This Week in Horse Health News Presented by Absorbine

Just how quickly are horse's susceptible to heat stress - Photo from Kentucky Performance Products website Just how quickly are horse's susceptible to heat stress - Photo from Kentucky Performance Products website

I really enjoy summer. The long days. The sunny weather. And heck, I’ll even take those extra warm days, because I’m just not a super fan of cold and snowy weather that make my eyeballs feel like they’re gonna freeze. Temperatures that keep on rising also inevitably mean that it’s time to start sweating. A lot.

Whether I’m mucking stalls or headed out for a ride, I know that the heat is going to catch up with me at some point. So I try to take steps to combat the warm temperatures by doing things like outfitting myself in performance material with wicking properties or taking a random “hose shower” when I’m bathing my horse. And of course, I try to stay hydrated with water, water, and more water.

During rides on days when my horse and I are sweating away in harmony, I find myself wondering how much work is too much. I was pretty surprised after reading just how susceptible horses are to the heat.

In fact, it only take about 17 minutes of work at a moderate level of intensity in hot and humid weather for a horse’s body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. You can learn more about the effects of heat by checking out this article over on Horsetalk here.

And then check out some of the other headlines from this week in Horse Health News, presented by Absorbine:

Do Blanketed Horses Get Enough Vitamin D?: With warm weather, comes flies. With flies, come fly sheets. Do you ever wonder if keeping your horse covered in the sun keeps them from getting enough vitamin D? Researchers from New Zealand have recently come to the conclusion that blanketing does not seem to impact a horse’s vitamin D status. [The Horse]

High Fibre Diet Best for Equine Hydration: Dehydration is nobody’s friend. In fact, when experiencing as little as 2% dehydration, a horse’s performance can be impacted. A British equine nutritionist is encouraging horse owners to consider adding more fibre to their horse’s diet in order to promote hydration. [Horsetalk]

How Common are Gastric Ulcers?: How likely is your horse at risk to develop gastric ulcers? Listen in to this commentary by Dr. Frank Andrews, who shares his insight into the likelihood of a horse having gastric ulcers. [The Horse]

12 Ways to Protect Your Horse from Laminitis: No one wants to hear that dreaded “L” word as part of a diagnosis for their horse: Laminitis. Taking a proactive approach by identifying at risk horses, and taking steps to help maintain their health can hopefully minimize their risk of this condition. [Equus Magazine]

FDA Targets Unlicensed Horse Drugs: During Fall 2014, the FDA sent warning letters to a number of companies who are marketing unlicensed and adulterated horse drugs. Included in the list were a number of companies marketing ulcer treatments. While unapproved drugs may be more cost effective, they have not gone through the FDA’s approval process, and are therefore considered to be “unsafe and adulterated”. [Practical Horseman]