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Do Horses Sweat

Do Horses Sweat

Why do Horses Sweat

Horses have sweat glands like other animals and they sweat to cool themselves in hot weather, during exercise, while running in a race, or when stressed or injured. Sweating is an essential part of the complex cooling system that helps the horse to maintain a normal body temperature (99-100 °F). It is usually an indication that your horse is healthy; though excessive sweating could be a sign of some underlying condition.

How do Horses Sweat

During an intense exercise, a race, or in hot weather, the horse’s body generates heat which is lost through breathing and through radiation from the skin. If the heat produced is more than what it can lose through its nose and skin, the sweat glands are activated by the brain so the excess heat can be radiated through sweat. Although the primary constituent of horse’s sweat is water, it has a higher concentration of electrolytes (dissolved minerals) than humans.

Can a Horse Sweat for No Reason

A horse can sweat without any physical activity, especially if it is staying in a poorly ventilated stall, or if it is a hot day.

Is it Normal for a Horse not to Sweat

If your horse is not sweating at all even after strenuous work, it might mean that it is unable to regulate its body temperature. In such a case, it may get overheated (106-110 °F) and get a heatstroke unless measures are taken to help it cool down.

Since both excessive sweating and no sweating in horses could indicate major health problems, it is advisable that you consult a vet and check your horse‘s fitness level.

Interesting Facts

  • Some horses lose electrolytes (dissolved minerals) and a protein called latherin that looks like white foam, typically seen between their neck and hind legs where the bridle or rope makes contact with their hide.
  • Horses use the protein latherin to wet their skin surface and facilitate evaporative cooling from their thick, waterproof hide.
  • When a horse exercises or does hard work, it can lose up to four gallons of sweat an hour.

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