Published: 2017-07-20 15:56:39 Categories: Health
Source: flickr.com Author: Mark © Blue Boy ® TBB
The weather is great, temperature has risen. Summer is in full swing. We can enjoy afternoon sunshine and outdoor trainings. Many riders increases the number of trainings for their horses in the summer time. However, summer trainings are not the easiest trainings possible, especially on hot days. Horses, just like people, sweat in order to lower their body temperature that has risen due to physical effort. And they sweat a lot. A healthy horse during one training can produce approximately 15 liters of sweat per hour, and in each liter there is 10g of electrolytes. When the training takes place in a higher temperature and humidity, the sweat vaporises quicker, which hinders the cooling process and increases sweat production. In result, your horse loses more electrolytes that are "eluted" along with sweat. Deficit of electrolytes can cause cardiac arrhythmias, improper blood pressure, or muscle pain. As well as bad general sensation and lack of concentration. Enduring deficit of electrolytes in blood can lead to severe multi-organ changes.
As we mentioned above, your horse loses electrolytes while sweating, so during intense training. Excessive sweating can also be a reaction to stress. What is more, electrolytes are also lost during colic, diarrhoea, haemorrhages, and various infectious diseases. Keeping proper level of electrolytes is crucial for horses' general health and shape. Horses, like most animals, don't have major supplies of ions, which their organism could use in case of a sudden need. In a normal diet, horses get from 50 to 100 grams of mineral salts (electrolytes) per day. However, loss of electrolytes during two-days eventing competition can cause loss of as much as 500g. Thus, without additional supplements, restoring the proper level of electrolytes would take from 5 to 10 days.
Source: flickr.com Author: Neil McIntosh
We already mentioned in what kind of situation you should give your horse electrolytes. In case of supplementing them after physical effort - training or competitions - you should give them as soon after the effort ends as possible, e.g. within an hour. Electrolytes administered within this time range will improve your horse's regeneration processes. An isotonic solution of electrolytes for racing horses can be administered on a vet gate.
While giving the horse electrolytes, you should always remember to provide him with a constant access to fresh water, as electrolytes are hygroscopic, which means that the preparation given to the horse without proper amount of water might do him more harm than good. The preparation will absorb the water in your horse's bowels, which will only contribute to dehydration.
A perfect preparation is one that will constitute a solution of the same concentration as bodily fluids. Very popular are sachets to dissolve in water or fluids. If the preparation is salty in taste and your horse doesn't want to drink it, you can try to mix it with juice. Gel preparations in syringes are quite easy to use and popular especially during competitions. While using this form of administering electrolytes, you need to remember to give your horse proper amount of water to drink right after application of the preparation.