A horse's skin loses its elasticity when its body fluid or electrolyte levels are depleted. An easy way to identify this is to pinch up a skin fold along the horse's back. A dehydrated horse's skin will stay up in a ridge, while healthy skin should spring smoothly back into place. Other signs of dehydration include: Here are some other easy simple steps to take.
Evaluate the mucous membranes of your horse's mouth and tongue. If they are excessively dry and red, the horse is showing signs of dehydration. Check the horse for excessive sweating, dull or sunken eyes and depression.
Push on the horse's gums above the teeth to check for prolonged capillary refill time. The skin will change from pink to white as you push. Count how many seconds it takes for the color to return. Anything longer than three seconds indicates dehydration.
Check your horse's heart rate. Normal heart rate is between 36 and 42 beats per minute, according to Equine Veterinary Services. Anything higher than 60 beats per minute indicates dehydration.
Record your horse's respiration rate. Normal respiration rate in a healthy horse is eight to 12 breaths per minute. The respiration rate of a dehydrated horse will be higher than the normal rate, and the breaths will be shallow.
Other Tips To make sure your horse stays Hydrated:
Provide clean, fresh water and mineral blocks to the horse at all times to prevent dehydration. Monitor the amount of water the horse consumes every day.
Deworm your horse on a regular schedule. Worms can block a horse's intestines and make healthy
Place a tank heater in your horse's water bucket or use a heated water bucket to keep the water supply from freezing in cold weather
** Tips and Warnings **
Do not wait to consult your vet if your horse is severely dehydrated. Circulatory collapse and shock may result in death if not promptly treated. Excessive amounts of electrolytes can be toxic, so always consult your veterinarian before giving electrolyte supplements.
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