If you belong to a country where the climate changes very often it becomes essential to take care of our pet. Sun can damage them badly and we mostly forget to see the effects of the sun on horses. Horses are particularly vulnerable to sunlight as they are exposed to sunlight most of the time.
According to Dr. Janet Littlewood MRCVS, a specialist in veterinary dermatology, “The pigmentation in hair and skin protects against the penetration of ultraviolet light, so any non-pigmented horse or an animal with white-skinned areas are prone to sunburn damage.”
There is a misconception that sunlight is damaging only in summers, however, it is damaging in all seasons. The most affected body part is face and heels as these often have non-pigmented patches and fewer hairs due to which sunlight passes through.
The owners who have breeds that have a thin hair coat must take more care and closely look for signs of discomfort, redness, and peeling. Severe exposure can lead to keratosis, which can sometimes lead to skin cancer if ignored. Plants, such as buttercups and cow parsley, contain light-reactive photosensitive compounds that directly absorb sunlight. A UV resistant face-mask, blanket or fly-sheet should be used for horses that have a thin coat. Zinc oxide can be rubbed over pink skin, nose.
Ultraviolet light exposure affects skin immune mechanisms and might cause bacterial folliculitis and mud fever. Owners must use sun barrier lotions, furthermore, head and muzzle masks can provide some relief and rugs can be used to shield horses with more widespread sensitive areas.
If you notice that skin is blistering or oozing, you must call a veterinary. The treatment could involve gentle topical bathing to remove crusts; emollient creams and antibiotics if there is a secondary infection.
From time to time look for photosensitization and if you find any symptom do not overlook it. This is a condition where less pigmented skin reacts with ultraviolet light. “This occurs when there are photosensitizers in the horse’s circulation that cause tissue damage,” explains Dr. Littlewood.