and PowerStance contain MCT in the coconut oil. The oil may have an effect on maintaining coat condition.
What is Rain Scald?
Rain scald, also known as rain rot, mud fever or mycotic dermatitis, is a microbial skin infection that causes sores and scabbing along a horse's body, usually concentrated on the back, rump and legs. These organisms grow under anaerobic conditions, ie in the lack of oxygen. They form lesions and scabs that cause irritation. This generally occurs under wet and humid conditions and high temperatures, where the skin does not effectively dry. The rain washes the protective oils from the coat, leaving it unprotected against these organisms.
Rain scald is usually a relatively minor problem, provided that it receives immediate treatment, and the infectious organisms are stopped from spreading. The infection is spread by either rolling in mud, direct contact between horses, or transmission by stable and house flies carrying the organism from the skin lesions of infected horses.
Treatments for rain scald.
- Keep the horse in a dry, clean, well ventilated area. Protect against biting insects.
- Separate the horse from any others that also have rain rot.
- Use an antimicrobal shampoo to remove all the scabs and lesions. Continue this for daily for 1 week.
- Select feeds that provide oil to maintain coat and skin condition, and oils containing MCT