Horse with Skin Problems
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Rich Mackey
Posted on: July 31, 1998

I have a horse who is having skin problems. She constantly itches and as a result has damaged her coat. I have not had much success with controlling this problem using special shampoos etc. I have used herbs on other horses for different reasons and found much success. I was wondering if there was anything to help my horse with skin problems.

Does the horse have an allergy? Are parasites or fungi involved? These need to be ascertained with the help of your veterinarian.

According to Juliette de Bairacli Levy, author of "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" (available from Richters), a horse that is suffering from skin ailments, even those involving parasites, are often what she calls "constitutional". By this she means when horses are not well-fed and well-kept they can develop these kind of seemingly intractable skin problems. You need to eliminate this as a possibility.

For ringworm, a fungal infection, de Bairacli Levy recommends lemon juice, which, she says, "hardens and then seals off the air from the ringworm fungus."

Some herbs well known to be effective on human skin may well work for horses also. Tea tree oil is very effective against fungal problems. Several repeat applications may be necessary. Always, when trying something new to your animals, apply to a small area first to be sure that there is no adverse reaction or discomfort.

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