Just as the winter months can pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of your animals, summer can also be a dangerous time of the year. There are a number of health issues you should be aware of and make plans to negate. Here we highlight two key problems to look out for:
If we have particularly hot weather during the summer, you should be aware of the potential problems caused by overheating. While it is quite common, and in mild cases can be easily remedied, overheating can in some cases pose serious long term health issues and potentially even death.
There are various signs and symptoms to look out for in overheating. They range from a lethargic attitude, to intense sweating, or more seriously – no sweating at all. Other signs include blowing hard and little interest in grazing. Your animal’s skin may also feel hot and dry.
The easiest way to tell if your horse is overheating, however, is to take its normal temperature and make a note of their resting pulse and respiration. A normal temperature at rest should be between 99-101 degrees F, with a pulse of 28-44 beats per minute and 10-24 breaths per minute. Write your horse’s regular measurements on the wall in your tack room. If you suspect they are struggling in the heat, take it’s measurements and compare against the baseline. If their appears to be a substantial difference, move them into the shade and take steps to cool them down with water and sponging.
Just like humans, horses can suffer from sunburn too. Horses burn similarly to the way humans do – and similarly the lighter their skin, the easier they burn. But even if you have a completely black horse, they are still susceptible the sun’s rays. And sunburn is just as painful for them, as it is for us.
If your horse is suffering from sunburn you’ll notice them behaving irritable to touch and if you look closer you’ll see the red raw skin underneath thats unusually hot to the touch. If sunburn is left untreated, the animal’s skin will become flaky, cracked and blister – and in particularly serious situations lead to infection. For the happiness and well being of your animal, it’s a good idea to prevent it.
The first action you can take is to shelter your animal during the hottest parts of the day. If you normally ride over midday, try switching to the morning or late afternoon if you can. If you don’t have the flexibility, however, you can always slap on some sunscreen. There are several specialist horse sunscreens available, but if you don’t have access, you can always put on some of your own, it works just the same way.
If your horse has already been burnt, however, apply aloe sunburn treatments to help re-moisturise and heal the skin. Otherwise, any antiseptic ointment such as Savlon or Sudocream also helps.
Avoid The Risks With A Mobile Field Shelter
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to avoid the potential health problems posed by the summer months is to invest in a mobile field shelter. Mobile field shelters are a flexible and cost efficient solution to keeping your horses in great, healthy condition all summer long as they can shade and cool themselves whenever they want.
To read about all the benefits click here to visit our field shelter overview page and view pricing.