Don’t let your trotter become a lobster

By Susan Aiello • Published: January 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Summer fun can turn into too much sun for you and your horse. Like people, horses can sunburn, especially on the nonpigmented skin of the eyes and muzzle.

To make it worse, chemicals in plants like buckwheat, as well as certain antibiotics, can lead to a condition called photosensitization, in which any sun exposure leads to a burn, even on pigmented skin.

As in people, signs of sunburn in horses include redness and peeling. Sunburned horses are often head shy, caused by the muzzle pain. Healing can take months.

Prevention is always best. It’s a good idea to avoid sun exposure by allowing grazing between dusk and dawn. Human sunscreens can help but only when applied ahead of exposure and reapplied as needed. Covers such as fly masks also offer some protection.

So play it cool in the summer sun to keep your trotter from becoming a lobster.