In warm weather, many horse health problems are linked to heat, humidity, insects and performance-related injuries.

“Hot weather horse care” general recommendations:

  • Offer plenty of palatable water
  • High roughage feeds may be helpful
  • Give daily oral balanced electrolytes in feed or water throughout the summer
  • Learn which plants are dangerous for horses and avoid them
  • Apply regular fly and mosquito control; use insect repellants that contains 65% permethrins
  • Eliminate standing water to minimize breeding grounds for biting insects that can carry West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and other diseases
  • Avoid riding at dusk and dawn and conduct common sense work-outs at cooler times of day
  • Watch out for trauma and heat stress
  • If transport is necessary – make frequent stops and provide plenty of water

Minimize the risk of heat stress:

Hot, humid weather brings the risk of heat stress, a dangerous condition. If untreated, heat stress can cause patients to go into shock, suffer vital organ shutdown, collapse and die. Heat stress can be a medical emergency; veterinary treatment often includes aggressive fluid therapy.

  • Keep stalls cool. Chances are, if you’re hot – so is your horse! Install fans to make stall-time comfortable.
  • Keep your horse hydrated; place two buckets of water in the stall.
  • Avoid overexertion during training or competing, prolonged shipping or poor overall condition of a horse.

Signs of heat stress:

  • Pale mucous membranes (areas around their gums and eyes)
  • Rapid and weak pulses
  • Dry skin

If you suspect your horse has heat stress:

  • Keep your horse quiet and move the horse to a cool area
  • Cool your horse down with ice water rinses and fans
  • Call Dr. Werner at 860.653.5088 to report on the patient’s condition and address any concerns

Call us at 860.653.5088 to learn more about Horse Health and treating heat stress at Werner Equine.