Dealing with Equine Dandruff
Whether you compete in shows or not, getting your horse's coat shiny and healthy looking should be a given. Daily grooming is not only an essential part of ensuring the coat is in tip-top condition, but it can also improve the condition and health of the skin. A glossy coat can be an important indicator of the the horse's condition and overall health.
Despite regular coat care and bathing, when grooming your horse you may notice large, white or discolored waxy flakes of skin in the hair of the coat. This is most likely to be a condition called primary seborrhea, better known as dandruff! So, should you be reaching for the Head and Shoulders? Not necessarily. In many cases, over-bathing and shampooing can make this condition worse, and you should instead rely on careful management of diet and your horse’s coat to limit the amount of visible flakes and reduce the overall shedding of the skin. (Over bathing can also compromise the hardness of your horse's feet, creating additional potential problems.)
What is primary seborrhea? The cause of primary seborrhea is unknown – it is idiopathic (of unknown origin), in most cases and does not cause itching, soreness or pain. In fact, the horse is probably completely unaware of the condition. In the majority of cases, dandruff is completely harmless. When there are any signs of itching or irritation this may point to an underlying known as secondary seborrhea, which may be a symptom of an infection or chronic condition. If you notice the dandruff suddenly worsens or the appearance of other symptoms, consult your veterinarian.
Primary seborrhea can be either dry or oily:
How can I combat primary seborrhea?
It is very difficult to completely remove all the dandruff from a horse’s coat. Horses who are prone to the condition may be prone to further episodes throughout their lives. It is more common in certain breeds such as drafty breeds horses with "feathery legs," Arabs and Thoroughbred with thin skin and short coats. Nevertheless, we have pulled together some ideas to minimize your horse's dandruff:
For more tips on grooming and horse care come back here to Spalding again soon.
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