Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Flaky or Scaly Skin, Scaling Especially near Mane Base

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If the problem seems severe, or involves a large area.

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • If the problem seems very mild and limited to a small area.

Dandruff or flaky skin can result from a variety of causes. During the healing process associated with many skin conditions, there is a period of flakiness (seborrhea).

A common location for flakiness is on the neck and near the base of the mane. Insect irritation (Culicoides) commonly affects the top-line skin and so should be considered when severe flakiness and irritation occurs here.

Genetics plays a role in propensity for dandruff to occur, as do a whole host of other factors, especially nutrition. This problem can be lessened or resolved with nutritional modification.

There are many products that may help reduce flakiness, including feed supplements and shampoos. The important thing to know is that this sign may have an underlying cause that needs to be identified and treated too.

WHAT TO DO

Examine the skin over the whole body, looking for other areas of flakiness, hives or hair loss. Assess the horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and pay particular attention to coat quality and body condition. Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will assess the horse’s overall health and management, looking for underlying causes for the flakiness.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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