Cuidado para Caballos cuando las temperaturas estan elevadas

Caring For Horses in Extreme Heat
As nearly half the United States is battling extreme summer temperatures,
many horse owners are struggling to help their horses adjust, stay healthy,
and remain comfortable. TheHorse.com caught up with Nancy Loving, DVM, an
equine practitioner in Boulder, Colo., to find out what the most important
things to consider are when caring for horses in extreme heat.
When dealing with hot temperatures, Loving said the most important thing an
owner can do is provide his or her horse with plenty of fresh water.
"Clean water should always be available; an average horse needs five to
seven gallons of water per day in cool weather, while in hot weather,
requirements for maintenance and to compensate for losses in sweat may
prompt intake of 20 gallons or more per day," she explained. "Horses in a
herd should have access to a couple of water tanks spaced a distance apart
so dominant horses don't prevent a thirsty, more timid horse from drinking.
Adding an electrolyte supplement to your horse's diet could help keep him
drinking and restore the electrolyte balances disrupted by sweating, and
horses should have access to a salt block or receive a daily salt supplement
(no more than a tablespoon per day) to allow them to meet their dietary
sodium chloride requirements.
Additionally, she added that for a horse that doesn't drink well, offering a
watery gruel of a supplement (such as a complete feed pellets) rather than
feeding them dry can help increase the horse's water intake.
Insects are another concern that accompany increasing temperatures, Loving
said.
"Hot weather brings insects so don't forget to use fly sheets, insect
repellant, and during active insect times of day, it can help to bring your
horse into the barn and use fans to create air flow that foils the ability
of flying insects to hover around your horse," she added, as many biting
flies are poor fliers.
Loving also encouraged owners to provide their turned out horses "with a
stand of shade trees or a loafing shed (run-in shed) with good ventilation.
Having areas to get out of the direct sun offers respite, particularly if
they have air circulation, also wards off the insects.
"In hot and humid climates your horse might appreciate being hosed down with
cool water," she added.
One concern many horse owners have in hot temperatures is heat stress, but
Loving explained that this ailment typically affects horses in hard work
rather than those lounging in a pasture.
"Heat stress is typically a concern for horses exercising in rigorous
athletic pursuits (such as distance riding, speed and/or sprint events) in
hot and humid weather," she said. "Light riding isn't likely to bring on a
state of heat stress, unless there are extenuating circumstances like
extreme heat and humidity and/or over-riding for the conditions of the day."
Loving explained that horses that sweat for prolonged periods are more at
risk of heat stress due to the effects of dehydration and electrolyte
imbalances along with internal heat generated by the working muscles during
physical exertions.
"If you think you horse is experiencing heat stress, strip off his tack and
equipment," she explained. "Take a rectal temperature to determine the
extent of internal heating--rectal temperatures higher than 103.5⁰F
(about 39.8⁰C) indicate heat stress."
Loving advised, "Move the horse out of the direct sun when possible.
Immediately soak the horse down with cool water, scraping it away and
applying it continuously -- this cooling process should stop once the chest
feels cool to the touch and/or rectal temperature drops below 103.5⁰F."
Fuente: beef/Erica Larson

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