Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in Horses
Pinching the Skin is the simplest dehydration test
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in HorsesDehydration in horses does not occur suddenly, it occurs simply when there is excessive loss of water in the horse’s body. It is a gradual process. After an active day of riding or training, exercising or dancing – especially during long hot and humid days – signs and symptoms of dehydration may or may not occur immediately, sometimes may not appear until the next busy day!
On average, horses drink anywhere from 5 to 15 gallons of water in a day. Make sure they have easy and quick access to clean and continuous water throughout their day. Your horse can lose up to 5% of his body weight in fluids before showing any actual signs of dehydration. So, keeping an eye on him when he is exercising, dancing, running, or riding will make sure he has adequate water intake. Once a horse loses up to 15% of his fluids, it can lead him to heat exhaustion or stroke!
Horses lose water throughout the day via urination, bowel movements, and sweating. Also, long rides and vigorous exercise on hot & humid days often create dehydration.
So, we must need to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration in horses. Symptoms may vary in each case; however use these tips to check your horse for signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Simple test for dehydration includeFails pinch & pull test: Pinch or pull your horse’s skin near base of her neck or shoulder for 2 to 3 seconds, then release it, it should return to normal immediately. The longer the skin stays in the “tent” position, the more dehydrated your horse is.
More Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration include
Salt licks help in DehydrationIf you suspect your horse may be dehydrated because of excessive heat, immediately move him to a cool area and offer unlimited access to adequate amounts of water on even the coldest days. You may also read on how salt licks help in dehydration for returning your horses back into the best hydration level.
Let's move forward. We have heard a popular proverb that "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". But as equestrians, we also know sometimes making horses drink is absolutely vital to their health. And making our horses drink more is easier with salt, and especially with Himalayan pink salt. So, we must need to know how to make horses drink with Himalayan Pink Salt? For horses this Himalayan salt comes in the form of salt licks on a rope. After licking the Himalayan salt licks or Himalayan salt blocks for few minutes you will see your horse’s head in the water bucket! We have explained in separate articles on what are salt licks & salt blocks and what are the health benefits of salt licks and salt blocks?
If signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke continue to worsen, contact your veterinarian right away.