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Rain Scald

Updated: Dec 26, 2023



Rain scald, also known as rain rot or dermatophilosis, is a common skin condition that can affect horses. It is caused by a bacterium called Dermatophilus congolensis. Here's a simple explanation for beginners:


Imagine your horse getting wet in the rain and then not drying properly. This creates a perfect environment for tiny bacteria to thrive on the skin. These bacteria cause an infection known as rain scald.


Here's how it happens:

  1. Wet Conditions: When a horse's skin stays wet for a prolonged period, like during heavy rain or if they're sweating a lot, it weakens the skin's protective barrier.

  2. Bacterial Invasion: The bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis take advantage of this weakened skin and invade the hair follicles and outer layers of the skin.

  3. Symptoms: You'll notice small scabs, crusts, or raised bumps on your horse's skin, especially along the back, neck, and rump. These scabs can make the horse's coat look rough and uneven.

  4. Transmission: Rain scald is not directly contagious between horses, but it can spread through contaminated grooming tools, tack, or blankets.

  5. Prevention: To prevent rain scald, make sure your horse has access to shelter during wet weather, and always dry them off thoroughly if they get wet. Regular grooming helps to remove dirt and dead skin cells, reducing the risk of infection.

  6. Treatment: If your horse does get rain scald, the affected areas need to be kept clean and dry. Your veterinarian may recommend medicated shampoos or topical treatments to help clear up the infection.

Remember, good horse care practices, including keeping them dry and clean, go a long way in preventing rain scald and other skin issues.


What can you do?

  1. Tuffrock Poultice will soothe the skin and help heal the infection while protecting the skin from the elements.

  2. Tuffrock Conditioner Plus, creates healthy skin and hair that is more resistant to bacterial infection!

  3. Equine Super Goo Topical Cream, heals and soothes skin and kills the bacteria.


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