Equine Skin Conditions (part 1)

Equine Skin Conditions

Ref: TheHorse.com and Vet Pro

Equine skin conditions are often difficult to diagnose and frustrating to treat, with causes ranging from fungus to allergens to who-knows-what. Below I will cover three common equine skin conditions. Part two will follow in a couple of months.


Ringworm is a fungus that attaches itself to horses as well as humans. Ringworm lesions usually begin as small raised lumps that progress to the typical ringworm lesion.

The most common placement for ringworm is on the face, shoulders, neck, chest, or under the saddle. It’s not pretty to look at, but ringworm rarely bothers a horse. However, some horses can become itchy and may show evidence of pain.

Illness, poor nutrition, overcrowding, age and stressful environments predispose horses to infection. Young and elderly horses are more susceptible to infection. Continuous wetting of the horse’s skin e.g. sweating, washing-down can decrease the skin’s protective barrier and therefore enabling infection to occur.

Ringworm is usually a self-limiting disease and most horses recover within 1-6 months. However, it is highly contagious and spreads quickly. It is also important to note that humans can become infected by handling infected horses and contaminated tack.

The best treatment method for ringworm is to first isolate the horse to keep the fungus from spreading. Then clip the hair around the area to reduce its food source. Antifungal and/or antiseptic shampoo or ointment can be an effective way to treat the lesions, It may take a few tries to find a (natural) product that works.

Insect hypersensitivity

Tiny insects, such as mosquitoes, ants, and a variety of flies, can cause big skin problems for your horse. Insect hypersensitivity is an allergic reaction, usually to a biting insect’s saliva, and is one of the most common equine dermatological issues. Bites can result in welts and bumps at the site of penetration, but it can also lead to an outbreak of hives.

Hives / Urticaria

Hives are round, raised bumps over the body that cause the hair to stand up. They can range from the size of a nickel to several inches in diameter and can cover part or most of the body.

A breakout of hives is usually related to air-borne allergens (e.g., tree, bush, weed, or grass pollen; mold; dust; etc.); ingested allergens (e.g., feed ingredients); or vaccination or medication reactions. A breakout usually isn’t painful but might itch.

Skin health can be supported well with Homeopathy.


If you have a horse with skin issues and would like to support it with Homeopathy please feel free to contact me.


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The information contained in this website is not intended to replace guidance from your veterinarian. Bowen Therapy and Homeopathy are complementary to veterinary treatment and the general care of the animal.