Is rain rot contagious??

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Izzy, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Izzy

    Izzy Full Member

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    So there is rain rot on a few horses at the barn and have been hearing/reading different opinions about rain rot. Some people say that rain rot is contagious and others say that it is not. The owner of the barn asked her vet and he said no way is it contagious, I think I would trust a vet most but am curious as to what any of you have heard and why it might be contagious?
     






  2. biancaduplain

    biancaduplain Senior Member

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    I had 2 horses togetter. One happened to ''catch'' it. The other one never did. I would say it is not
     
  3. Ryle

    Ryle Senior Member+

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    Because rain rot is a bacterial infection, it can be spread from horse to horse or more importantly from contaminated items such as brushes or blankets to other horses. However the situation has to be right for any horse to contract rain-rot, meaning damp conditions, immune compromise and/or breakdown of the skin's protective barriers.

    http://www.equidblog.com/2010/03/articles/another-category/other-diseases/rain-rot-in-horses/
    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11948
    http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=308
     
  4. freedom32

    freedom32 Senior Member+

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    I've never had a horse give it to another, but always took care to not share brushes and disinfect them.
     
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  5. mackies mom

    mackies mom Senior Member

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    I've seen it transferred with grooming equipment and fleece girths.
     
  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member+

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    Rain Rot bacteria is in the air so when the horses are all wet, stay wet and their immune system allows the bacteria to flourish, you've got it. You can transfer it, like has been already stated, thorugh the use of grooming equipment but if the horse's immune system is sufficient to fight it off, it won't get it. Feeding a good hoof, skin and coat supplement can keep it from returning once you clear it up.
     
  7. Chow

    Chow Senior Member+

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    To my knowledge rain rot is caused by an anaerobic bacterium. That means the bacteria needs to grow in an environment where it is not exposed to oxygen. The scabs that you find are what keep the wound where it grows away from the air, so it spreads. To get rid of it the scabs need to come off and the area needs to be exposed to the air or antibacterial medication needs to be applied.
    I do think it can be spread to other horses if they are compromised to begin with. Scratches, cuts, broken skin, and sometimes vigorous brushing that tears the skin can all open a place for rain rot to start. Even bug bites that the horse rubs probably are pathways for the bacteria to get in. The scab that forms naturally then protects the bacteria so it can continue to grow.
    I don't know how long it lives when exposed to the air. But if you use grooming supplies on a horse that has rain rot I do believe you can spresd it to another horse.
    My horse is around a lot of other horses. Some seem to be more prone to rain rot than others. I try to keep all of my grooming supplies clean and disinfected ( wash them with hot soapy water, rinse with water that has had a little bleach added to it and dry in the sunshine if possible.). I never use my grooming supplies on another horse. So far I have not had to deal with rain rot too often.
     
  8. bcjen

    bcjen Senior Member

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    My qh got it last year, my tb did as well but not till the other was almost totally healed. My neighbor had stopped by right after my qh got it and dramatically explained to me that it is in the soil here at my house and that he could not get rid of it on his horses (who had been here the year before) without massive doses of antibiotics. I had never heard of it staying in the soil for extended lengths of time so I googled it. Anyways, I treated them with my go to cream and it went away and hasn't been back.
     
  9. Ryle

    Ryle Senior Member+

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    Yep, it is anaerobic and not airborne.

    2 of the links I posted above specifically state that it can be transmitted from one horse to another.
     
  10. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member+

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    ^^This. Its not going to happen EASILY, but using the same brushes, having a horse with a compromised coat, damp conditions, etc. could result in a transfer.

    Horses out in a pasture together? Unlikely they will transmit the rain rot unless they're super snuggly with one another. And not possible if the horses are not near each other and blankets/brushes/etc. aren't shared.

    I'm concerned that the vet said it wasn't possible.
     






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