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How to Spot Skin Problems in Horses

Horses can get many skin conditions that can affect their performance. While it’s not difficult to spot skin conditions in horses, understanding the gravity of the situation and getting proper treatment for them is more complicated than it seems.

If you’re a horse owner, you should always stay on top of your horse’s skin problems to make sure that they stay in top condition. To that end, you should always maintain a healthy skincare routine for your horse with top-of-the-line horse skincare products that quickly treat skin conditions as they emerge. Are you looking for ways to spot skin problems in your horse? Here’s how you can detect them.


Pruritus is excessive itchiness on the surface of the horse’s skin. The itchiness becomes evident if the horse appears restless. It may also swish its tail more frequently or nibble and bite specific areas on the body. Pruritus can easily get aggravated as the horse may inflict more trauma on the skin.

Excessive Hair Loss

Excessive hair loss, also called alopecia, is one of the most telltale signs of skin problems in horses. It can happen due to infection in hair follicles on the surface of the horse’s skin or from self-trauma caused by other conditions.

Crusty Skin

Crusty skin usually appears like thick coats of dandruff on the skin. It can cause tufted or matted hair in the horse. Usually, the crustiness is caused by fungal infections that may dry up the skin. Similarly, flakes or scales on the skin are usually symptoms of other underlying conditions.

Pigmentation Changes

Pigmentation changes are also an obvious sign of skin issues. It is usually caused by inflammation of the skin. It’s mostly categorized into the following types:

  • Leucoderma which kills the pigment in the skin and hair and causes pale patches on the skin.
  • Melanosis or Melanotrichia increases the pigmentation in the hair and skin, respectively. This causes dark patches and is also a result of inflammatory skin conditions.

Close-up of horse’s nose.

Visible Lumps

Some inflammatory conditions can also cause visible lumps and nodules on the skin. These lumps may vary in size, but usually, any appearance of lumps should be investigated as they may be malignant tumors.

Disproportionate Hair Growth

Some skin conditions, such as Cushing’s disease, also cause excessive hair growth in specific patches on the horse’s body. This growth is usually followed by hormonal imbalance, especially in older ponies and horses.

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~Veterinarian Recommended