Dehydration can be an issue for horses year round. Heat can cause horses to sweat out a lot of their water content. Cold temperatures can make horses feel less inclined to drink sufficient amounts of water. Dehydration in horses can become fatal quickly. It causes excess strain to their kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure and other organ damage. It is important to know and look for the signs of dehydration in horses, no matter what time of year it is.
Signs of Dehydration
There are many signs that indicate dehydration in your horse. These signs include:
- Decreased skin elasticity- when you pinch the horses skin, it should return to its place in under two seconds. If it doesn’t, your horse may be dehydrated.
- Changes in gum color or feel- the gum should be bubblegum pink and moist.
- Sunken eyes- sunken eyes indicate severe levels of dehydration.
- Decreased appetite- a dehydrated horse may show little or no appetite. Their flank may even have a tucked up look.
- Dry feces- the moisture level in the feces can indicate the horse’s hydration levels. Alternatively, diarrhea can cause dehydration in horses, even if they are maintaining normal drinking levels.
- If a normally energetic horse begins acting lethargic or depressed, it may be dehydrated.
- Dry skin and eyes are indications of dehydration
How to Reverse Dehydration
If multiple signs of dehydration are present, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. Dehydration can cause irreversible damage in as little as three or four days. Ensure that there is always clean water available for your horse. Make sure the water isn’t too cold or hot for the horse to drink comfortably. An easy way to provide the appropriate temperature of water is through a Bar-Bar-A Watering System. Making salt blocks available or soaking your horse’s food with water are both excellent ways to increase their water consumption.
Dehydration can cause serious issues at any time of the year. Installing a Bar-Bar-A system can go a long way toward preventing inadequate water consumption. For more information about our Bar-Bar-A system, contact us at the Horse Drinker today!