Horse skin fungus actually can be attributed to more skin problems than any other condition in the world of horses according to a Veterinarian at the University of California. And it is no wonder because they literally exist everywhere!
Fungi and yeast actually live off of decomposing or dead tissue so it is important to keep fungi in check whether it is in our digestive tract or on our horse's leg!
Are there different types of Horse Skin Fungus?
There are really two fungal skin conditions that give us the most trouble with horses: Ringworm and Grunges. There are many other skin conditions such as horse scratches that resemble fungus so make sure you read through all the horse skin conditions sections for more information.
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm or Dermatophytois is very common and is not caused by a worm as the name may suggest! It starts as hair loss in a small localized area in a circular like fashion. And there is a red ring at the margin. The skin is scabby and can be raw as well.
Because it can spread easily and is contagious it is very important to not share saddle pads, blankets, grooming equipment or towels. As a matter of fact, even humans can pick it up, so you will want to use gloves when you can.
What Essential Oils do we use for Horse Skin Fungus?
Essential oils (therapeutic grade) are excellent for any kind of fungal infection, skin or otherwise. And can be used to treat Ringworm. They will help eliminate the fungal infection and promote healing as well.
The best oils to use for this condition are:
I personally like the blend of Melrose for this application. Melrose fights infection and kills anaerobic bacteria and fungus. And it has the two species of Melaleuca that are highly recommended for this condition. It is excellent for all horse skin conditions including cuts and scrapes, sores insect bites and more!
For dilutions use the information on this website or check the distributor's recommendation on the label. Also for carrier or base oils (for dilution), check the horse liniment section on what you can use.
How do we Treat Horse Skin Fungus?
Here are some tips for treating skin fungus:
Got Horse Grunge?
Well if you live in hot and humid area I know that you are dealing with this! In Florida this is very common and it is a daily battle staying on top of it. It seems one little rain storm and boom, the next day your horse's skin fungus has decided to move in with your horse!
It can appear in many forms but I see the black tar fungus and the grey crud fungus. My flea-bitten gray mare usually gets the black greasy tarry looking fungus that grows on her ears, face, under her chin and on her legs.
On her legs she gets both; the dry gray scabby stuff and black greasy grunge. Either way, it can spread and you need to take care of it daily else it gets out of control!
Horses that have white hair and pink skin on their legs are very susceptible. I had a chestnut thoroughbred with white socks that would get it very easily. This was just as I was learning about the oils so I had tried everything in the tack shop with no results. His legs were so sore and raw; and he didn't want anyone touching them. He mostly had the gray crud version.
I used Animal Scents Shampoo to scrub all the scabby stuff off, clipped his legs and then used Melrose several times per day. His legs almost had no hair; but the fungus took residence somewhere else and his hair grew back quickly and perfectly.
For complete instructions, follow the detailed information above!
What do I do for Horse Skin Fungus Prevention?
The best thing you can do is wash your horse with Animal Scents Shampoo at a minimum of once per week. If you have horses that are prone to it, then I would do it several times per week. Once the legs are dry you can keep the oils on their legs as well. And make sure that your horse's legs and pasterns are dry before you put them away!