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Hot topic: Summer’s first heat wave

by Dr. Daniel H. Grove, DVM - July 1st, 2017 - Ask the Vet

AskTheVetSummer is here and we are experiencing our first heat wave of the season and it is hot, hot, hot!  I think this is a great time to revisit a couple of different subjects we have talked about in the past, dealing with the heat and traveling with our horses.

Let’s start with tips for the heat. In the hot weather, there are some key points to keep in mind to help your horse through the extreme temperatures:

1. Provide access to plenty of fresh, cool, clean water. Horses can consume large quantities of water in the heat to aid in cooling and staying hydrated. Give it to them!

2. Shade. I do not know too many people who work outside in the heat and do not look for shade. I have treated many colics recently and noticed that almost all of them in the heat; the horses did not have access to shade.

3. Electrolytes. Electrolytes are just different salts that we consume and require. In physiology class, they teach that wherever salt goes, water follows. If you can get your horse extra electrolytes, it can     encourage them to drink extra water.

4. Minimize exercise during the hot times of the day. When the temperature gets extra hot, most people do their outside work either in the morning or at dusk. Consider switching up your equine routine so that they can benefit from the less hot times of the day.

5. If your horse is in a barn with limited airflow, get them a fan.

During the summer months, equine travel goes up.  Remember a few key tips for travel out of state:

1. You need a Coggin’s test. This test is for a disease called Equine Infectious Anemia.  It is caused by a virus that, once a horse has it, they have it for life.  Make sure to have yours done.

2. Health certificate.  This is a certificate that verifies your horse has been seen by a veterinarian and is     free from signs of disease.  They are usually good for 30 days in most states.

3. Vaccinations. With travel, you are often staying at new places or seeing other horses.  Be sure to    be up-to-date on your vaccinations, especially your influenza and Rhinopneumonitis.

Most people look forward to the warmth and free time in the summer.  Go out and enjoy it, just be prepared to take care of your horses properly so that they stay safe and healthy also!

— Dan

2 comments have been made on “Hot topic: Summer’s first heat wave”

  1. Dawn Livesay Says:

    Is there anyway this information can be sent to the hike packing companies & Supai wranglers at the base of the grand caynon/HavAsupi falls AZ.
    This would be excellent information as they heavily pack and full trot their pack animals, many undernourished. No water or shade available, just a few of the items noted in your article.

  2. Warren Says:

    Thanks, Dawn. Feel free to send them the link!

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