Cruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week-Ringworm and Hives

Dr. Rose's Remedies-Cruddy MondaysCruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week! Dr. Rose  is here to help with her weekly Skintervention. Today, we are talking about RINGWORM and HIVES


Contrary to its common name, ringworm is not a worm but a fungal infection. It assumes the form of round, crusty patches, which when removed leave reddened, scaly skin and hair that comes out in clumps. It usually appears first around areas where tack comes into contact with the skin, although the disease can be found anywhere on the body. Highly contagious, ringworm can be transmitted directly from horse to horse, or through inter-species contamination. Dogs, cats, cattle, and even people are often the hosts. It also easily adheres to inanimate objects like tack, blankets, or grooming equipment. And with the spores remaining dormant in the environment for up to a year, everything from your stall and barn to the soil in your paddock can become infected.

Like all fungi, ringworm is happiest in dark, warm, moist conditions; therefore, outbreaks generally occur in the fall and winter months when there is less sunshine and more moisture.

If you suspect that your horse has ringworm, isolate him as best as you can and call your veterinarian to make sure you have the appropriate medications to treat it. Before using a topical medication, like Dr. Rose Remedies Salve, start by clipping about a two-inch portion of hair around each outbreak so that any medicated shampoo and cream will be sure to penetrate that portion of skin most likely to become affected before the fungus is contained. Proper disposal of potentially infected, clipped hair is essential to prevent further contamination of the premises.


Hives are probably the most common immunological equine skin disorder. A systemic reaction to a number of triggers, hives is seen as localized, soft, pitting swellings most commonly found on the neck and chest, although they can appear anywhere on the body. The resulting lesions might emit a clear fluid when pierced. To identify the source is key to the elimination of the problem; however, the task might be challenging as anything from the ingredients in feed or feed supplements to insect bites to pollen, molds, or compounds found in dewormers or antibiotics are all suspect. Contact allergens can even be found in bedding; heat, light, or exercise also could be contributing factors.

If your horse has developed hives, it is best cured by removing the irritant once it is recognized. In order to do this, you or your veterinarian might have to conduct a series of tests, either by exposure to the possible cause or through intradermal testing.

Hives are symptoms and should be treated immediately even if the cause is unknown in order to prevent further skin deterioration. If the problem is not immediately resolved, a prescription for antihistamines or steroids might be needed to help speed recovery.

See you next week- Dr. Rose

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