Spring Showers Bring... Rain Rot?!

When the clock springs forward, horse owners everywhere rejoice. It means more time to spend with our equine companions, more time in the saddle and a sure sign that winter is on the way OUT. On the flip side it also means rain... lots and lots of rain.

You often hear the question, “is it time to build the ark yet?”. You know yours would be full of horses and a few other animals, but you can’t help but think it sounds more dry and cozy than the current conditions. You know you can’t keep your horse locked up all day and night, or else he or she will start to express their pent up energy and frustration with broken boards or chewed up walls... or adorable baby bucks.

An essential for any horse’s mental well-being is adequate turnout time. It warms our hearts to see them out there, munching away at hay, running and playing with their buddies and kicking up their heels in complete bliss. But winter turnout time comes with a price in rainy or moist areas, a common skin disease called “rain rot” or “rain scald”.

We all feel that pang of worry when we see a gunky scab begin to form on our horse’s coat. We start to get out the solutions, the scrubbers and the hose. Nonetheless, the scabs continue to form and we find our horse in a vicious circle of either limited turnout time or a growing problem. So what causes rain rot? And is there anyway we can stop this chaos from wreaking havoc on our poor horse’s every rainy season?

As discussed in our last article on mud fever, rain rot shares the same bacterium, dermatophilus congolensis. This bacteria is in a family called actinomycetes, these little things act like both bacteria and fungi. Horses naturally have these organisms on their skin; they lay dormant until rainy, wet conditions cause it to flare-up. So, what if there was a way to keep this bacterium from flaring up and thriving when rainy season rolls around?

The solution to starving off this bacterium is keep your horse’s skin dry. One option is keeping your horse in all winter, but most of us know that this is a terrible idea unless we’re looking for a bucking bronco to tear down the barn. Another option is keeping on a turnout sheet, but this can trap moisture and could actually fuel the bacteria. So, we need to keep our horse’s skin dry, but how?

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Well, lucky for horse owners, new products have hit the market that finally PREVENT and TREAT rain rot. They’re called COAT DEFENSE®, and they’re about to be your go-to grooming aids for keeping your horse’s skin clear and healthy during those rainy, wet months.

What is Coat Defense? COAT DEFENSE® Daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER is the first dry way to clean pastern areas with an anti-bacterial, anit-fungal layer which will destroy fungal and bacterial colonies before they erupt. In addition it is an excellent dry shampoo when it’s too cold for a hose, a feat that is all too common during these gray months! It is also used under pads, wraps, boots, and blankets to prevent moisture and odor for your indoor winter rides.

It’s an all-natural solution with no harsh chemicals. While many other treatments contain chemicals that can actually cause harm to healthy skin, COAT DEFENSE® will aid in clearing up affected areas, while nurturing healthy ones.

So what does COAT DEFENSE® DO that prevents and treats rain rot? It creates a drying environment, which prevents all bacterial and fungal growth. Simple as that, keep the skin dry, starve off the bacteria or fungi and prevent flare-ups.   

People have been using COAT DEFENSE® TROUBLE SPOT DRYING PASTE to focus a drying, drawing, protective barrier that eradicates fungus, swelling of cellulitis from infections to help treat an assortment of skin issues, but here is what a few have had to say about it treating rain rot…

 “I see these products as both “First Response” to skin issues and as “Hygiene” products that should be used as regular grooming aids. They are safe, all-natural and have proven with my clients and customers to remediate and prevent further problems. Florida is a moist climate. Having a dry, antiseptic, and anti-fungal environment helps speed healing tremendously! 

One of my larger clients used the PREVENTATIVE POWDER to remove crud, rash, and soreness under the feathers of his Gypsy Vanners - without trimming and shaving!

I recommend the DRYING PASTE to all my customers experiencing scratches, as nothing is faster at facilitating healing.  I also encourage use on all insect bites (people as well as horses) as it soothes itch, draws poison, and prevents further agitation and escalation.” -Dr. Luis Acosta, Owner, Country Lane Tack, Veterinarian, Farrier, Ocala, FL


“I first used COAT DEFENSE® Daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER on a bad case of rain rot on a thoroughbred I adopted from Kentucky. The results were dramatic. It is easy to use, dry, and safe! Since then we are using the powder as an anti-chafing and anti-bacterial preventative under boots and other tack.” – Colleen R. 


To see real results from horse owners who have tried this on everything from scratches, to mud fever, to girth itch, check out our Results page!

If you’re ready to put a stop to rain rot this spring, ORDER YOURS NOW. Sprinkle the powder on your horse’s rain rot and watch the scabs fall away. Stick some paste on pasterns and cannon bones and watch the gunk dissolve. It’s really that easy.