MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Dermatitis and Dermatologic Problems of Horses

By

Karen A. Moriello

, DVM, DACVD, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Last full review/revision Oct 2019 | Content last modified Oct 2020

Dermatitis is a general word for any type of inflammation of the skin. It is the word usually used to describe a skin condition before a specific diagnosis is reached. There are many causes of skin inflammation, including external irritants, burns, allergens, trauma, and infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal).

Dermatitis may have many signs including any combination of itching, scaling, abnormal redness, thickening, and hair loss. The usual progression of a skin disease involves an underlying trigger that causes boils, scabs, scales, or blisters.

Abnormal itching, called pruritus, occurs in many skin diseases. As the inflammation progresses, crusting and scaling develop. If the problem reaches the deeper layer (the dermis), fluid discharge, pain, and sloughing or shedding of the skin may occur. Secondary bacterial and yeast infections commonly develop as a result of skin inflammation. If the dermatitis does not improve, the early signs of inflammation (such as redness) become obscured by signs of chronic inflammation (thickening of the skin, color changes, scaling, fluid discharge). Often the skin becomes drier and, if itching is not already a sign, it will often develop at this stage.

Resolving dermatitis requires that a veterinarian identify the underlying cause and treat secondary infections or other complications. A review of your horse’s history and a physical examination can more precisely define the problem.

For More Information

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Neoplasia of the Eye and Associated Structures
Squamous cell carcinoma is a common neoplasm in several species. Ocular squamous cell carcinoma is most common in animals with light pigmentation around the eyes, because sun exposure is one of several predisposing factors. This tumor is common in each of the following species EXCEPT:
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website 
TOP