As the summer heat rapidly approaches, the veterinarians of Palm Beach Equine Clinic remind all equine owners to keep their horses well hydrated.
Fresh, Clean Water
The average horse drinks between five and 10 gallons of water per day. It is important to provide clean, fresh water at all times and be aware of possible increased water consumption during extremely hot days.
Sodium in a horse’s diet is also very important to maintain proper hydration. Providing a salt block or supplementing with electrolytes can help ensure that a horse is meeting their sodium requirements.
Sweat It Out
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 during 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, and dry, flaky skin. Presentation of these signs indicates that the horse should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Make sure your horse has…
- Access to shade throughout the day.
- Exercise that is scheduled when the temperatures are lower, usually earlier or later in the day.
- Turnout that is limited to the night or cooler portions of the day.
- Fans indoors during extreme heat.
- Electrolyte supplementation as needed per veterinarian’s recommendation.