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Dan C., DVM
Dan C., DVM, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1183
Experience:  Solo Equine Practitioner/Mobile Practice Owner for 16 years.
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What would cause my horse to lose all its hair

Resolved Question:

She started losing her hair in patches on her neck and now it is falling out all over her body. But it doesnt seem to hurt
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 years ago.

Hello!

I need to ask a few questions in order to help:

1): What is the age of your horse?

2): Where are you located, and what is the weather like?

3): Is your mare eating and drinking normally?

4): Does she seem itchy?

5): How long has this condition been present?

6): Are you seeing any redness, crusting, oozing or anything else unusual at the skin where the hair has come missing?

7): What are the size and shapes of the hair loss areas?

8): When did you last deworm the horse, and what product did you use?

9): What is her current diet?

I realize these are a lot of questions, but this will give me more informatioon than I could get in a nine minute chat!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
1. she is 11yrs old
2. Indiana and it has been in the 70's but rainy
3.She seems to be eating normally
4.She doesn't seem itchy
5.I noticed it on her neck about 2 weeks ago
6.no redness, or anything alarming
7.they are all diffent shapes and sizes
8.Not sure when she was dewormed last just got her
9.Her current diet is pasture, and once a day feeding of sweet feed as well as hay once a day.

I have 2 other horses with no problems and that is why I am concerned with her.
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 years ago.

Hello CJ:

As there are no abnormalities associated with the skin at the hair loss sites, it is most likely that what you are seeing is nothing more than a heavy shed of her winter coat. Normally, if an infectious/fungal/parasitic or auto-immune problem is present, there will be notable problems in the skin itself, which can provide clues to the condition. I would not totally rule out external parasite such as lice, but one deworming with an ivermectin-based dewormer on your part will take care of any lice that may be part of the problem. Other than that, I recommend observation only. Should you start to notice any redness, swelling, crusting or other abnormality in the skin, please contact your vet for a thorough exam and possible skin samples (biopsies) to obtain a diagnosis.

I've included a link for you which discusses many types of skin diseases in the horse. Don't be overwhelmed! As I stated above, as there are no skin abnormalities I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point.

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=645

I trust this has helped, and please let me know if you have any further questions.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX of luck!

Dan C., DVM and other Horse Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you