Skin Diseases in Horses

For many horse owners, the most common skin diseases in horses are from sunburn and melanoma which is genetic. Other environmental skin conditions like culicoides hypersensitivity occur from biting insects called midges that result in open wounds. Sarcoids are benign tumors that often grow back. A more serious skin disease from environmental causes is Pemphigus Foliaceus. The cause of this condition is not known but it is believed to be from insect bite hypersensitivity. It is important for owners to know which of these skin condition their horse has. This way it can be treated properly and have a prevention treatment plan in place.

Genodermatoses is a skin condition due to genetic reasons rather than environmental causes. A mare will pass on this gene to its foal through a process called Mendelian genetics. The four genodermatoses conditions discovered through research included some interesting findings.

4 Genetic Skin Diseases

  1. Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA)- hyper extensible skin that scar
  2. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB)- causes the skin to blister from friction and light contact
  3. Hoof wall separation syndrome- separation of the dorsal hoof wall at the front of the foot from the underlying structures
  4. Incontinentia pigmenti- hair loss and lack of skin pigmentation

One of the best ways to manage horses skin health is to find out whether your horse has any of these conditions. This way you and your veterinarian can determine a plan for future matings and have a preventative plan for those affected horses. Preventative measures include checking for insect bites, sunburn, rain rot, and parasites. One of the best ways to boost your horse’s skin health is to make sure their diet is full of the essential nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water) needed to maintain a healthy horse.

Stampede Premium’s Pellets and Hay Cubes products have the right amount of these nutrients needed to help your horse perform at its peak and maintain healthy skin. Stampede Premium has been offering the best quality equine hay and equine products since 1995.


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