Readers Respond: Battling Rain Rot

Nearly 1,600 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Has your horse had rain rot?"

 

results of poll on rai rot

Results were as follows: 

  • No: 44.35% (699)
  • Yes, occasionally: 41.31% (651)
  • Yes, every year: 11.04% (174)
  • What is rain rot?: 3.30% (52)

All comments are listed below.

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  • Spraying dilute chlorhexidine or betadine 2-3 times a day can clear rain rot up
  • Happened during a very wet summer; used a special shampoo and spray to get rid of it.
  • "Captan" antifungal powder - its for roses but works great on horses
  • With feathers, I regularly cleanse the hoof bulbs and length of pasterns
  • School horses at a barn where I worked had it under dirty blankets
  • He only gets it when its winter
  • Regular grooming and shelter when it rains
  • She needed penicillin shots
  • My vet prescribed Otomax ointment & it worked after 6 months of failure using conventional treatment
  • Wash them with iodine or betadine scrub. Mine went away after she was moved to a real pasture.
  • Pasture free of artificial fertilizer
  • Special shampoo
  • Working a generous amount of aloe gel onto the scabs will soften them and make removal less painful
  • Microtek spray by Eqyss
  • We have lots of rain in Oregon, so we built on high ground
  • I give all the horses flax and that keeps it away
  • Once, a long time ago I think we used mineral oil
  • Clean with betadine soap and dry with hair dryer.
  • MicroTek not good.
  • Shapley’s MTG clears it up in a week
  • Shapley’s (MDG) Original
  • Diluted iodine put on each area or antibiotics if severe
  • GET A BLANKEY!!!!!
  • My horse had a bad case of it 2 years ago and I used Micro-Tek Anti-Microbial Equine Spray.
  • She had it when I bought her at auction, but with good nutrition, she overcame it and has been heal
  • we bath the horse with betadine and let it sit for 20 min for 3 days in row and then it is gone
  • We use betadine scrub in warmer weather, a mist of it in cold weather helps. All our rescues have it
  • try and keep them blanketed or dry and pick off the scabs because they will get infected, wash too
  • One horse gets it, the other never does. Listerine works pretty well.
  • Humid, moist climate = rain rot
  • Used to get it, till friend told me about Listerine
  • 1 has it now- I put bacon grease on it to grow the hair back
  • not rain rot, but mud fever yes!!!
  • I think if you take proper care, your horse won't get it.
  • iodine/betadine scrub
  • And I live in a desert
  • If you catch it early it is easy to take care of
  • My horse had it once when he was a foal, I am aware and check them in damp weather.
  • Main, Tail & Coat works great to heal it quick!
  • Apply antifungal and clean grooming supplies.
  • Never - a miracle considering we live in the Northwest!
  • It is too dry where we live to see much of that.
  • This is after living in the Pacific Northwest--a very rainy area.
  • treat with chlorhexidine then bath using medicated shampoo.
  • some seem more susceptible than others
  • After having it, my horses wear raincoats!!
  • keep the horse, and all blankets clean. Do not over-blanket. No dirt, no sweat, no rot.
  • give a betadine bath
  • I had one old horse that got it one time. Cleaned w/ betadine and put "swat" on. it went away.
  • clohlin dioxid
  • We keep them in at night plus they have trees to be under during the day
  • He is kept in during foul weather; groomed daily & checked for wounds
  • I have an older horse,5 yrs ago she had it all over the saddle area! Has been down front of legs.
  • Washed her with iodine shampoo to clear it up.
  • I keep them blanketed in the heavy rain season. They also have trees and shelter if they want.
  • Use MTG
  • Iodine baths
  • When my mare was is Queensland, AUS and she did not have shelter. No reoccurrence since then.
  • none of my 8 horses has ever had rain rot.
  • We have shelters for our horses to get under.
  • We feed all our horses twice a day. That way we handle all of them, and check health issues.
  • keep affected area washed with benedine and pick off bumps. I apply medicine from my vet after,
  • I've had rescued horses with it, I gave Betadine baths daily for 30--45 days to clear it.
  • mix one part bleach four parts water! works great! bleach will also get rid of thrush !
  • pour Listerine 2 times/day
  • Brush all mud off your horse to minimize rain rot. Mud holds moisture and microorganisms.
  • scissors trim, wash w/betadine, apply Listerine
  • scrub with iodine using a toothbrush
  • Shampoo with iodine shampoo
  • 30 yr old mare is a late shedder and gets it every year
  • Mostly in winter/fall when wet. I like Equix brand spot medicated spray - a wonder "drug"
  • Brush, brush, brush!
  • we have a Clyde and have to trim his feathers in the summer
  • Proper Grooming and Shelter will prevent that every time...Wet South Florida Resident
  • my mare always wears a rain sheet when the weather is wet. I always make sure she stays dry!
  • betadine scrub, but you must get the scabs off for it to be effective
  • Only once, horse was boarded in another state
  • white vinegar--straight
  • Brush, wash, dry - REPEAT!
  • Anything with Teatree Oil really helps
  • from humidity, use diluted bleach water or foot rot and dab on spots or bathe in when warms up.
  • I keep my horses groomed and not in wet mud all the time , even though they are outside horses,
  • MTG and Apple Cider Vinegar
  • the price we pay to live in the damp northeast
  • Missing Link supplement boosted her immune system; cleared up the rain rot
  • During muddy season I put a water proof sheet on her and that helps
  • MTG works fantastic, we often have rescues come in with rain rot
  • Only once. Bathing on regular schedule and not sharing brushes has kept my horses free from this.
  • One gets it every year, the others only very rarely.
  • I fought with rain rot in the rainy season in Washington State. so we moved to Montana were it's dry
  • My horse is always rugged
  • Bedadine scrub is about the only way we've found to get it off of horses that had it...
  • My horse had a mild case of this when I brought him
  • betadine scrub and coat dressing to prevent hair clumping
  • Had 1 mare when we lived in CA that was chronic, no cases since moving to AZ
  • i brush them out after it rains & it seems to help
  • Luckily, NOT!
  • Eqyss MicroTek worked the best! I tried witch hazel, but I didn't seem to work. TMG worked well.
  • use iodine based shampoo
  • When I bought him he had the worst case I ever saw. It took about two weeks to clear it up.
  • Listerine Gold & Baby Oil works!
  • The best treatment I have used is tincture of iodine buffered with baby oil to prevent blistering
  • Only when we lived in the Pacific Northwest!
  • In Aust. called rain scald. Rained Nov to Feb & most got it, greasy heel & hoof wall separation
  • We use the same medicine used to treat heifers when they have mastititis, (Udder Treatment)
  • It's disgusting. I pick off the scabs & bathe in expensive shampoo from vet - eventually it works.
  • Have had luck feeding them Platinum Performance and last year problem was minimal.
  • it doesn't rain here
  • It is a rare thing at my barn, thank goodness. Love that MTG!
  • soak scabs with warm dilute iodine solution, towel thoroughly, apply tea tree oil
  • MTG....works well
  • Make sure horses can stay dry and don't share grooming items
  • 2 out my 5 horses get it; the others don't. No difference in pasture mgmt.
  • even in the desert with negative dew points she manages to get scruffy!
  • I have one horse that just developed it.
  • Only the one I saved from slaughter off a feedlot
  • the tb I just had it bad last year but it was the 1st yr in his life without a blanket too
  • Shapley's M-T-G works really well. It's greasy and doesn't smell good, but it works on rain rot.
  • lorox with shampoo
  • daily grooming takes care of their skin so they dont get it
  • Shampoo with betadine
  • 50/50 mixture of babyoil and wintergreen rubbing alcohol. Spray on.
  • keep ashelter for your horse and be sure its dry grooming a few days aweek
  • A mare I had recently adopted came to us with a case of rain rot. Cleared up in about a week.
  • MY VET USES CAPTAN, A FUNGICIDE POWDER FROM A GARDEN SHOP
  • I keep my horse clean.
  • i see most rainrot on horses that are not being looked after properly
  • I make my own treatment mix that works better than any OTC. most folk remadies DONT work on worsen
  • Never had any problems, ever
  • never had it before, then 3 had it at once on left sides, haven't since
  • MG30 works wonders
  • My horse is a TB . She had alot of trouble with rainrot when she was young, but not now as an adult.
  • Worst case, thick winter hair was shaved in bad areas, scrubbed w/betadine, rinsed and kept dry.
  • Wash area with betadyne surgical scrub and use a topical fungicide daily.
  • Shapely's MTG and lots of curry time!
  • I live in the South
  • SHAPLEY'S MTG is the ONLY thing that works
  • Keep their backs clean.
  • Maybe a spot or two, but rare.
  • Rarely now, eliminate dirty skin & excessive exposure to wet
  • i use a 10 to 1 bleach solution and wash all tack with Simple Green.
  • I use betadine shampoo every day for 1 week.
  • I had a mare and foal pair that got it almost every year.
  • I use bacon grease on it. The salt heals and the grease keeps it soft so hair grows back fast.
  • I tried Banixx, a new product. This stuff works! And, it does not sting or smell!!!
  • Seems to affect my older horses more; our summer weather is high humidity; nothing has cured it.
  • vaseline
  • Scrubbed like Hell with Betadine, then bought Straight Arrow's spray for skin infections
  • Neosporin clears it up.
  • MTG works great!
  • Only had it in newly acquired horses--the best prevention is good quality nutrition all the time
  • To prevent rain rot on legs, wash, rinse, apply baby oil to hair. Also loosens scabs!
  • Keep him clean and allow time for dry-out after turn-out
  • In the south, rain rot is a recurring problem. With healthy horses it resolves itself .
  • Tried everything.Rubbing bag balm on affected areas has worked best.Only a couple of spots/year now.
  • We get almost 80 inches of rain a year. Good horse care will prevent rain rot.
  • BLEACH WATER
  • KEEP COAT BRUSHED DRY AFTER RAIN AND ALWAYS WHERE HAIR HOLDS MOISTURE. USE RAIN ROT SHAMPOO.
  • Last fall was bad, one horse was covered w/ it! Tuff to bathe w/Betadine in Oct-Nov!SMZ-TMP helped
  • Have never had one of my horses get rain rot. My horses are brushed at least weekly.
  • Baby rash ointment works really well on rain rot, if you pick off the scabs and then put desitin on
  • I live in very arid country w/ very little rainfall
  • never ever has my horse has rain rot ....
  • I use MTG, Pure Oxygen, or Listerine/coconut oil/peroxide combo. All work great & are cheap.
  • My vet made a custom mix of Burrows (cortozone) solution, Gentocin and Lidocaine which works great.
  • We get 11-14" of precipitation in a wet year and the humidity is usually below 20%.
  • poper diet and mineral balance
  • Rescued horse from meat pen had severe rainrot - good old Listerine & lots & lots of care to fix
  • I mix a small spoonful of rose fungicide with shampoo and it clears up the rain rot instantly.
  • Keep coat clean, if rainrot develops spray with Tinactin fungus spray.
  • I use MTG a product of Shapley . It lasts several dsys and you do not have to wash the horse before
  • Only 1 horse in my herd 1 time so far
  • only around her ears where the halter aggravated it
  • until we moved from Ohio to arizona. Now they don't get it at all.
  • always every day all day
  • They have shelter or I stall whe heavy rains come - its easier to clean a stall than treat rain rot
  • had it when I bought him. no rain rot since.
  • An inj of a dual pcn or two will cure it
  • keep them from standing in mud
  • the only white horse I owned; I think whites are more suseptible;no other colors ever got it
  • Weladol shampoo from a vet.
  • only one year when sudden rains after long drought
  • If not treated, it's hard to get rid of.
  • Every spring we fight it. We have draft horses that love the rain.
  • My horses are out (with available shelter shed) 24/7; no rain rot.
  • Daliy grooming.
  • clean area gently with dish detergent; when dry, apply Vaseline petroleum jelly liberally to area
  • TMG works well
  • essential lavender oil diluted in water and rubbed into the areas
  • when my gelding first arrived he has the worst case i have ever seen- not a since trace since then-
  • in a really wet Spring or Fall some horses are just going to get it-and some won't!
  • Remove all scabs. If tightly adhered, apply 1:1 mineral oil/Betadine
  • I use listerens nonfavored mouth wash on it
  • Brush it off and use MTG
  • one cap ful of Dreft laundry detergent in bucket of warm water, apply to horse on affected area, lea
  • very rare- never when the horses wore GoreTex turnouts. Even if put on a wet horse as moisture evap
  • both my mare and filly have it, but neither of my 2 geldings do
  • I use a product called CleanAway Wash. Its 100% natural. Eliminates bacteria and fugus. Works fast.
  • 50% Listerien 50% Water mixed in a spray bottle
  • Eqyss micro tech shampoo is th only thing I have tried that really works. It is great!
  • Tea tree oil spray seems to stop it quickest
  • 3Yearlings had it after a rainy year. 1 mare after the first rain.
  • We had it often in wet TN but not now in dry Central Oregon
  • Vinegar Bath & remove from rain!
  • We have a mustang mare that would not come in when we first got her and had rain rot once.
  • Once
  • It's quickly handled with aggressive treatment.
  • Winter rain rot is the worst!
  • Thankfully, I have never had to deal with this condition but I know how to recognize it happens
  • we have had our mare for 20 years now and never seen it
  • treat with fungicide for athlete's foot
  • One had fungal infection-took 8 mos to clear, hasn't returned. Don
  • Captain works well, mixed with water
  • One bad case....now I'm into prevention. MTG, Gold Bond Powder, Hose mud off - do not brush wet mud
  • Ikeep my horses dry and groom when I can every week ,that way you can check for injuries and things
  • Be sure the horse gets to be dry at night.
  • scrub severe affected areas every few days with an antifungal shampoo
  • In 2006 the whole field of mares got it!
  • Only once during an especially wet spring.
  • we house 36 horses, this winter we had none some winters 1-2 we are using more rain sheets to good
  • turnout blankets prevent rain rot
  • Our horses' scratches responded to clotrimazole, hydrocortisone and triple antibiotic mixed
  • i rescued a horse that had it, i used a soap with tea tree oil and cleared it up easy
  • I'm not in an area of the country where this is likely to be a problem.
  • inspect often, treat early for best results
  • My horses are all aimed at the show pen, only out in good weather and stalled at night.
  • came with it when we bought them, never again with us
  • Try to keep dry, don't groom out tufts until they are loose
  • My mare used to get it every spring, but then we dug a trench through our property to bring down wat
  • MTG- best ever for rain rot- one or two applications max
  • ARes, my rescued Arabian, had rain rot that I treated with an iodine solution.
  • listerine and baby oil combo; put in spray bottle or rub on with a a rag, don't wash out
  • Nolvasan shampoo with a good scrub. Towel dry. Keep horse drie and clean. eventually heals. No m
  • baby oil first then listerine and badadine
  • My mare had one mild episode treated with Povidine iodine scrub and was clear within 7-10 days
  • I live in Colorado so its not rainy at all here, so luckily no rain rot problems at all here!
  • I apply betadine and the skin problem goes away.
  • If u brush your horses on a regular basis it reduses the instances
  • MTG and Crudzapper work the best. We live in FLA and battle the rain rot often with thoroughbreds.
  • Once, ten years ago. Since then, I make sure to fluff up his coat after it has dried.
  • It seems to have a genetic property. My youngsters that usually get it are o/o a mare that is prone
  • Vinegar
  • I bought a Arab mare that had rain rot. I used a special shampoo the vet gave me and got rid of it.
  • When I was in SE FL but not since I moved to NW SC 10 years ago.
  • cleared it for my horse, was Malaseb (sp?) shampoo I got from my small animal vet. follow directions
  • White Lightning gel from Grand Circuit took care of it in 3 applications! Awesome stuff!
  • We take in rescues, most have it, wash in Betadine scrub and spray with show sheen mixed w/ Fugison
  • I have 3 horses & none have ever had rain rot.
  • Just once in his 32 years!
  • Try to keep coat scrupulously clean especially in winter, treat immediately with iodine wash
  • But he battles scratches and lymphangitis.
  • We groom every other day at least a curry comb to keep the long winter hair fluffy and loose.
  • I keep my horse inside during incrimate weather
  • It's a frustrating occurance every year on both hind legs
  • I've found that Eqyss Micro Tek works great on any skin condition.
  • Ugh! I hate that stuff!
  • I do believe it is an internal problem that makes rain rot occur. Probiotics work great for this
  • when we lived on the west coast it was a problem...a barn and blankets were a necessity!
  • I used a rain sheet to keep him dry and brushed his coat with a dog brush.
  • Shepleys MTG
  • brush them often this way you can spot it right away.
  • Shapley's MTG works very well.
  • by my neighbors horse has had it!
  • USE SHRINERS AND/OR ATHLETES FOOT POWDER
  • But they've had mud fever and Magic Stuff by EQUItelligent it the best. It works on rain rot too.
  • I have more than one horse. Some get it and others don't
  • Just once when we rescued him he had a bad case of it we treated it with iodine and water solution
  • I use diluted nolvasan and rub it into the spots (no rinsing). This clears it up in about 10 days
  • Thoroughly groom the area and then brush on a 50/50 mix of betadine and water for several days.
  • thankfully, no
  • just once, thank goodness!
  • Each has it once and tea tree oil cleared it right up.
  • blankets that are truely breathable and not too hot,keeping horse clean,making sure horse is dry bef
  • we have had it but not very bad and it usually goes away when the sun comes out
  • bleach and water spray on grooming tools and or betidine on rain rot areas
  • groom your horse often, washing off any accumulated mud and use betadyne on any suspicious spots
  • Nolvasan cleared the problem best for me.
  • I have bought a horse with rain rot and it was horrible to fix
  • No, we live in Texas, please send some rain this way
  • bring them in at night to dry out
  • Had 1 case: used Captan on it. healed in a week.
  • i started keeping a waterproof sheet on him until his skin completely healed
  • I provide a shelter and it doesn't rain much in CA
  • betadine scrubs
  • some horses seem to get it easier than others. Much less since feeding horse shine
  • don't keep horses in western washington
  • It is imperative to keep your horse clean & dry-RESPONSIBILITY comes first
  • Just 1 out of 3 horses had it!
  • A handful of GROUND FLAX daily will keep the coat and skin healthy even during winter weather.
  • Florida Weather :-(
  • If your horse has rain rot, your not paying enough attention and not grooming your horse properly.
  • Take proper care of your horse.
  • It responded quickly to treatment and is not a serious problem.
  • It's a constant battle for us - Microtek gel has given us the best results so far
  • shapley's works best!
  • Good grooming will prevent this.
  • no, but 1 I bought had it, used Lotrimin jock itch cream twice daily & it cleared right up
  • Healing Tree Products Tclenz shampoo
  • part of living in the southeast!!
  • Micro Tec works well - Always Wash the brushes you use on that horse between groomings
  • betadine scrub when we can bathe him, and betadine solution to leave on when we can't bathe him.
  • spraying/putting listerine (or off brand) on it helps kill the bacteria that cause it, so it clears
  • If you keep your horse groomed you shouldn't have that problem right?
  • Wet South Florida, we're lucky our horses don't mildew!
  • Banixx is the best, spray liberally against the direction of the hair, 2-3 days, it's magic!!
  • Use EQYSS Microtek Shampoo and Microtek Spray. It works in humid climates !
  • Only seemed to happen when he was a 0 to 2 years old. Now, no problem.
  • autumn. Nasty!
  • Not Yet
  • Brush hair backwards, spray with Banixx, keep horse dry.
  • Regular grooming helps, also keeping the horse blanketed
  • Was with iodine soap daily to rid of the rot, and dry the horse off when he comes in out of the rain

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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