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Solving summer skin problems in horses *H&H Plus*

Breaking the cycle of persistent irritation is the key to coping with summer skin problems, explains Karen Coumbe MRCVS

The skin is the body’s largest organ, serving as a protective wrapping against the elements. It quickly becomes obvious when something goes wrong with this outer layer – especially in these warmer months, when a combination of sunshine and insects can worsen skin irritations.

Itchiness, properly termed pruritus, is more than merely a cosmetic issue. The discomfort can irritate a horse to the point that he loses weight, and in severe cases it can even be confused with colic. A skin problem can become a serious welfare matter, since an itch is actually a modified form of pain.