Horses lose hair just like other animals and there are several causes. It can be caused by insects, bacteria, skin infection, heat, medical conditions, or even allergies.
Horses can also be itch and rub irritated areas creating some bald spots. Patchy hair loss can be permanent or temporary and it can also affect bot the specific areas or the entire body.
There are many things causing patchy hair loss in horses. However, most of the reasons are parasites, bacterial infections, and some other medical conditions. The most common cause of patchy hair loss in horse is insects attacking your horse.
The insects destroy a horse’s coat, cause bleeding and sores, and as a result it causes irritation. Let’s get to know the common causes of patchy hair loss in horses.
As being stated before, one of the most common causes of patchy hair loss in horses is bloodsucking insects. These insects wreak havoc on horses.
They are also often the reason you see your horses stomping, rubbing, and continuously switching their tails.
Not only that, those insects also increase the horse’s stress level and affect their health and transmit diseases.
Some insects are large enough to be seen, but some others are so small you never see them. It can be as tiny as 1 milimeter and it becomes a problem because it can infest your horse and you’ll never know until you notice your horse has a crusty skin or patchy hair loss.
- Horse Flies
Another cause of patchy hair loss in horses is horse flies. Horse flies are the biters, they bite and sink their cutters into the horse and suck their blood! The worse problem is that the blood will continue to blow even after those flies fly off.
The blood released by those horse flies can attract other pests to congregate in the affected area.
- Stable Flies
Also known as the “biting flies”, stable flies are also the causes of patchy hair loss in horses. Their painful bites don’t discriminate as they bite any mammals. Moreover, they are also bloodsuckers and mostly active during the springtime.
Stable flies look similar to common houseflies. They are about ¼ inches long, however, they have a long snout they use for sucking blood from the horse.
Besides sucking blood, they also deposit disease and infect open wounds with worm larvae. As a result, it creates infection and inflammation. The sores lead to itching and patchy hair loss.
Mosquitos are causes of skin irritations, sores, and hair loss in horses. Not only those, but mosquitos also transmit infectious diseases, and their bites are incredibly itchy.
As a result, your horses may repeatedly rub against the affected areas, and patchy hair loss may be formed. Do you know that mosquito is listed as one of the smallest but deadliest animals in the world?
Ringworm is a type of bacterial infection that may cause patchy hair loss in horses. Ringworm is a skin infection which is caused by fungus that infects horses and other animals, including humans. Ringworm skin lesions start as small raised spots with hair loss.
- Rain Rots
Rain rot is a bacterial infection affecting horse topline and is able to cause the horses to lose big patches of hair. The bacteria causing this is picked up in various ways and typically attack skin regions which are weakened.
The horse skin may become vulnerable because of too much moisture or through insect bites. If your horse had diminished immune system, then it would be the most likely one to be affected.
The rain rot causes raised hair with lesions that form bumps and crust. The patches of hair will be removed once the crust is rubbed off. The areas that might be affected are the head, back, and hindquarters of the horses.
- Seasonal Hair Loss
Horses, just like other animals, also shed and grow protective layers as the seasons change. Horse’s coat also thickens as the winter comes and begins to thin in the spring.
However, some horses lose this natural balance and lose and grow hair outside of that regular schedule. This is what we call seasonal alopecia or hair loss and is likely to be caused by hormonal imbalance.
Do you love horses or have horses? Then, make sure you follow these tips on how to make your horse coat extremely shiny and useful tips to make sure you ride a horse properly.