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Beat the heat Ask The Vet


W by daniel h. grove, dvm


ell, August is here and so is the heat. July showed us some very hot temperatures, but we still have the


late summer and early fall heat waves to deal with. We have discussed most of this before, so here are some reminders. 1. The cornerstone to surviving this heat for our horses is water. Access to plenty of clean and cool water is essential. 2. Electrolytes are lost through sweating.


They also can increase water intake when added to the diet. 2-3 tablespoons a few times a day can be benefi cial. 3. Shade makes a huge diff erence in how


our animals can deal with the heat. While they will not always use it, it is highly recom- mended to provide so they have the option. 4. Airfl ow is important. Just like us, horses


sweat to remove heat. If you increase the rate of evaporation from the horse, you increase the eff ects of cooling. A barn fan can be very helpful, and it has the added bonus of


A monthly column by Daniel H. Grove, DVM


Got a question for Dr. Grove? Send your inquiries to vet@horsetrader. com, and it could be answered by Dr. Grove in a future column. Dr. Grove is based at West Coast Equine Medicine, headquartered in Fallbrook, Calif. , where he lives with his wife Kristen.


decreasing the fl ies in that area. 5. Plan for the heat. Change your riding


schedule to either early morning (probably the coolest time) or early evening. When it is too hot, that midday trail ride might need to be postponed.


Those are some tips on preventing prob- lems. Now, let’s go over some signs you have a problem: 1. Decreased manure output. If you horse is


defecating less or it is becoming small and hard, you may have a water intake problem. 2. Excessive pant- ing and sweating can be signs your horse is overheated. Take its temperature. It should be below 102°F.


3. If your horse is


overheated and is NOT sweating, you


The cornerstone to surviving this heat for our horses is water. Access to plenty of clean and cool water is essential.


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may be in an emergency situation. This would be entering the realm of heat stroke. Seek veterinary help immediately. If you notice any of these things, you may


want to at least call your veterinarian and seek advice. While you are waiting, cooling of your horse with cool water from the hose is something you can do to help while you are waiting. Stay cool and enjoy your summer.


–Dan


915391-1807A


875638-1308A


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