Why Is My Horse Losing Hair? (Solved)

Horses lose hair because of insects, bacteria, skin infections, heat, medical conditions, or allergies. Horses also itch and rub irritated areas creating bald spots. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary and can affect specific areas or include the entire body.

How to treat hair loss in horses?

  • a thin or scraggly horse tail due to root damage on the tailbone.
  • bald patches caused by friction,such as patches that appear underneath your saddle,breast collar,bridle,halter,etc.
  • Bald patches that appear on other places on the horse’s coat.
  • Horses that develop scabs which create small scars where hair can’t grow.

What causes hair loss on horses?

Hair loss in the horse can be caused by something simple, such as environment and temperature, or it can be caused by an infectious skin disease, such as ringworm (fungus) that invades the hair follicles of the skin; dermatophilosis, a superficial bacterial skin disease; or be the result of scratching due to an

Can horses lose hair due to stress?

Some horses vary from the normal pattern, growing hair at regular times but soon losing it over some areas of the body. Stress and/or fever can also cause hair loss (telogen effluvium). An important cause of hair coat abnormalities in older horses is pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (equine Cushing’s disease).

Can worms cause hair loss in horses?

In some cases, these lesions may become infected and pruritic leading to crusting, ulcers, hair loss and depigmentation. The larvae of the spirurid stomach worms cause non-healing lesions to develop. If your horse is suffering from this condition you may notice reddish brown, skin granulomas.

Why is my horse’s hair coming out in clumps?

Skin diseases resulting in hair loss are common in horses and result from a variety of causes including trauma and bacterial or fungal infections. Certain conditions cause hair to come off in crusts or clumps, leaving exposed areas of pink inflamed skin.

How do I get my horse’s hair to grow back?

These 9 simple steps will put your horse’s mane on the road to re-growth in no time at all.

  1. Find The Root Of The Problem.
  2. Choosing The Right Rugs.
  3. Nutrition – Feed and Supplements.
  4. Get Plaiting!
  5. Avoid This When Riding…
  6. Mane Conditioning Products.
  7. No Grease, No Loss!
  8. Remove The Neck-Rubbing Source.

How do you treat alopecia in horses?

Mares that have loss hair during pregnancy and lactation may be given supplements; usually this type of alopecia is temporary. Removal of any crusty scabs will help the skin heal. The horse will need to be washed with an antimicrobial shampoo, and patted dry each time.

What does mange look like on a horse?

The signs of demodectic mange in horses can include patchy hair loss and scaling or skin lumps. Signs appear on the face, neck, shoulders, and forelimbs. There is no itching, so secondary infections do not occur. Treatment is not often done, and lesions can resolve without treatment.

What promotes hair growth in horses?

Zinc, biotin, protein (and the specific amino acid methionine), and fatty acids from dietary fat (such as vegetable oil and rice bran) are all necessary for hair growth. Most of these substances are found in the leading commercial hoof supplements on the market.

What is rain rot on horses?

Rain rot, also called rain scald or dermatophilosis, is a skin infection caused by a bacterium known as Dermatophilus congolensis. Living on the horse’s skin, D. congolensis is mostly dormant, but under wet conditions, this bacterium can cause an inflammatory infection resulting in lesions along your horse’s skin.

What are the signs of ringworm in horses?

Symptoms of Ringworm in Horses

  • Ring-shaped lesion (although it can appear in other shapes too)
  • Round, bald patches.
  • Affected skin dry and scaly.
  • Size of lesions vary.
  • Usually not associated with itchiness.

What are the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in horses?

Clinical signs include increased coat length and delayed shedding of the winter coat, laminitis, lethargy, increased sweating, weight loss and excessive drinking and urinating. The disease primarily affects those over the age of 10, with 19 being the average age at diagnosis.

What is Cushing disease in horses?

Equine Cushing’s disease is a complex progressive disease of the pituitary gland of middle age to older horses. The pituitary gland is a small structure located at the base of the brain which produces hormones that regulate many body functions.

What is selenium toxic horses?

Selenium toxicity is more often a chronic condition. The chronic signs of selenium toxicity are characterized by hair loss of the mane and tail, cracking of the hooves, and often signs of lameness, excess salivation, and respiratory failure. Severe overdose of selenium can lead to death.

Does my horse have Cushings?

Signs of Cushing’s syndrome include: Failure or later shedding of the winter coat that may become really long, matted and curly especially around the legs. Excessive sweating. Increased drinking and urination.

Hair Loss in Horses – The Horse

You can see your horse’s inner health reflected in his coat, which gives you a glint of pride in your eyes as you admire him. The inevitable nicks and scratches will impair that flawless finish, but what about the instances when chunks of your horse’s hair have been missing? Hair loss in horses, commonly known as alopecia, may be a troublesome management matter, mostly due to the fact that the reasons for its development are so many and diverse in nature. Finding the source of skin problems is frequently a detective’s exercise in deductive reasoning.

Examine some of the more frequent disorders that might result in bald spots on your horse’s coat in this section.

Itchy and Missing Hair

Itching, also known as pruritus, causes hair loss that is caused by oneself. While observing your horse’s overall behavior to determine whether or not he is scratching himself, you should also examine his skin for any signs of an itchy condition that would indicate a problem. The presence of broken hairs raises the possibility that the horse is clawing the hair away. Reddened skin or small scabs are not always associated with itching, although they may be caused by the rubbing process.

Biting Gnats

One of the most common causes of pruritus is an allergic dermatitis induced by hypersensitivity to biting gnats (Culicoides), often known as biting midges or “no-see-ums,” which is caused by hypersensitivity to biting gnats (Culicoides). A skin condition in horses called as Queensland itch or summer itch is caused by the gnats, which is related with periods of high insect activity throughout the year. The existence of these gnats in your horse’s habitat has a lot to do with the environment in which he lives.

  1. These bugs prefer to nibble on the delicate skin of the belly, inner thighs, poll, mane, withers, and tailhead, which are all vulnerable areas.
  2. The obvious sight of your horse’s tail becoming increasingly “rat tail” in appearance will serve as an early warning sign that something is seriously wrong.
  3. The mane is frequently damaged and bald as well.
  4. As time goes on, vulnerable horses tend to grow more sensitive to the bites; the condition worsens as the horse engages in more aggressive self-excoriation (abrasion away) of the skin, resulting in bigger patches of hair loss on the affected area.
  5. The horses should be stalled, especially during the early morning and late evening hours, when the gnats are most active in their eating.
  6. Insecticide spray-misters can also assist in lowering the quantity of gnats on the ground surface.
  7. When given on a frequent basis to sensitive parts of the horse, permethrin-containing insect sprays can be quite beneficial.
  8. Although appropriate management and pest control tactics are essential in treating the illness, some horses may require systemic treatment of corticosteroids and/or hydroxyzine to reduce the allergic response.

Depending on the severity of the situation, a seriously impacted horse might need to be transported to a different site where there is no standing water or gnat breeding grounds.


In addition to allergic dermatitis, biting gnats (Culicoides), often known as biting midges or “no-see-ums,” are one of the most prevalent causes of pruritus. Biting gnats (Culicoides) are one of the most common sources of pruritus in children. A skin condition in horses called as Queensland itch or summer itch is caused by the gnats, which is connected with periods of increased insect activity throughout the summer months. The presence of these gnats in your horse’s habitat is greatly influenced by the surrounding environment.

  1. Typically, these parasites like to feast on the delicate skin of the belly, inner thighs, poll area, mane area, withers area, and tailhead of horses.
  2. The obvious sight of your horse’s tail becoming increasingly “rat tail” in appearance will serve as a first indicator that anything is seriously wrong.
  3. Also frequently disfigured and stripped of its hair, the mane has been shorn.
  4. As time goes on, vulnerable horses tend to grow more sensitive to the bites; the condition worsens as the horse engages in more aggressive self-excoriation (abrasion away) of the skin, resulting in bigger regions of hair loss on the affected body parts.
  5. The horses should be stalled, especially during the early morning and late evening hours, when the gnats are most active.
  6. It is also possible to reduce the quantity of gnats by using insecticide sprayers.
  7. When sprayed on a frequent basis to vulnerable parts of the horse, permethrin-containing insect sprays can be beneficial.
  8. Excellent management and pest control tactics are essential in the treatment of this illness, but some horses may require systemic injection of corticosteroids and/or hydroxyzine to reduce the allergic response.

Horn Fly Dermatitis

It is believed that the horn fly bites horses to receive a blood meal, which causes the horses to become itchy and itch.

On the side of the neck or the underbelly of the horse affected by this condition, patches of hair loss will emerge. Effective fly control techniques are essential, and anti-inflammatory corticosteroid ointments can help to reduce localized irritation and hair loss.

Lice Infestation (Pediculosis)

Despite the fact that liceby themselves do not cause instant hair loss, they do produce a great deal of pruritus in the horse, which causes the horse to scratch itself constantly. Hair loss is a side effect of scratching on a regular basis. Check the hairs of your horse to check if there are any lice marching through them to determine whether they have been infected with lice. If you have a magnifying glass, it will be very helpful in your visual search; pay close attention to regions behind the mane as well as the shoulders, back, and base of the tail.

  • These would be biting lice that were fleeing away from the light in a hurry.
  • The good news is that lice are species-specific, and while a wandering louse may stroll across your skin in search of a new host, it will immediately return to the safety of horse skin once it finds a suitable host.
  • The treatment of your horse consists in washing him with proper medicated shampoo solutions that are particularly aimed for louse treatment.
  • Lice are unable to multiply or live under high body surface temperatures, which are more common during the warmer months of the year.
  • You should also use pesticides to clean the horse’s tack and grooming equipment to ensure that he does not become infected again after a successful treatment.
  • Stressors such as overpopulation, poor nutrition, and poor environmental cleanliness create an atmosphere conducive to lice proliferation.


The condition of mange in horses in the United States is uncommon, but it should be considered in any horse that is itchy and losing hair. There are various sorts, each of which is called by the type of mange mite that is responsible for it. In draft-type breeds, mange mites prefer to live in the mane, forelock, base of the tail, or long feathers on the legs of the animals. Chorioptic mange mites also have a preference for long leg hairs, which they feed on. Demodectic mange is a rare occurrence in horses, and it is most commonly observed in immunocompromised individuals.

Skin scrapings from horses must be examined under a microscope in order to determine whether they have mange. It is advised that you use ivermectin in conjunction with topical application of powerful medicines that should be purchased from your veterinarian in order to effectively treat mange mites.

Missing Hair, No Itching

The condition of mange in horses in the United States is uncommon, but it should be examined if the horse is itchy and shedding hair in significant amounts. Each kind is called by the type of mange mite that is responsible for the condition they are associated with. A common location for psoroptic mange mites on draft-type breeds is in their manes, forelocks, tail bases, and long feathered legs. A predisposition for long leg hairs is also demonstrated by chorioptic mange mites. A horse’s demodectic mange is uncommon, and it appears to affect only immunocompromised horses.

A skin scraping under a microscope is required for the identification of mange in horses.

Dermatophytosis (Ringworm)

Dermatophytosis is a term used to describe a fungus-induced skin illness. Due to the fact that the lesions are frequently oval or circular in shape, fungal infections of the skin are referred to as “ringworm.” Dark, damp barns are ideal environments for fungi to grow, especially during the fall and winter months. Once the fungus has established itself on the horse’s skin, the horse’s lengthy winter hair coat assists in keeping the illness going. Although the time of year should not be used to determine whether or not this is a skin illness, it should be considered.

  1. They are very infectious, and can be spread readily between horses through the use of shared gear and other equipment, among other things.
  2. An infection may begin as a hive-like lesion that later develops into an oval form as a result of the illness.
  3. The lesions are most usually found around the girth and saddle regions, the hindquarters, and the chest, neck, and face of the horse or pony.
  4. Usually, a ringworm infection in a horse does not cause itching or pain, although it can be uncomfortable.
  5. The most accurate diagnosis is achieved by the use of a fungal culture; however, it can take up to six weeks to get a positive culture.
  6. The treatment process necessitates meticulous attention to hygiene.
  7. Remove any contaminated bedding from the stalls and disinfect the stalls and equipment with bleach, chlorhexidine, or benzalkonium chloride to prevent further contamination.
  8. Bathing every day for the first week, then once or twice a week after that, is required to keep the infection under control.
  9. Shampoos with tamed iodine, chlorhexidine shampoos, dilute bleach (0.5 percent solution) rinses, 5 percent lime sulfur solutions, and a fungal orchard spray (Captan) as an effective rinse are some of the best disinfectants available.
  10. Topical salves and ointments can be used to treat minor wounds and lesions.
  11. A systemic antifungal medication may be necessary in severe cases involving immunosuppressed or very young horses in order to assist the horse’s immune system in eliminating the disease.

Most horses are able to recover from the infection within six weeks if they maintain good hygiene, are exposed to sunlight, and receive frequent antiseptic baths.

Skin Scald

When there is inadequate cleanliness in the stabling or pasture area, it is very typical for horses to experience hair loss on their lower legs. It is common for hair to fall out on the legs after getting a scald from urine or manure. The hair loss is caused by persistent skin inflammation, which is generally followed by crusting and scabs in the regions of patchy hair loss. Caustic irritants like as urine, dung, and excrement-soaked straw or shavings should be removed from the surroundings to prevent illness.

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The use of systemic antibiotics may be essential in some instances.

Rain Scald

Hair loss can also be due to an organism known asDermatophilus congolensis, which can produce a disease known asrain rot, rain scald, or dew poisoning, among other things. This bacterium prefers to infect skin that has been injured, especially when there is a lot of moisture present. When it comes to young horses, those with underdeveloped immune systems are at greater danger of developing rain scald. It is possible to sustain skin trauma from abrasions, insect bites, or persistent irritation from regular rain exposure that weakens the horse’s skin, especially along the horse’s topline.

This bacterium may be found in the soil as well as in the scabs of horses who have been afflicted.

In addition, they continue to act as carriers for high-risk individuals.

It is possible that they will start out as elevated tufts of hair with crusts on them.

As a result, many forms of skin issues are accompanied by crusting and scaling irregularities in the skin, and the best approach to diagnoseDermatophilusis to look at the cells acquired by scraping under a microscope and to grow the organism from a scraping A biopsy of the tissue can also provide information on the origin of the lesions.

Patchy Shedding

Horses can suffer from a condition known as seasonal alopecia, in which significant patches of hair lose away before the onset of new hair development, resulting in a bald area of skin. The patch of skin that is exposed looks to be normal. If you have patience, the hair will regrow after around one month.


Asarcoidal horse skin cancer is considered a benign kind of equine skin cancer, however it can cause hair loss. Sarcoidos are typically seen as flat, hairless lesions that have a scaling or rippling look to the bare skin in many situations. These lesions are neither pruritic nor painful, and they are not contagious. Biopsying the lesion is the most accurate method of diagnosing the condition. If common grooming equipment or tack is used on more than one horse, it is possible that sarcoids will spread from one horse to another.

In order to keep sarcoids from spreading to other horses, common sense hygiene practices should be implemented in horses with visible sarcoids.

Selenium Toxicity

Some plants acquire an excessive amount of selenium in their leaves in some parts of the nation where the soil is rich in the mineral selenium. Horses grazing on these plants or horses given hay that has been cultivated in selenium-rich soils may suffer from poisoning. Classic indicators include thinning of the mane and tail hairs, which progresses to complete hair loss on the mane and tail in the long run. Further along in the process, horizontal fissures will begin to form in the hooves, with the possibility of sloughing the whole hoof capsule.

If selenium poisoning is detected, sick horses should be withdrawn from the offending pasture as soon as possible, and the hay should be replaced with low-selenium hay obtained from a reputable supplier.

Drug Side Effects

Some drugs can also cause patchy hair loss, which is a common occurrence. Consult with your veterinarian to determine whether any medications your horse is getting are the cause of his alopecia.

An Accurate Diagnosis

Skin disorders in horses are quite diverse, and in many situations, a visual assessment of the lesions will not be sufficient to determine the cause of the problem. A skin biopsy performed by your veterinarian is the most accurate way of determining what is wrong with your horse’s skin. A biopsy is performed by punching a hole through all layers of the skin and obtaining a definitive diagnosis of the disease process, as well as the source of the problem in many circumstances. Additional tests include reviewing a skin scraping sample under a microscope to assess cell type or parasitic organisms, and/or submitting tissue samples to a lab for cultivation of a fungal or bacterial organism when suitable.

This line of inquiry will allow you to determine the source of your horse’s skin condition and restore the hair and sheen to his coat as fast as possible, which will save you time and money in the long run.

Patchy Hair Loss in Horses – The Horse

Q. At the beginning of the summer, I noticed that my Arabian horse was missing a patch of hair under her mane. What might it be? Since then, the area has grown significantly in size. Who knows what is causing the uneven hair loss in horses. What should I do about it? — Via e-mail is the preferred method of communication. Rough hair loss in horses can be caused by a variety of factors, including basic environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, or it can be caused by more serious dermatophytes (fungi) such as ringworm, which infect and infiltrate the hair follicles of the skin.

Hair Growth 101

The horse’s hair growth cycle is divided into three stages. If you have ever cut your horse’s hair closely in the winter months, or if you have ever clipped the hair from around a wound, you have probably seen how the hair has a growth period (anagen), a resting period (telogen), and a period when the horse sheds as new hair arrives. In general, it takes three to six weeks for hair to regrow after it has been lost, however the length of time varies from person to person and is influenced by genetics in certain cases.

It is common for adjacent hair follicles to be at various stages of the development cycle, resulting in no noticeable shedding or bare areas being detected. You’re accustomed to observing such cycles, but what happens when your horse suddenly has a fully naked region on his body?

Simple Patchy Hair Loss Causes

If the region of hair loss is under the mane, it is possible that it is due to a relatively benign reason that is faced by many stables during the summer months. It is common for horses to sweat excessively during hot or humid seasons of the year because heat is trapped behind the mane. When we sweat, the keratin layer of the epidermis absorbs the moisture, which allows the hair follicles to remain wet throughout the length of the hot weather. The moisture causes the hair follicle to soften and release the hair as a result of the moisture.

  1. Heat and sweat-induced hair loss on horses’ faces, especially around the eyes and ears, is also a typical occurrence.
  2. With the accumulation of perspiration and grime comes hair loss, giving the impression that the horse is wearing gray goggles on his face.
  3. However, there are still many horses that, despite receiving regular care and cleaning, continue to lose patches of hair on their coats.
  4. Horses with long manes for display purposes, like as the Arab in the picture, may fare better if their manes are French-braided to prevent the heat from being trapped against their necks.

More Serious Patchy Hair Loss Causes

Other, more significant causes of patchy hair loss in horses include dermatophyte infections, which can be life-threatening. It’s possible that the owner is dealing with a dermatophyte such as ringworm if there is crusting along the leading edge of the bald region in conjunction with hair loss. Make certain that the issue that is causing the hair loss is the actual reason of the hair loss before acquiring and applying remedies to treat it. Your veterinarian will pluck a few hairs and place them in dermatophyte test medium to conduct the test (DTM).

In order to treat ringworm and other fungus, you can use topical antifungal medicines, the majority of which are accessible over-the-counter at your local drugstore or pharmacy.

Using household treatments like as Clorox is not suggested since these chemicals might cause skin irritation and burns.

It is possible to resolve this issue by using a soft toothbrush to brush medicine into the hair at the root of the hair. The following are the actions to take in order to properly cure a fungal condition:

  • Disinfect the region using Palmolive dishwashing liquid (the green formula), since other brands are too drying on the skin
  • Alternatively, use a commercial horse shampoo that does not contain any ingredients that might irritate the skin
  • Using a clean towel, dry the affected area. By brushing the medication into the afflicted region with a soft toothbrush, you may ensure that the drug is not simply “sitting on top” of the area. First and foremost, be sure to talk with your veterinarian about the illness and avoid using over-the-counter medications. If your horse is suffering from hair loss, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best course of therapy for your horse’s specific situation.

Why Is My Horse Losing Hair? Big Patches Are Coming Off!

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! My granddaughter’s horse has just started losing hair, which is most noticeable while brushing when it breaks off in large sections. We decided to consult with a veterinarian and conduct some research to determine the cause of her horse’s hair loss. Horses lose their hair as a result of bug bites, germs, skin diseases, extreme heat, medical issues, or allergic reactions to certain foods.

Depending on the cause, hair loss can be permanent or temporary, and it can affect either a specific location or the entire body.

In addition, hair loss may be a warning indication of an underlying medical problem that needs to be addressed.

A website that sells horsefly spray, dewormers, shampoo and other goods at low costs came to my attention recently, and I thought you might be interested in checking it out.

Common causes of hair loss in horses.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to hair loss in horses, but I’ll concentrate on the most prevalent ones: parasites, bacterial infections, and certain medical disorders. It is vital to ascertain whether the source of the animal’s shedding is internal or exterior in order to determine what is causing it to shed. In other words, insects assaulting your horse or a medical ailment are the most likely causes of the problem. When horses are bitten by insects, their coat is destroyed, they suffer bleeding and blisters, and they get so irritated that the animal wipes itself bald in order to find comfort.

Insects cause horses to lose in hair.

Horses are subjected to the wrath of bloodsucking insects. You should avoid them at all costs since they are a physical and emotional nuisance who may lead their host to become uneasy and underperform. These arthropods are frequently responsible for horses stomping, scratching, and flipping their tails incessantly. Not only can the insects increase an animal’s stress level, but they also have a bad impact on their health and can spread illnesses. Some insects are large enough to be plainly seen, yet others are so minute that they are impossible to see.

Horse Flies

Female horse flies are the biters; they suffocate horses by inserting their cutters into their bodies and sucking their blood.

However, the actual difficulty is that the blood continues to flow even after they have taken off. Horse flies emit blood, which draws the attention of other pests, which concentrate in the damaged region.

Gnats or midges

Biting gnats are small, yet their bite is quite unpleasant. These are the critters that swarm around your horse’s belly and are continually swished away by the horse’s tails as it moves. Their severe bite opens the flesh, allowing them to drain blood from their prey while still alive. As a result of the overwhelming number of people in the swarm, enormous blood patches can form, which harden and cause animals to lose their hair. Although horses’ bites are painful, they are also extremely irritating, which causes them to rub their bodies against poles and trees to relieve the itching.

  • Horses are frequently allergic to gnat bites and suffer severe responses as a result.
  • As a result of their tiny size, a skin scraping is usually required to confirm the diagnosis.
  • They not only liked the undersides of horses’ bellies, but they also liked to run around their manes and tails.
  • They are also poor flyers, and a fan may be used to keep them away from your horses.

Stable Flies

Stable flies are commonly referred to as “biting flies” because of the discomfort they produce when they bite. They are also non-discriminatory, biting almost any animal they come across. They are bloodsuckers, and their peak activity period is usually in the spring. Despite the fact that they seem identical to a regular housefly and are around 1/4 inch long, stable flies are distinguished by having a long snout that they utilize to sucking blood from a host. They spread illness and infect open wounds with worm larvae, resulting in infection and inflammation in the affected area.

Horn fly

Horn flies are tiny flies that congregate in and around cow herds. They were given this name because they were frequently noticed around cows’ horns; nevertheless, they are more commonly observed on the backs of cattle or beneath their bellies than on their horns. The horses are attacked by these bloodsuckers when they are maintained in pastures alongside cattle. These pests move in swarms of thousands of individuals, and when horses are attacked, they suffer from severe itching and hair loss, which often occurs on the side of the neck or under their belly button.

Black Flies

Black flies are little biting insects that are sometimes referred to as buffalo gnats in some circles. While they are known to travel in swarms, they are not known to transmit illness, unlike the other biting flies in the area. Their bite, on the other hand, can cause swelling, bleeding, and irritation.

Hair loss occurs as a result of the bleeding and itching. And, since they cluster in such great numbers, they are quite inconvenient to have around. Black flies prefer to feast on horses’ heads, necks, and stomachs, among other places.


It is common in my location in south Louisiana for mosquitoes to bite, and they are the source of skin irritations, blisters, and hair loss. Additionally, they may spread infectious illnesses, and their bites are extremely irritating, causing horses to continually massage the injured regions.


Botflies are responsible for the most of their issues in horses’ stomachs and intestines. However, they also produce sores, which serve as a breeding ground for infections and hair loss. Botflies deposit their eggs on the horses’ front legs, shoulders, and lips, among other places. These eggs find their way into a horse’s mouth and then down to its stomach where they hatch. The larvae typically move via the horse’s excrement, which is where they get their name. Some, on the other hand, move beneath the skin in mucous membranes and erupt.


There are a few of different types of horse lice that bite. These bugs prey on horses’ blood and are generally found on the horse’s head, neck, mane, and tail, among other locations. Horses are irritated and bitten by lice, which causes them to bite themselves, stomp, and rub. Although lice do not directly cause a horse to lose hair, their discomfort causes the animal to brush against fenceposts and trees repeatedly until the hair falls out of their coat.

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Ticks are getting increasingly common on horses as the population grows. These substances can cause skin irritation, which might result in the animal scratching against posts or trees, causing hair loss. During your regular grooming routine, it is critical to inspect your horse for ticks. They are capable of transmitting serious infections such as Lyme disease and causing anemia as a result of blood loss. Ticks reside in grass and attach themselves to horses’ legs when they pass by. They often move to the chests, underbelly, and inside of the flanks of horses, among other places.

Bacterial infections

Infection with the bacterium Rain Rot affects the topline of the horse and can cause large areas of hair to fall out in large regions. The bacterium can be acquired in a variety of ways and is most often seen in areas of the skin that are fragile. Horse skin becomes sensitive when exposed to excessive wetness or when bitten by insects. Those horses with weakened immune systems are the ones that are most at risk of being harmed. Rain rot is characterized by increased hairs and lesions that develop into lumps and crust.

  • Horses’ heads, backs, and hindquarters are the most commonly afflicted parts of their bodies.
  • Although ringworm is not a bacterial illness in and of itself, I listed it here because the damaged skin caused by ringworms sometimes results in subsequent bacterial infections.
  • Ringworm is contagious.
  • Because it is caused by a dermatophyte infection, it is easily spread between horses, especially those that share equipment or stalls.
  • These lesions grow and spread, resulting in increasingly widespread thick dry scabs.
  • If the illness is not addressed, it can become severe and debilitating.
  • And because it shows no signs of illness, it is permitted to remain in the vicinity and potentially infect other animals.

It is difficult to detect ringworm; therefore, I recommend that you visit with a veterinarian who can pluck a hair or two and test it for the fungus that causes ringworm. The majority of ringworm cases may be resolved with the use of antifungal cream and medicated shampoo.

Medical conditions cause horses to lose hair.

Passenger dermatitis is particularly common in horse breeds that have feathers on their lower legs, such as Friesians and Clydesdales, since it is contagious. It is a cutaneous inflammation that affects the lower legs and thighs. It is not necessary for your horses to have feathers in order for them to acquire pastern dermatitis. Horses maintained in meadows, paddocks, or stables where their lower legs are always wet are also at risk of developing pastern dermatitis (dry skin on the legs). If the ground is in poor condition, the risk is enhanced even more.

Bacteria, fungi, and mites are among the factors that contribute to the condition.

Skin Cancer

A sarcoid is a skin tumor that is noncancerous and does not cause hair loss. They are most commonly seen in the areas surrounding the animal’s head and groin, as well as in wounds. They can be misconstrued for flesh that is too proud to admit it. Sarcoid tumors are classified into several categories. Verrucose are flat lesions that mimic ringworm syndrome or scars; this is the least aggressive kind of sarcoid to be encountered. Other forms, such as fibroblastic, are more aggressive and need prompt medical intervention.

It is speculated, but not confirmed, that the illness can be passed from horse to horse by contact.

Tumors caused by cancer can be treated using vaccinations, surgery, laser treatment, and cryotherapy.

He will provide recommendations on the best course of action.

Seasonal Alopecia

Horses, like the majority of other animals, shed and grow protective layers in response to the changing seasons. Horses’ coats become thicker in the winter and begin to thin in the spring when the weather warms. Some horses, however, are unable to maintain this natural balance and as a result lose and grow hair outside of the normal cycle. It is known as seasonal alopecia and is thought to be caused by a hormonal imbalance in the individual. Horses suffering with seasonal alopecia lose their hair, but they usually regrow it without experiencing any negative side effects.

Particular grass or hay can cause hair loss.

Elenium is a trace mineral that can cause hair loss, brittle hooves, and other indications of lameness in horses. It is an important mineral when consumed in modest amounts, but when consumed in large quantities, it has serious implications.

A horse can be killed by an acute excess of selenium. However, selenium poisoning is usually a long-term problem. Some hay and grass that has grown in soil with high selenium levels and is consumed by a horse on a regular basis can cause chronic selenium poisoning and hair loss.


Hair development is aided by a well-balanced diet. Horses require a diet that is high in protein, amino acids, and vitamins, among other things. A well-fed horse has a lustrous, thick coat of hair on its coat. When a horse does not ingest adequate quantities of protein and other nutrients, hair growth is hindered and the coat appears drab. The appearance of a horse’s coat might provide clues as to how well it has been cared for and how healthy it is.

Can you ride a horse if it’s lost patches of hair?

The decision whether or not to ride your horse because it has hair loss is dependent on the location of the patch and the reason of the hair loss. If the area seems to be diseased, wet, or raw, do not ride the horse in that region. It may be possible to ride certain horses with a minor incidence of hair loss who are dry for short amounts of time and then bathe the horse afterwards. Read this article to learn more about riding a horse with rain rot: Can You Ride a Horse with Rain Rot? Also included is information on how to treat it.

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  • What Does a Horse Eat and Drink? A Feeding Guide that Is Required
  • There are several reasons why some horses wear blankets. Why Your Horse Needs a Grazing Muzzle
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Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Horses – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

The veterinarian’s diagnosis following the physical exam and the results of the diagnostic tests will determine the best course of action to take for the horse’s hair loss problem. It will not be necessary to treat the horse if he determines that the hair loss is related to a seasonal hair loss; this is a typical process that horses go through. Mares who experience hair loss during pregnancy and breastfeeding may be prescribed vitamins; however, this kind of alopecia is typically very transient.

  • Every time the horse is bathed, it will need to be cleaned with an antibacterial shampoo and patted dry.
  • When handling the horse, gloves should be worn to prevent the spread of Dermatophytosis (ringworm).
  • Antibiotics, antifungal shampoo, iodine, and miconazole lotions are commonly used to treat this condition.
  • Depending on whether he has been identified as anemic, he may also require B12 injections.
  • Immunosuppression Mold, dust, pollen, insect bites, certain foods, chemicals, vaccines, and other drugs are all examples of allergens to watch out for.
  • Parasites The horse will need to be dewormed at some point.
  • It is possible to manage insects that transmit the parasite by using insecticides, removing standing water, installing fly traps, and installing mesh screens in the stalls.
  • Gloves should be worn at all times.
  • If the skin is sensitive or inflamed, the veterinarian may recommend applying a topical ointment to the affected area.

Medicines such as anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid medications are used to treat several autoimmune illnesses. It is possible that supplements will be recommended. Your veterinarian will meet with you to review your horse’s health and the best treatment plan for him to follow.

Why Is My Horse Losing Patches of Hair?

alopecia, which are unsightly bald spots on a horse’s coat, can be a source of concern for the horse’s owner. When horses shed their winter coat, they may have substantial hair loss owing to a variety of internal and environmental factors, or they may simply be losing their dense winter coat. The answers will be revealed after a complete veterinary examination.

Excessive Itching

Various bugs can produce pruritus, or severe itching, which can be quite uncomfortable. Some horses develop allergic dermatitis as a result of a hypersensitivity or allergy to gnat bites, which can be life-threatening. Horses suffering from this condition would scrape the hair off their body in order to find comfort. It is his abdomen, thighs, and tail dock that are the most vulnerable to the gnats’ predations. According to the book “The Horse,” the horse’s sensitivity to gnats will intensify as he grows more mature.

  1. Gnats may breed in ponds and standing water, so keep your horse away from these areas when it is pastured.
  2. Corticosteroid injections may be required for severely afflicted horses in order to reduce itching.
  3. Your veterinarian may recommend ivermectin as well as a deworming drug.
  4. A louse wash will be required for the afflicted horse, and all equipment that comes into touch with the animal will need to be cleansed.

Benign Skin Cancer

Despite the fact that they are neither itchy nor painful, benign skin lesions known as sarcoids can cause concern among horse owners when they appear. In spite of the fact that these growths are benign, the horse will frequently lose the hair that surrounds them, which will give the horse a rippled, caly appearance. A veterinary biopsy will be required in order to make an accurate diagnosis of the sarcoid. According to “The Horse,” treatment options for sarcoids include cryosurgery, in which the sarcoid is frozen, and injection with immune-boosting chemicals such as cisplastin.

Sarcoidosis can be transmitted from horse to horse through the transmission of a virus, so it is important to keep grooming supplies, blankets, and tack separate when working with infected horses.

Rain Rot, Ringworm and Scald

Associated with the bacterium dermatophilus congolensus, rain rot is a bacterial illness that affects horses that live in moist environments and whose skin has been weakened by bug bites or scrapes. It can be painful, despite the fact that it is not irritating. Young horses, whose immune systems are still developing, are at the greatest danger. Rain rot appears as crusty sores on the horse’s face, muzzle, topline, and rump. It is caused by excessive moisture. The tissue of the lesion must be examined under a microscope for diagnosis.

  • Antibiotics may be required in the case of severely ill horses.
  • On the girth area, hindquarters, chest and neck of the diseased horse, hair falls out in little ring-shaped patches on the skin.
  • Grooming equipment and tack should be thoroughly cleansed with weak bleach to prevent the illness from spreading further.
  • It is mainly caused by unsanitary living circumstances and is characterized by patchy hair loss on the horse’s legs, as well as small scabby areas on the horses’ legs.

Washing the legs of the afflicted horse on a daily basis is recommended. The horse should be able to recuperate after his surroundings have been completely cleaned. Antibiotics are required in the case of some horses. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

Toxic Diet

A horse’s hair may fall out from time to time as a reaction to contaminants in his diet. One of the most common culprits is selenium, a vital vitamin that, when consumed in high quantities, may result in severe hair loss and foot malformations in horses and humans. First the horse’s mane and tail hairs will begin to thin, and then they will begin to fall out. Horse owners who are concerned about their horse’s selenium content can have their horse’s hair, feed, and hay checked. According to “The Horse,” if the animal’s nutrition is to fault for the hair loss, the diet should be adjusted to avoid more harm from occurring.

Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Horses – Horse Owners

Many factors contribute to hair loss, which can be congenital (the animal is born with the ailment) or acquired (the animal develops the condition over time). Any illness that has the potential to impact hair follicles might result in hair loss. Certain disorders can damage or kill the hair follicle or shaft, as well as impair the formation of new hairs. Some illnesses might give the animal discomfort, which can result in self-trauma and hair loss as a result. Acquired hair loss can be caused by an inflammatory or noninflammatory response to the scalp.

  • Nutritional deficiencies (especially protein shortages) and hormonal imbalances, such as low thyroid hormone levels or excessive estrogen production, are among the diseases that can directly impede or decrease hair follicle growth.
  • The regular shedding process might result in the development of bald patches.
  • Acquired inflammatory hair loss is frequently brought on by itching or soreness in the scalp.
  • Friction, such as that caused by improperly fitting halters or saddles, can cause localized hair loss.
  • In the course of the physical examination, your veterinarian will make a note of the pattern and location of hair loss.
  • Taking skin scrapings and combing through the hair coat to acquire samples for microscopic inspection are common procedures in this setting.
  • Diagnostic laboratory testing may be recommended by your veterinarian.
  • A skin biopsy may be conducted if the results of the above tests do not reveal or imply an underlying cause.
  • In the unlikely case that your veterinarian detects an endocrine disorder, blood and urine samples may be collected and examined for the condition.

Given the length of time it may take to determine the origin of a skin disease, many veterinarians will administer or prescribe medicine to alleviate any discomfort or itching your horse may be experiencing in conjunction with the hair loss.

How to Treat Hair Loss in Horses

Horses suffer from hair loss on a regular basis, the reality is. It’s not anything to ignore, but most of the time it’s just the horse stroking an itchy part of his body. Having a fungal or bacterial skin infection, for example. It’s also possible that they’re dealing with an internal issue at the time. The external tends to be more visible. It commonly manifests itself as dry, flaky skin on your horse’s bald area, which eventually goes bald. On sometimes, you may see them scratching that region.

If you don’t see any of these indicators, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

How do you treat hair loss in Horses?

In case you’ve determined that an external issue is the source of your horse’s hair loss, you’re undoubtedly asking how in the world to regenerate a horse’s hair. A fast internet search for “how to treat bald patches on horses” can turn up everything from applying coconut oil to immediately contacting your veterinarian. What should a horse owner do to care for their equine companion?

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It’s calledCOAT DEFENSE®.

If your horse is suffering from bald patches like Missy the Mini, there is help available! And it isn’t only Missy who has discovered a remedy for bald patches on horses; other horse owners have as well. Susie Q’s coat was completely regrown with the aid of COAT DEFENSE®, as seen in the video below.


When combined, COAT DEFENSE® is a powerful agent against horse skin issues. COAT DEFENSE® is an all-natural product line that only contains legible, identifiable components that, when combined, constitute a powerful agent against equine skin difficulties. It’s a simple, safe remedy to horse skin issues that’s created in the United States.

How doesCOAT DEFENSE®treat bald spots?

The chemicals in COAT DEFENSE® products work to relieve irritation while also providing three knockout blows to the skin. 1. It dries out the fluids that germs and fungus feed on, preventing them from reproducing and allowing a horse’s skin to heal and regenerate. 2. It also prevents chafing, aids in the drying of perspiration, and keeps horses free of rubs caused by sheets, blankets, and gear. 3. Because peppermint oil cools and relaxes when it comes into touch with the skin, it relieves itching.

Is COAT DEFENSE® for bald spots and hair loss in horses ONLY?

In no way, shape, or form. It is for this reason that my barn is usually well supplied with this material. The following are some of the advantages of COAT DEFENSE®.

  • COAT DEFENSE® daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER significantly reduces the time it takes to cure a variety of fungal or bacterial infections. Products containing COAT DEFENSE® do not include any harsh chemicals or painful antiseptics
  • Instead, they contain only all-natural components that are easy to read and that together function as a potent agent against germs and fungus. However, rather than using harsh chemicals to kill the bacteria or fungus, COAT DEFENSE®products work by drying up the food source that they feed on, allowing them to die off without endangering your horse. TROUBLE SPOT DRYING PASTE COAT DEFENSE® TROUBLE SPOT DRYING PASTE COAT DEFENSE® TROUBLE SPOT DRYING PASTE protects skin abrasions by forming a “scab” over them, protecting the area from external agents or bugs, all while drawing out toxins and soothing pain, allowing skin cells to repair themselves more quickly and without interference
  • COAT DEFENSE® daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER can be used as directed, on a daily basis, to protect the skin against germs and fungus while maintaining a healthy environment that allows the skin to breathe and produce natural oils.

Take advantage of ourHealPrevent Package, which contains a24oz TROUBLE SPOT DRYING PASTE and an 8oz DAILY PREVENTATIVE POWDER for $54. This package will assist you help your horse grow hair back. Help horses with hair loss and bald areas by using this product! What’s the added bonus? SHIPPING IS COMPLIMENTARY!

11 Reasons Horses Lose Their Hair

It is one of those things that you don’t think about until it occurs to you when you have a horse. There are a variety of reasons why a horse’s hair may fall out. Parasites, fungi, allergies, and other causes might all be to blame for the condition to develop.

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequent reasons horses lose their hair and what you can do to prevent it. What causes horses to lose their hair? Horses can lose their hair for a variety of causes, including parasites, fungus, allergies, skin diseases, and other conditions such as ringworm.

Causes of Hair Loss in Horses

Among the most frequent fungal infections that can cause hair loss in horses is ringworm, which is a kind of fungus. Furthermore, it is communicable between humans. In spite of the misleading name, ringworm does not include the presence of a worm in any way. There are numerous distinct varieties of ringworm that may afflict horses, but they all have symptoms that are quite similar to one another. Small, raised patches on the skin of horses are the earliest indicators of ringworm. The majority of the time, they are round in shape.

  1. It’s possible that the horse is itching as well.
  2. When it comes to grooming, ringworm spores are quickly transmitted, and brushes that have not been properly cleaned or sterilized can easily spread the infection over a whole herd of horses.
  3. An antifungal shampoo and an antifungal ointment are the first two steps in treating a horse for fungal folliculitis.
  4. It is possible that more treatments may be required, and the horse will need to be isolated until fully recovered.

Rain Rot

Horses are susceptible to rain rot, which is a common bacterial illness that causes discomfort and hair loss. It is most commonly visible on the back and top line of the horse, although it can appear anywhere on the horse’s body as well. Rain Rot is caused by a bacterium that thrives in moist environments, such as rainwater. If you have ever seen the way water runs off of a wet horse, you will be able to draw a rough sketch of the regions where rain rot is most likely to form on the horse. However, it is important to remember that rain rot can damage any region of the body.

  1. The majority of the time, they are readily pulled off or eliminated with grooming.
  2. Keep in mind that this bacterium thrives in moist conditions, so you’ll want to keep the horse as dry as possible when treating him for it.
  3. Clipping may be beneficial in badly afflicted horses because it shortens the hair shaft, allowing it to dry more rapidly.
  4. Despite the fact that the bacteria that causes rain rot may be found on the skin of any horse, it is important to disinfect blankets and grooming tools that have been used on an infected horse.

Infection with this bacterium can result in rain rot if it grows excessively, and there is no need to introduce large quantities of the germs to otherwise healthy horses.


Hair loss in horses is caused by a variety of factors, including scratches. This, too, is caused by a bacterial infection, much like rain rot is. Scratches are most frequently noticed on the lower legs of horses, particularly on legs that are white or unpigmented in the skin color. As with rain rot, this often begins when scabbing, and as the scabs fall off, the horse’s hair falls off with them. In addition, inflammation and edema are prevalent. (source) Despite the fact that rain rot is more usually found on the horse’s topline, it can also be found on the horse’s lower body and legs.

Cannon Crud

Some horses get a disease known as “Cannon Crud” on the front of their cannons, which is a bacterial infection. This is more prevalent on the rear guns than the front cannons, however it can appear in any location on the weapon. Cannon Dermatitis, also known as Canon Keratosis, is a medical term for this illness. It is brought on by an inflammatory response in the skin. (source)A cannon with ointment applied to the place where cannon gunk is usually seen. Because skin diseases can be caused by a variety of different factors, it is advisable to have your veterinarian examine your horse’s hind legs before commencing therapy to ensure that you are treating the correct condition.

This has been a problem in a number of horses that I have personally treated with Betadine shampoo with reasonable results.


Horse hair loss can be caused by a variety of living creatures, which are included in this category. In most cases, they are insects, albeit some are minuscule and others may be seen with the human eye in rare cases. Examine some of the parasites that might cause hair loss in horses in the next section.


It is commonly known that mange is a skin parasite that primarily affects dogs, but did you realize that it may also affect horses? There are several different varieties of mange to choose from. Sarcoptic mange and psoroptic mange are two types of mange. It is important to remember that both can cause hair loss in horses and that both are communicable to humans, therefore caution must be exercised while treating or handling a horse with mange. (source) A horse suffering from mange will often be extremely itchy and will scratch or rub himself on anything and everything he can get his hands on.

Typically, a veterinarian will take a skin scraping and examine it under a microscope to determine whether or not the animal has mange.

An pesticide is usually sprayed to the afflicted region in order to eliminate the mites. Because horses with mange tend to rub a lot, the veterinarian may have to give antibiotics in certain situations to treat any infections that have developed as a result of the rubbing and itching. (source)


Lice are another another parasite that may infect horses and cause them to develop hair lice. In most cases, this parasite is spread from horse to horse by direct touch or grooming tools. Fortunately, one of the benefits of horse lice is that it is typically simple to determine whether or not a horse is infected. Liches the size of grains should be crawling through your horse’s mane and tail, and you should be able to detect them. If you are anything like me, the thought of it probably gave you the heebie jeebies right now.

It doesn’t make it any less disturbing, but while they can climb on our backs, they can’t stay on our backs for long.

Check out my post Horse Lice: Forms, Transmission, and Treatment for a more in-depth look at the many types of lice, how horses get them, and how you may cure them effectively.


Flying insects are another living organism that can cause horses to lose their hair. Some horses may be more sensitive to the saliva of flies when they bite them than others, and the minor allergic response that results can cause their hair to come out. This mare has a number of bald patches on her body. Although they are not as visible in these photographs, the areas that seem elevated may still be seen. Typically, horses (and burros) will be afflicted largely on their faces, legs, and bellies, with the rest of their bodies unaffected.

Because flies are the source of the problem, the most effective therapy is to maintain the area clean, dry, and clear of flies.

Fly masks, sheets, and fly boots are examples of fly protection devices.

Hair Loss for Benign Reasons

A tack that is too tight might cause hair to come loose as well. halters that are too tight, as well as saddles and cinches, are the most prevalent culprits, however any tight-fitting equipment might be the culprit. Breast collars, for example, are known to induce hair loss on the front of the shoulders if they are worn excessively tightly on the front of the shoulders. The heavy black spots on this horse’s coat are caused by the horse’s halter rubbing away the horse’s hair. The good news is that this one is really simple to figure out and extremely simple to solve.

Please keep in mind that not every equipment is interchangeable, so if you have two horses, you may require two separate halters or two separate breast collars, for example.

Heat and Sweat

Some horses are quite uncomfortable when their faces are bathed. They’ll struggle, toss their heads, and demonstrate great resistance. Consequently, perspiration and grime can accumulate on the horse’s face as a result of this. Some horses will experience hair loss as a result of this. The most effective method of preventing this sort of hair loss is to properly bathe the horse’s face and head after each exercise session. If your horse is resistant to having their face hosed, you may want to start with a damp towel and work your way up to sponging the horse’s face gradually.

The majority of horses can be taught to accept it, and some even seem to love it.


Sometimes hair loss is caused only by the horse rubbing, with no other underlying reason identified. This might be a horse who is merely itching or, more typically, a stalled horse who is pushing his head through the fence to have a closer look out of the stall doorway. When horses are stabled in pipe corrals, it is common to see black rub marks on either side of the animal’s neck, which indicate that the horse has been rubbed. When it comes to wood or plastic fences, this may not be as obvious.

The horse’s head must not be able to fit through the opening in the corral, thus the opening must be sufficiently closed.


Horses in close proximity can also chew on one other’s manes and tails. This is especially prevalent with mares that have young foals by their sides, or with any horse who is stabled with a young foal in tow. The majority of newborn foals have a tendency for chewing on their own hair, particularly their tail hair, which is easier to reach. I’m not sure if it’s due to exploration or teething, but it’s not uncommon to walk out and find your mare’s entire tail bitten off from one day to the next, and it’s hard to tell which is which.

In order to avoid your entire stable from losing its collective mind, those horses, once recognized, should not be allowed to go loose with the rest of the herd unattended.

I kept things simple for my mares, using diluted soap on their tail hairs to keep them clean (no contact with the skin).

The newborn normally gives it one go, determines that the tail is disgusting, and then decides not to try it again.

How Long Will It Take for The Hair to Grow Back?

Don’t be concerned. It is nearly always the case that horses’ hair will regrow after they have lost it. Although it may seem like it is taking an eternity, the truth is that it should only take a few weeks for body hair to regrow. During this time, mane and tail hair will also begin to regrow, although it will likely take many months for the hair to come back to the same length as the present mane and tail hairs, which is regrettable.

In most cases, the sooner you discover a problem and begin treating it, the less hair your horse will lose and the faster his coat, mane, and tail will recover to normal condition.

When to Call A Veterinarian

Most skin infections for horses is simple enough to treat at home if you know what the issue is. That can be the hard part is bacterial and fungal infections, in particular, tend to have a similar look. A veterinarian can usually quickly and accurately identify the type of skin issue your horse has and recommend the best treatment based on the size and type of issue. If the hair loss on your horse is affecting a large portion of his body or is accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of appetite, loss of energy, coughing, runny nose, fever or any other illness, you will definitely want to have your veterinarian check for a more serious, underlying condition.

Quarantine and thorough disinfection of tack and grooming supplies will help prevent contagious skin conditions from spreading throughout the barn.

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