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Summer Healthcare Advice 

How to keep your horse comfortable when the heat starts to rise.

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We spend most of the year longing for the summer to arrive but the long hot days also create a whole new set of health issues for our horses and ponies.

Here we take a look at a few common ailments that are more prevalent in the summer and how to keep your horse comfortable when the heat starts to rise.

Common Ailments

Sunburn – Horses are most susceptible in non-pigmented, pink-skinned areas of the body, such as the muzzle, around the eyes and the heel, which is an area often overlooked. We all know how painful it is when we forget to apply sunscreen to our feet! Sunburnt skin is prone to becoming sore and infected.

Sweet Itch – This is an allergic response to the saliva injected when midges, sand flies and other insects bite, causing horses to itch and then rub themselves which often leads to inflamed and broken skin. Broken skin leaves horses susceptible to infection so it is important to keep affected areas clean. Activ Scrub is a cleansing wash with anti-bacterial properties, ideal to cleanse the skin, helping to remove dirt and contamination

Hoof Problems – During summer hooves are more prone to cracking. Stones and hard ground can fracture pieces of the hoof and can also cause bruising. Remember to check hooves daily and ensure your horse is visited by the farrier every six to eight weeks.

Cuts and Scrapes – Our horses are turned out for longer periods, increasing the risk of field-related injuries. All wounds, even minor ones, require attention to promote healing and avoid infection. Clean as soon as possible with a saline solution or a level teaspoon of salt per pint of previously boiled water.

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Keeping Your Horse Comfortable When the Heat Rises

Robinson Animal HealthcareShelter – Make sure your horse always has access to shelter, even if this is natural shelter in the form of a hedge. Consider stabling your horse at the hottest time of the day.

Flies – Ensure your horse is protected from flies by using a suitable fly repellent and always remove dry sweat.

Water – Always make sure your horse has a clean supply of fresh water to avoid dehydration and to keep the body functioning at an optimum level. Horses will drink more when the temperature goes up.

Exercise – Try to exercise your horse at the coolest part of the day. Early morning is often the best option.

Salt - Allow constant access to a salt block to replace what is lost through sweating.

Most of all remember to enjoy the good weather with your horse, as it will be winter again before you know it!

Robinson Animal HealthcareRobinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements including; Animalintex® poultice and wound dressings, Veterinary Gamgee®, Equiwrap®, Activate® carbon dressings, Koolpak®, Activ Scrub, Vetalintex® wound hydrogel.

For more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit