Webinar to tackle equine skin problems and diseases


A host of common conditions and diseases, including lice, mites, ringworm, sweet itch, rain scald and mud fever, as well as sarcoids, were under the spotlight in the first of the popular fortnightly Welfare Wednesday webinars this year from international charity World Horse Welfare.

In the webinar, leading equine veterinarian and cancer specialist Professor Derek Knottenbelt is joined by the charity’s Chief Field Officer Claire Gordon, who has a wealth of experience through her work. Although she often deals with neglected equines, skin conditions can affect even the best-managed horses, and Gordon is well-versed in advising on management changes that aid in the prevention of a range of skin problems.

Most horse owners will have seen a case of mud rash – also known as scratches, mud fever and pastern dermatitis. © World Horse Welfare

Both are entertaining and engaging speakers and the webinar is a rich source of information and advice.

Most people who handle horses will have come across these equine skin conditions at some point. Some, like fungal ringworm, are highly contagious and can affect other animals, including being transferred to humans. Others, such as sarcoids, can cause several difficulties, including rubs if they occur around areas where tack sits. Although usually low-grade, slow to develop and non-invasive, sarcoids are the most common form of cancer found in horses.

Recognising the signs and symptoms of various common skin conditions are covered, and treatment and management options for each condition is discussed.

Derek Knottenbelt
Derek Knottenbelt
Claire Gordon Claire Gordon

Derek Knottenbelt is a specialist in equine internal medicine and a Diplomat of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine. He retired from the University of Liverpool in 2010 after running a sarcoid referral service for more than 20 years. He then established Equine Medical Solutions Ltd, offering a consultancy service for vets in equine oncology and other challenging clinical conditions.

He received the Animal Health Trust Scientific Award in 2003, the BEVA (Blue Cross) Welfare award in 2004 and the Merk-WEVA Welfare Award in 2006. In 2005 he received the OBE for his services to Equine Medicine, in 2018 he was awarded the RCVS Inspiration Award, and in 2019 he was awarded honorary membership of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Claire Gordon graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Glasgow University. She worked as an international event groom in the UK and Australia before returning to Scotland to work as an Equine Nurse at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Gordon has worked in welfare since 2007 when she joined the RSPCA as an Inspector in Hertfordshire before moving on to work for World Horse Welfare in 2010 as Field Officer in Suffolk, Essex and Kent.

Gordon became Chief Field Officer in 2016 and works investigating welfare concerns. She is also a Director and Vice-Chair of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC).

Common skin conditions such as rain scald will be under discussion at the webinar Skin Disease - How to recognise, how to manage and how to prevent.
Common skin conditions such as rain scald will be under discussion at the webinar Skin Disease – How to recognise, how to manage and how to prevent. © World Horse Welfare


Latest research and information from the horse world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.