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Does Your Horse Have Anhidrosis?

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Anhidrosis is the partial or total loss of the ability to sweat. The cause of this condition, which results in the coat becoming very dry, is unknown. Anhidrosis affects horses that have been moved from a temperature area to a hot, humid climate. Initially, the horse will sweat excessively after exercise; eventually, the horse progressively loses the ability to sweat, until only a small area under the mane is still able to perspire.

Anhidrotic horses compensate for the lack of sweating by increased urination to remove surplus body fluids, and by increased respiration. If such a horse is exercised, it may run a fever of 105-108*F, and collapse in respiratory and cardiac failure.

An acute case of anhidrosis is treated by replacing lost fluids with physiological saline solution to replenish lost electrolytes. Wetting the coat with water, and blowing fans on the horse, to help him cool off, may be also beneficial.

A horse with anhidrosis will recover upon return to a more temperate climate, The addition of salt to the to the horse's diet will hasten the animal's recovery.

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