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Hair loss in horse

Horse Alopecia Areata

There are a lot of reasons for horse hair loss.

The skin is the largest organ which is susceptible to a variety of diseases. Most of the time hair loss is temporary and if you provide the right treatment at the right time the coat will be restored. This will also protect the skin from further damage.

Bug bites are one of the most common reasons why horses loose hair.

There are different types of flies that are responsible for hair loss especially around their belly, thighs and tail. Horse lice feed on blood and burrow into the skin causing inflammation, itching and hair loss. Ringworm is another very contagious fungal infection which leads to crusty, scaly lesions and hair loss.

Horses also suffer from another condition very similar to ring worm called rain rot. If the stable is not maintained well and kept clean and dry then the horses suffer from another condition called scald, which also leads to a lot of hair loss. Normally horses shed their winter coats in the spring however; you will notice summer hair under the patches of shedding hair. Regularly grooming your horse and combing the mane and tail will help identify any problems that need special attention. Sometimes washing the saddle blanket with a new detergent can also lead to hair loss. Malnourishment is another factor that contributes to hair loss. Very often a malnourished horse will eat whatever hair he can reach on his own body. Horses sometimes lose their hair as they grow older, if you have an old horse you may see some hair loss in the mane and tail. But although this hair loss could be normal, it is still important to monitor your horse's health and contact the vet if something appears to be wrong.

When a horse's nutritional and hygiene needs are met it helps prevent a lot of skin problems and hair loss. A good grooming routine will help in early identification of any problems. If any, use separate grooming tools on infected horses, and always sanitize them between each use. All horses have a long, flowing mane and tail naturally, so if you notice that the hair is suddenly becoming sparse, it is important for you to get to the bottom of things. Anti-fungal and dermatological preparations should be used at the first sign of a problem. If hair loss continues or the irritation gets worse, seek veterinarian's advice immediately.

  Submitted on March 23, 2010