What's up with my horse's dandruff? Why? and How? and Oh Dear?
So, you found some dandruff in your horse's mane and/or tail. Find out why, and then you can treat the problem at the source. Dandruff can have a few common causes. It's important to bring your Veterinarian into this problem if you can't easily figure this out. Causes include lice, mites, insect bite allergies, parasites, dietary deficiency, or just plain old dryness, among other things.
Lice are those tiny little bugs that live in manes and tails of horses, and sometimes people. You may be able to see them with the naked eye or with a magnifying glass deep towards the roots. Lice prefer the dark, so you need to look deep into the mane.
Around the mane and tail is a common place for dandruff!
Mites are also little buggers, which ususally live on rodents, but have jumped ship to your pony. (Great.)
You may see dry, flaky skin coming off, which can be a sign of a fatty acid deficiency in the diet or internal parasites. You may also see oily, flaky skin.
Moral of this story is that to treat, you need to find the cause. Then, the right shampoo, lice treatment, or diet change should help you out. Be sure to talk to your Veterinarian, he can help you figure out the best treatment after determining what could be causing the dandruff. It also me be a case of "oops I keep forgetting to groom there" and stepping up your brushing game may make a difference.
Don't forget to do some major laundry if you come up with bugs...they may also live in your blankets and saddle pads, which could easily jump to another person or horse. (Blech!!)
Has your horse ever had dandruff?