Most horse owners are aware that scratching, hair loss and open wounds are tell-tale signs of an underlying skin problem. While there are many skin diseases that can affect horses, managing skin problems is generally easy.

Skin disease or irritation can cause distress. To relieve that suffering, we offer dermatological testing and treatment that can help your horse live comfortably. In trying to diagnose and treat skin disorders, your role as a horse owner is essential. Discovering what causes flare-ups and irritation will primarily be your job. Pay attention to your horse’s reaction after eating, playing outside, and interacting with other animals. During your appointment, the veterinarian will discuss your observations to determine a series of laboratory tests that will help diagnose or treat your horse’s skin issues.

Common dermatological issues for horses:

  • “Lumps and bumps”
  • “Scratches” or pastern dermatitis
  • Insect bite hypersensitivity
  • Skin cancers such as equine sarcoids, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas
  • Hair loss
  • Parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infections
  • Skin allergies caused by contact, environment, or food
  • Auto-immune disorders

What does treatment involve?

Our veterinarian will work with you and your horse to determine a treatment plan that is manageable. Trying to find the best method of therapy is an ongoing process that may take several attempts in order to discover an effective treatment.

To help with diagnosis, we may perform the following tests to supplement our initial prognosis of your horse’s condition:

Biopsies – A biopsy is often performed to diagnose various skin cancers and autoimmune skin disorders. A biopsy is executed by sampling or removing the affected portions of the skin and sending out the sample out to special labs for processing.

Allergy Testing – The intention of performing allergy testing is to discover exactly which allergens your horse reacts to. To perform the test, a blood sample is taken, and sent out for allergy testing.

If you have any questions about horse dermatology or think your horse might have a skin condition, contact our office today.