With the arrival of warmer and sunnier days you need to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in your horse:
- Increased Respiratory Rate - between 40 to 50 breaths per minute, shallow breathing, and breathing that remains elevated after two minutes of rest.
- Increased Heart Rate - a pulse of more than 80 beats per minute that doesn't slow down after two minutes of rest.
- Increased or Absence of Sweating - full-body sweating or, worse, if your horse stops sweating entirely.
- Raised Temperature - a temperature of 41-42 celsius or above.
- Lethargy - signs of depression, disinterest in food, stumbling or collapsing.
To help cool your horse:
- Stop activity - cease any work immediately
- Hose down your horse with cool water (4-10 celsius is ideal)
- 30-60 seconds of soaking should be followed by a short walk (as walking increases skin blood-flow)
- Offer your horse as much water as he will drink
- Remove your horse from strong sunlight and find shade
- Stand your horse beneath a fan or in a breezy area
If you suspect your horse is suffering from heatstroke, take immediate action and contact your vet if symptoms persist or worsen.
If you would like to make an osteopathic appointment for one of our team (Adam, Gareth or Grace) to treat your horse with regards to injury management and prevention, please give us a call and speak to Nicola our Equine coordinator who will be happy to help. 01270 629933