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Bumps on skin

My horse has bumps that looks similar to hives on her side only about where the saddle pad sits. She got these about 2 days before being shipped from Canada. The bumps have never spread from this spot and there are none on the other side. My vet is now unsure of what these could be. Does anyone have a similar experience? I wash all of her saddle pads and brushes after every use. She tried one packet of dex (turned out to be a few months expired), Zyrtec, and 5 days in a row of betadine baths. None of this seems to be helping and it has now been 2 months. They don’t seem to be itchy or bothering her in any way I just can’t seem to figure out what they could be. Any thoughts?

It sounds like eosinophilic granulomas, or collagen bumps. Sometimes they can be a reaction to bug bites. I had a horse who got them every year in late August and then they gradually would go away over the winter. My vet said that since they weren’t an issue not to worry about them.


And I often find that 3 days of dex gets rid of them. I have a gelding who gets them every spring and fall, when his coat changes.

My new horse has a couple now and my pony had them a few years ago. Vet injected a steroid and they went away in a couple weeks.

Someone told me that they are due to poor saddle fit, and rubbing. Bugs seem the most likely cause imho.

Thank you for all the responses! The woman thought it was a reaction to the hay that they had just gotten, but she can’t seem to get rid of them now. I will definitely keep all of those things in mind. Thanks!

I had a horse with similar bumps that I thought were hives for a few weeks and it turns out it was rain rot. Started treating for that and it took FOREVER to see any healing. So could be something similar.

What did you do to get rid of that? I have been washing her with an anti fungal shampoo and that still hasn’t seemed to change it.

I feel like I tried just about everything. What finally ended up working was:

  1. As close as you can get to daily baths (weather and schedule didn’t let me do everyday) until the bumps started to turn dry and flaky. I mostly used a benzoyl peroxide shampoo but at the end started using a chlorhexadine shampoo and that seemed to help us really turn the corner. Obsessively scrape off water and dry with a towel and then dry in sun. Once the bumps got dry and flakey I only gave her a bath 2-3 times a week.

  2. Add on a topical treatment to your horse’s skin tolerance. Definitely use it on days you don’t give a bath. I tried a bunch of different topical treatments and what ended up working best for us was Equiderma. At the beginning, try to apply twice a day. Every once in a while I would use something different in case there was resistance (usually Vetricyn sometimes Banixx).

  3. Twice daily vigorous currying. Curry affected areas last to avoid spreading bacteria.

  4. Really disciplined sanitation of everything that touched her. Curries would be used only once and then sanitized in a bleach solution (let soak for the day then dry - helps to have at least two curries). Halters only used for one day and then washed (again two halters helps). Stopped using fly mask so there wasn’t anything for bacteria to attach to. Periodically wiped off her stall gate with a Lysol wipe.

And this included me. I don’t have a sink in my barn so I first use a baby wipe to clean my hands and then follow up with hand sanitizer.

  1. Minimal use of fly spray. I use EcoVet with her because it’s pretty effective even if only applied to legs and chest.

I feel like I have finally 99% eradicated it. She still has something (it’s down to just a slightly textured feeling) on her chest so I have been spraying her there with Banixx twice daily. She goes out on grass every day so sometimes she’ll get a little spot of rain rot on a lower leg, presumably from being in the relatively tall, dewy grass. I scratch those off with my fingernails and then treat with topical.

I know this sounds like a lot, but we built up to it when doing one thing at a time wasn’t cutting it. And a couple of times I could tell her skin was getting really sensitive so I would scale back when that happened, but was able to build back up.

I also have her at home so I am able to do all of this myself without too much trouble. Twice daily visits to a boarding barn would make this a lot more difficult.

And just to note, she does have a couple of bumps that just won’t go away (one on her underside slightly behind the front legs, a couple right next to her mane, one on a shoulder) that I’ve decided are something else and don’t appear to be affecting her at all, so I leave those alone. I suspect they are collagen bumps.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Thank you! I will definitely try this! She is only 3 so I’m trying not to kill her with the baths and make her hate it, but it seems like I may have to for a little while at least. I initially just thought they were hives so for about 2 weeks I didn’t wash my brushes and it still never spread that’s the only thing that seems strange. I’ll definitely try more baths and the equiderma because it can’t hurt!

I got her clipped and they look more like lines than bumps, so I’m at a loss for what they could be at this point.