Summer Season & Your Horse
Help keep your horse healthy, cool and comfortable this summer with these tips from the veterinarians of the UF Large Animal Hospital.
- Check your pastures for poisonous plants such as creeping indigo, pokeweed, poison hemlock, spotted hemlock, bracken fern, oleander, nightshade, lantana, milkweed, perilla mint, rattlebox and showy crotalaria. If your horse eats any of these plants call us or your veterinarian immediately.
- For horses that sweat excessively, electrolytes can be supplemented to encourage water intake.
- Remember to keep fresh water available at all times.
- Mount an outdoor fan in your horse’s stall to provide air flow, however, make sure that the cords and plugs are out of reach.
- Remove stagnant water from areas where horses are kept to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. In turn, clean your water buckets and troughs frequently.
- Horses in Florida typically do not need to be dewormed from May to September. It is too hot for egg transmission.
- Even if your horse is well-conditioned, it is best to avoid excessive exercise in the hot summer months.
- Ensure that your horse has plenty of shade when turned out to pasture.
- The summer season is especially difficult for horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), also referred to as heaves (asthma), and anhidrosis (non-sweating). Be conscious of the clinical signs and call us or your veterinarian immediately if any of these signs are present.