As the summer heats up around the country and especially in Florida, Palm Beach Equine Clinic would like to remind all equine owners to keep their horses well hydrated. The average horse drinks between 5 to 10 gallons of water per day. It is important to provide clean, fresh water at all times and be aware of increased water necessities during extremely hot days.
Sodium in your horse’s diet is also very important to maintaining proper hydration. Providing a salt block or supplementing with electrolytes can help ensure that your horse is meeting their sodium requirements.
Especially in the extreme summer heat, horse owners should pay attention to the amount of sweat their horse is producing. Anhidrosis, or the inability to sweat normally, can be a common challenge for our equine partners in the summer months, particularly in hot, humid climates. A horse with Anhidrosis is often called a “non‐sweater.”
In addition to lack of sweat, signs of Anhidrosis can include increased respiratory rate, elevated temperature, areas of hair loss, or dry, flaky skin. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Treatment of Anhidrosis includes several simple changes. All horses should have access to shade and cool water throughout the day. Any exercise should be scheduled when the temperatures are lower, usually earlier or later in the day. Turnout should be limited to the night or cooler portions of the day. Fans can be provided indoors during extreme heat and the supplementation of electrolytes can be very helpful. Another common treatment for Anhidrosis is providing the horse with dark beer. Some cases require more significant treatment, and commercial products are available to help as well. Contact one of the veterinarians at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about effective treatments for your horse.