Woe is me, it has finally heated back up here in the Midwest to truly nasty, and unbearable. And while taking a shower with my horse does help, there are things to watch out for. (Why did I pick a sport with long pants and boots?) I know it’s a little excessive, but I’m a bit neurotic when it comes to heat safety. Bad things can happen, so be careful!
This week we started getting the official heat advisories from local weather channels, and handy dandy weather.com.
Just some quick info you should probably know…
Heat advisories and warning are always issued from the National Weather Service when high heat temperatures are expected to grace us with their presence within a 36 hour timeline. These alerts are put out when the heat index is expected to exceed 105 degrees for two consecutive days. (yuck)
Heat Advisory classifies a heat condition that will be highly uncomfortable and may have dangerous results to those enduring the temperatures.
Heat Warning actually means that conditions will be dangerous enough to threaten life and health of those exposed. AKA…get someplace cool if you can.
I linked up to the National Weather Service if you want the whole story on heat warnings/symptoms of heat related health issues here.
Horses suffer like we do during the ridiculous hot, and can easily suffer from heatstroke as well. I have seen a horse suffering from heatstroke, and it is really scary stuff all around. I found this short and informational piece on the symptoms at Drsfostersmith.com and thought I’d share.
Signs of heatstroke (heat stress/heat exhaustion are other terms):
1. Elevated respiratory rate-between 40-50 breaths per minute, shallow breathing and breathing that remains elevated after two minutes of rest.
2. Elevated heart rate- a pulse of more than 80 beats per minute that doesn’t slow down after two minutes of rest
3. Increased or absence of sweating- full body sweating or worse, if you horse stops sweating
4. Elevated temperatures- a rectal temp or 103 degrees F or higher
5. Lethargy- signs of depression, disinterest in food, stumbling or collapsing.
To help cool your horse, do the obvious and stop work, bathe them immediately, offer lots and lots of water to drink, and get your horse out of direct sunlight.
Okay, I think I’m done with my soapbox. Just wanted to make sure everyone stays safe and cool both four legged and two!