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  • Writer's pictureredrocksstud

Heat Stress And Horses. Symptoms and Solutions


Heat Stress is a serious condition that is particularly important to watch out for as it can cause serious damage to your horse and in some cases can be fatal.

Heat stress in horses occurs when the horse's body is unable to dissipate heat as quickly as it is being produced. This can happen when the horse is exercising or working in hot and humid weather.


Signs of heat stress in horses include:

  1. Excessive sweating or lack of sweating

  2. Rapid breathing or panting

  3. Elevated heart rate

  4. Elevated body temperature

  5. Dehydration

  6. Lethargy or weakness

  7. Muscle tremors or cramping

  8. Lack of appetite

  9. Reddened gums or mucous membranes

  10. Collapse or fainting

It is important to take steps to prevent heat stress in horses by providing them with adequate shade, access to fresh water, and limiting exercise in hot and humid weather. If you suspect your horse is experiencing heat stress, it is important to take immediate action to cool the horse down by hosing it with cool water, providing access to shade, and calling a veterinarian if necessary.

If a horse is experiencing heat stress, it is important to take immediate action to cool the horse down. Here are some ways to rapidly cool a horse down:

  1. Hose the horse with cool water: Use a hose to wet the horse's entire body with cool water, paying special attention to the areas where blood vessels are close to the surface, such as the neck, chest, and legs.

  2. Use fans: Place fans near the horse to help increase air circulation and promote evaporation of sweat.

  3. Provide shade: Move the horse to a shaded area or provide a shade cloth or umbrella to protect the horse from the sun.

  4. Apply ice packs: Apply ice packs or ice water to the horse's neck, underarms, and groin area to help cool the horse down.

  5. Offer cool water: Allow the horse to drink small amounts of cool water to help rehydrate the body.

  6. Use a cooling blanket: Apply a cooling blanket or towel that has been soaked in cool water to the horse's body.

  7. Use a sweat scraper: Use a sweat scraper to remove excess water from the horse's coat, which can help increase evaporation and cooling.

It is important to continue to monitor the horse's condition and seek veterinary attention if necessary.

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