How can I deal with the hair loss around my horse’s eyes and face?  


Hair loss can also happen during the winter months.  


I have seen this in some horses during the warmer summer months!  But what causes it? Well, this may be the biggest can of worms EVER.  In a nutshell, time to start ruling a bunch of stuff out and enlist the help of your Veterinarian.  


Hair loss can happen near eyes, across cheeks, and sometimes around the bridle areas. 


Some reasons why your horse may have some hair loss on his face and around his eyes:


-Sensitivity to bugs

-Sensitivity to heat

-Sensitivity to the sun

-Sensitivity to fly spray

(a trend, no?)

These sensitivities almost always cause itching, which causes rubbing and hair loss.  


BUT wait, there’s more!!  You and your Veterinarian also need to consider these things:


-Allergies (to the air, grasses, a part of your horse’s food)

-Lice (although this is more common in winter as lice don’t like the warm)

-Fungal infections

-Bacterial infections



-Onchocerciasis (a worm infection!)

-Eye infections (as I heard someone say one time, “eyes don’t grow back”)



And, this could just be the tip of the iceberg.  It’s always best to involve your Veterinarian to determine what is the cause of this hair loss.  While you are waiting for lab results to come back, be diligent about the use of a fly mask and make sure you are on top of bug control!  Don’t forget that products and fly sprays you put on your horse’s legs will also may it’s way to your horse’s eyes and nose via rubbing.  If you suspect a facial reaction to fly spray, try fly boots instead for the front legs.  

What has been your experience with hair loss around the eyes?