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Is Muck-Itch Contagious?

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ABSOLUTELY! Once you have confirmed a rain rot infection on your horse, it is imperative to take extra precaution to ensure the infection doesn’t spread. Please note that any animal that comes in contact with an infected horse can be infected – including YOU. Yes, rain rot is easily spread from horse to horse and horse to human. Try to isolate the horse in a dry area and away from other animals. Any, even minimal, direct contact with an infected horse can lead to the spread of infection on your arms, hands, face etc. When handling infected animals always wear long gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap for at least 2 minutes afterwards.

Remember that muck itch is caused by a bacteria (Dermatophilus Congolensis). Similar to any bacteria, it thrives in moist and humid environments so in addition to isolating the infected animal and practicing proper hygiene, you must also disinfect brushes, combs, blankets or saddles to prevent reinfection of an already healed horse. Soak brushes and grooming tools in a bucket and allow them to dry in the sun completely before using them again. 

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