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Heat is life-threatening for horses

by Jil Wiedemann
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The weatther will be quite hot this weekend. Horses and other animals often suffer from hot temperatures and heat stroke. Therefore, here are a few tips for humans and animals during warm weather.

Most people enjoy warm weather and sunshine. For animals, this usually means that they need extra protection. Not only dogs ,cats or rabbits are at risk: horses too. People should always keep an eye on their animals.

The horses’ circulation and body temperature can easily get out of control. The animals can quickly suffer heat stroke. That is why horses should be protected from the sun’s rays and cooled down when it is very hot. Otherwise, the temperatures can quickly become a danger.

Tips for horses on hot days

  1. Hydration
    Horses have an increased need for water in the pasture in summer. They drink up to 100 litres a day. For this reason, the watering trough should be checked several times a day. Water should always be available.
  2. Protection from sunlight
    A shelter or shade trees should be obligatory on a pasture. This protects the horses from the sun’s rays. If a cool stable is available, it should be open, especially during the hot midday hours, to give the animals the opportunity to withdraw.
  3.  No exercise in high temperatures
    Horses should be moved as little as possible during extremely hot days. Hard exertion should be avoided, as this often affects the animals’ circulation in this weather. Try to ride in the early morning or evening hours. It is usually cooler then.
  4. Sunburn
    Horses can also suffer from sunburn. Especially horses with a lot of white on their nostrils and face. For this reason, the bridge of the nose should also be creamed on sensitive horses. A non-toxic natural cosmetic product should be chosen in case the animals lick the cream off. Horses that already show signs of sunburn with red, scaly or oozing skin must be taken out of the sun immediately. The advice of a veterinarian is recommended at this point.
  5. Recognising the symptoms of heat stroke
    If a horse suddenly begins to sweat profusely for no apparent reason, its body tension decreases and, in the worst case, it begins to stagger, it may have suffered a heat stroke. In this case, a veterinarian must be called immediately. As first aid measures, horse owners should immediately take the animal to a shady, well-ventilated place and cool it with water, starting at the limbs. Wet compresses can also help.

Source: gütsel online

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