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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Rug Sores


Equine Diseases

Equine Diseases - Rug Sores




Rug sores are the nasty very uncomfortable result of pressure on your horse’s skin from ill-fitting and/or dirty rugs. Ill-fitting rugs put pressure on and rub against the withers, base of the neck, inside of the thigh and under the stomach thus causing rug sores. Rug sores can be prevented by careful attention to the choice and fit of rug and ensuring your horse’s skin is not allergic to the type of material from which the rug is made. If left untreated, rug sores can be further aggravated and become infected by bacteria from unwashed rugs.

Symptoms of Rug Sores

The symptoms of rug sores are patchy hair and exposed cracked skin.

Treatment of rug sores usually consists of cleaning them daily in warm water using an antiseptic wash like Hibiscrub or sea salt. The rug sores should be covered with sterile dressings. It is recommended to spray a fly repellent around the rug sore areas to prevent flies laying eggs in the wound area. Fresh air also helps to heal the skin and dry up the rug sores.

When your horse is rugged up, be vigilant with grooming to ensure no build-up of dead hair and skin in the fleece of the rug.
Rug hygiene is imperative in the prevention of rug sores.