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My horse doesn’t sweat, what can I do?

July 20, 2017 2 min read

My horse doesn’t sweat, what can I do? The clinical condition where horses lose the ability to sweat is called Anhidrosis or ‘dry coat”. This is especially dangerous for horses in hot, humid climates like Florida and most of the Southeast. Anhidrosis can affect any age or breed of horse. This disease can have poor effects on the use and performance of horses. Normally, the problem will surface in late June and continue through the Summer months until temperatures cool off in the Fall.horse non sweater Sweating is essential for a horse to cool its muscles and internal organs. Horses (and humans) cool their bodies by sweating. When a horse is exercising or overheated, the brain detects the rise in body temperature. Signals are sent to the sweat glands, which begin to secrete moisture. The evaporation of this moisture helps the horse feel cooler. A horse who doesn’t sweat may be in greater danger because they have no way to unload the heat that builds up in the body, Therefore, they will quickly overheat.

What are some signs to watch for?

1. A dry coat after work in warm weather 2. Rapid breathing during and after exercise 3. Poor performance, may seem lethargic and reluctant to work 4. Poor coat, thinning and loss of hair on the coat 5. High body temperature (i.e. fever) – Note: normal ranges between 99°-101° 6. Decreased water consumption 7. Poor appetite

What are ways to keep your horse cool during summer months?

1. Exercise early in the morning or in the evening, when it’s not so hot 2. Cool off after work with cold water and fans 3. Monitor vital signs; don’t stop efforts until they are normal

Anhidrosis is a very serious syndrome affecting a substantial amount of horses in Florida and across the southeastern US. The most important message is that this condition is better prevented than treated. Don’t over heat horses during hot humid weather. Provide shade, water, and proper ventilation. Cool horses after exercise with water and a cool bath and use a sweat scraper to dry. Chinese Medicine believes that Anhidrosis is associated with an energy blockage in the spleen and lungs. Using acupuncture points to treat Anhidrosis may encourage the nervous system to cause the sweat glands to increase in size and production. The points that are treated are used to release heat, increase Qi (energy), regulate sweating, help with dehydration of the skin as well as heal the blocked organs. In addition to this cool-off regiment, the moisture wicking Benefab Therapeutic Mesh Sheetcan be a great asset to help your horse stay cool. The Mesh sheetis breathable, lightweight, flexible, and adjustable to any horse’s body. Since it incorporates wicking technology, it will pull the moisture from your horse’s body and in turn evaporate moisture faster than it can from their natural coat. Of course, you would need to hose and properly cool down prior to using this product, but it will allow your horse to dry and cool off more quickly post shower.


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