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EQ Life January magazine: How to beat heat stress

How to beat heat stress in horses.


How to beat heat stress

By Dr Maxine Brain

While the hot Australian climate can be brutal and produce extreme temperatures that cause heat stress in horses, this dangerous condition can also be brought on by intensive exercise on an ordinary summer’s day.

A normal horse’s temperature sits between 37.5 and 38.5°C, with most horses sitting in the 37.5-38.2 °C range. Illness and exercise can increase the body’s core temperature and cause problems with the normal physiological functioning of the body. 

With exercise, the temperature rise is usually short-lived as the body utilises various biological methods to reduce heat and return the core temperature to an ideal level. (Increases in body temperature because of illness relate to the release of inflammatory mediators and the loss of thermoregulation, and can cause heat stress in the horse — but that will not be discussed in this article).   

Heat stress should be thought of as the inability of the horse to lose excess body heat. If the heat cannot be effectively dissipated and the body temperature stays high, critical thresholds are surpassed and death can occur…    

Read the full article here in the January issue of Equestrian Life!




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