Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hair Loss, Skin Irritation Under Belly

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

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

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If a skin lesion is larger, growing or causing pain or itchiness.
  • If there is swelling and pain associated with this problem.

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

  • If a skin lesion is small, not itchy and changing slowly or not at all.

Hair loss on the belly often occurs as a result of self-trauma due to itching. In other cases, the disease process itself causes hair to drop out.

The most common reason for hair loss or patches of irritated skin on the belly is seasonal insect irritation or allergies. In this case, the skin is usually flaky or crusty. Other common causes include summer sores (Habronemiasis), equine sarcoids.

WHAT TO DO

Assess the area. Keep flies away from the area using fly repellent ointments. Monitor the condition over time. If it persists or worsens, or if it appears to cause the horse any pain, discomfort or itchiness, contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

In most cases, the appearance and history of an area of hair loss on the belly gives your vet clues as to the diagnosis. If needed, definitive diagnosis may require skin biopsy.

In many cases, vets treat simple hair loss and skin conditions symptomatically. If they disappear, then we make assumptions about the diagnosis.

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

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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