Dehydrated horse - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Dehydrated horse

It was hot and humid today for the NE with heat index at 100. My horse had shade and plenty of hay and water and I hosed him a few times. When he came in tonight he seemed a little dehydrated and I got him to drink a little but when I tested his neck he was still dehydrated. I had given electrolytes in the am and then again at night time feeding. Anything else I can do to encourage him to drink? His water was all fresh and cool. Also, he doesnt seem to drink as much in his stall and sometimes if you take him outside to one of the pasture tanks he will drink then so im not really sure whats up with that!
Thanks!!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:10 PM
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You can add a bit of koolaid to the water I believe or get some table salt and rub it on his gums / mouth or sprinkle in his food to encourage drinking.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for your advice, he sometimes likes flavored water so maybe he will like the koolaid! He's weird bc I know he drank today at least a few times bc I saw him but apparently not enough and I feel bad that he doesnt in his stall very much and he's in there all night! Also, if I do the salt on his gums should I stop the electrolytes then?
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:17 PM
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I would personally still give him his electrolytes the salt just encourages him to drink but still might not be enough.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for your advice!! :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:45 PM
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You're welcome :) goodluck!
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 11:14 PM
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be careful with electrolytes - they can replenish salt and nutrients lost from sweating, however if the horse doesn't drink enough, they can also cause poisoning.

If the horse isn't in work, and has plenty of access to fresh, clean, cool water, I wouldn't overuse the electrolytes (once per day is plenty) and I wouldn't use paste electrolytes on top of the regular supplement.

Here's an interesting article about this situation that occurred in endurance horses when the owners believed they were doing what was best - http://www.freewebs.com/canterburyet...0Poisoning.pdf

And here is a great article that talks about supplementing horses with electrolytes and what to do - The 411 on Electrolytes

Good luck, and remember for the most part, the average healthy horse will drink as much as they need in this weather (i know our troughs here had to be filled up more than once today!). So avoid heavy work if you don't need to ride - don't - and keep the electrolyte supps to 1x/day at the recommended dose. Also - as an aside - gatorade, powerade, and koolaid (as well as any other human electrolytes) are NOT the same as what horses need as horses have a very different salt composition to their sweat than people do!

Be safe!
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 11:16 PM
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The koolaid I mentioned just adds flavor not for electrolytes just to clear it up :).
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 11:32 PM
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This may seem silly, but my question is, what will cause an otherwise healthy, though perhaps slightly dehydrated horse to choose NOT to drink, given it has a very clean water supply, in a very clean bucket/waterer/trough, and in a situation where it has easy access to this water?

The reason I wish to know, other than for education's sake, is that in thinking about humans, we will allow ourselves to go around underhydrated for a few reasons, none of which are things a horse would be susceptible to, (drinking too many diuresing beverages-coffee, soda, juice-rather than WATER when we feel the "thirst trigger" encouraging us to drink, sometimes people just don't like water-God only knows why!-so they simply don't drink enough of it, or, they are too busy to pay proper attention TO their
thirst) just an example of some human causes of dehydration...

Horses don't generally drink but water, thus, that is their choice when they feel thirst...May be a silly question, so please don't flame...I am a water-holic & drink nearly a gallon a day easy! I am always pushing my hubby, kid, AND DOG to drink MORE. WHEN I become a horse-owner/leaser, I am SURE I TOO, will worry a lot about this issue!!

OP-I hope your horse drinks up plenty and gets out of this predicament rapidly!!

"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-08-2012, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone! He has been doing better. We switched the bucket in his stall and he seems to like the new one a little more...who knows why but he has been drinking about 1/2 a bucket at night. He is also starting on more grass which I hope keeps him more hydrated...he has to do it slow and everything as he has a lot of issues...poor pony!
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