Initially when you talk about how to make a horse sweat it sounds much like leading a horse to water. So I’ll make it clear: this simple protocol may or may not work for your horse but it has proven to work for many others. In the least, I hope it will provide direction in case you find your horse slipping into symptoms of anhidrosis.
This tip is not completely about anhidrosis because that is a tip in its own right.
However, if your horse exhibits continued instances of non-sweating a diagnosis of anhidrosis may be around the corner. As with any abnormal body response early detection and treatment is key.
Anhidrosis is also known as the “non-sweating disease.” In the early stages you may see horses panting heavily, even beyond cessation of work. Visually there will be very little, patchy or no sweat as well as an elevated pulse and increased body temperature. If you witness these symptoms immediate veterinarian care is recommended. Sweating is how the body cools itself. Thus the initial protocol is to provide means of cooling the horse with a cool mist of water or sponging, fans, shade and exposure to a breeze/wind.
For preventative care balanced minerals, vitamins and electrolytes need to be incorporated into the diet.
Culprits that lead to anhidrosis are poor nutrient and imbalanced diets, poor quality and imbalanced water plus lack of hydration. If you have a horse that exhibits symptoms of anhidrosis support of a nutritionist would be beneficial.
Lastly, if you find yourself at a competition/ride with a horse that is not sweating appropriately we have discovered a simple protocol. An electrolyte supplement mixed with a liquid digestive support product has worked wonders for getting the ball rolling again. The continued use of this combination throughout the competition/ride and post work may get you through a serious situation until the horse’s diet and source of water may be evaluated. There are products on the market that indicate they are supportive of horses with anhidrosis; however, we strongly suggest the diet and water be reviewed prior to their application.
This tip was brought to you by Kendra Helfter (www.abcplus.biz) and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take place monthly. These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s weekly tips. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com to sign up for the next webinar.