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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Dehydration


Equine Diseases

EQUINE DEHYDRATION

 

Equine dehydration is a very dangerous condition. Your equine friends are dependent on YOU so do not fail them, as equine dehydration will cause serious permanent health problems.  Equine dehydration is more common in Summer due to activity in hotter conditions but dehydration can occur at any time if there is insufficient access to water.

Signs of Equine Dehydration

1.Dark red gums and dry red mucous membranes in the nose and mouth are warning signs of equine dehydration.  To further test for dehydration, press your finger onto the gum above the front teeth. The gum will turn white.  After a few seconds, take your finger away. If the white spot does not return to normal pink colour almost straightaway, this will indicate equine dehydration.

2.Similarly, if you gently pinch the skin on your horse’s neck and it does not spring back into position when you release the pinch, this is a sign of equine dehydration. The varying degrees of how long it takes to spring back will show alert you to the level of dehydration.

3.More than normal heavy perspiration after activity is also a warning sign of equine dehydration.

4.Dull glazed eyes and wrinkled eyelids, are further signs of equine dehydration.

5.Shallow breathing and raised temperature which persist after normal activity are further proof that your equine friend is dehydrated.

 

Causes of Equine Dehydration

The major cause of equine dehydration is NOT ENOUGH ACCESS TO WATER!  Plain and simple.  Minimum requirement is at least 10 gallons of water per day.  Work out your horse’s individual needs depending on his workload and be vigilant in ensuring an adequate supply of clean fresh water for these needs.

Long rides to equestrian events can cause dehydration

A badly ventilated equine stall

Doing more work than is usual

Extra warm weather

 

Cures for Equine Dehydration:

If dehydration is not severe, give your horse plenty of water and move your equine friend into the shade.  Check with your equine medicine supplier for suitable electrolyte supplements and the correct quantities to administer.  The equine supplements recommended will probably be potassium chloride, sodium chloride and calcium chloride as these easily and quickly absorbed and will go a long way towards relieving equestrian dehydration.

If equine dehydration is severe, call your veterinary doctor as quickly as possible so that supplements can be administered intravenously.