Too much salt - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-27-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Nevada city Ca.
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Too much salt

Can a horse lick too much salt. Its a Rock mineral and i put it in the barn next to the water troft. My mare just keeps licking it when she is in the barn. She went through half of it in 3 weeks. Yesterday i noticed she did'nt want to eat her morning hay and just stood at one end of the pasture with her head down. I walked her alot and she did poop but not that much. Anyway could the salt have upset her digestive system. I have heard that even though she is dringking alot of water (much more than she did before), she could still get dehydrated.
One more thing I used to keep one of those red salt blocks out in the pasture by the water trofts and both of my horses hardly ever licked it. These rocks that i have now are different. Anyway just wondering if that could have had something to do with her mild colic yesterday. Mabe I'll move the rock over to the other side of the stall.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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If she's just licking (vs. biting and chewing) the salt, I doubt she's getting too much. How big is the salt block? You say she went through half of it in three weeks, which is fine if it's one of the small 2x4 blocks, but a unusual if it's one of the giant 40 lb blocks!

If it's been very hot and/or she's been sweating a lot, she might be lacking in some of the other minerals horses lose when sweating and you might want to supplement with electrolytes.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-27-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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The salt looks like a rock. Its got an irregular shape and takes up about 1/2 of a large salt block holder. She licks it all night while she is in the stall. I thought that might be the reason she slightly coliced yesterday. It could have been anything actually who knows. But that was the newest thing she was doing. It also has been very hot here. IN the 100s last week. She has been drinking quite alot of water at night due to licking the salt rock. My gelding doesn't like salt (weird) and plays with it. I took it out of her stall and thought i would just put it in a few times a week. Does that sound OK? She's never coliced before and she's fine today. Just thought it might have irritated her digestive system.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-27-2012, 03:51 PM
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You might want to consult your vet before removing the block. Horses are generally very good at regulating their salt intake, so there could be something else going on if she's going overboard. It could also be boredom- maybe adding in a stall toy would turn her attention away from the salt lick (especially something like a Likit or Pony Pops, since she seems to like licking!)
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-28-2012, 03:32 AM
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I don't know where you live, but in areas with selenium deficient soil most horse people purpose trace mineral blocks with selenium. I don't know what type of salt block you're purchasing, but the excessive licking may be her need for extra minerals. Maybe getting her some 12:12 loose minerals by Purina would work for her? If you decide to try that, just give a small amount as per the directions so she doesn't get too much of a good thing :)
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-05-2012, 02:07 PM
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also salt blocks should never be placed by food or water, because some horses will lick it too much and they can "overdose" on too much.

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-11-2012, 11:04 AM
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Is it a salt block or a mineral block?

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post #8 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 05:52 PM
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I have a 40lb block out in the middle of the pasture. I usually go through 2 a year with 2-3 horses out 23/7.

I would have her hair tested for vit/min def's.

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