Is your horse getting dehydrated in this hot weather?
How do you check?...
Here are two simple checks that you can do to see if your horse is properly hydrated:
1) The skin-pinch test:
Grab a fold of skin on the point of their shoulder and pull it away from their body slightly. Then release it, noticing how long it takes for the “pinch” to flatten out. In a hydrated horse, the skin will snap back in less than a second.
In a dehydrated horse the crease will still be visible after two to three seconds.
** Call us immediately if you can still see the pinched area after six seconds.
2) Press your fingertip against their gums:
When you release the pressure, you’ll see a white spot; note how long it takes for the pink colour to return to this spot.
In a hydrated horse the blood (the pink) will return in less than two seconds.
In a dehydrated horse the white spot remains after three or four seconds.
Also, look out for dark urine, dark mucous membranes (gums), and increased body temperature. These are also signs of dehydration.
It is also worth noting that a dehydrated horse may not be interested in drinking, do not assume that because the horse isn’t interested in water that it is hydrated.