Did you know-Water is the most important nutrient horses need?

by Jordan Manfredi
Thirsty Thursdays-Dr. Joe Rosenberg Thirsty Thursdays-Dr. Joe Rosenberg

Thirsty? "Thirsty Thursday’s” Dr. Joe Rosenberg of Paniolo Equine Veterinary Services is back with more horse hydration information and tips to keep you and your horse healthy this summer.

“Did you know? Water is the most important nutrient horses need. Water is crucial to digestion, and makes up most of the bloodstream and other body fluids – a horse’s brain is 85% water, muscles 75%. Even the bones are 30% water. Preventative Dehydration Tips: Mid-exercise During exercise, many horses will drink salty water preferentially since they are sodium depleted, so it’s a good idea to offer both plain water and water with Horse Quencher (as it’s made with 20% salt to increase your horse’s sodium intake). Another option is to add 2 tablespoons of salt per gallon of plain water. Either way, consumption of salty water leads to better water retention than consumption of plain water. Post-exercise Electrolyte supplementation is much less valuable once horses are depleted, so this scenario should be avoided if possible. Therefore, severely affected horses must be re-hydrated immediately. Horse Quencher is a great aid in getting your horse to drink up fast. A commonly used protocol is to give a dose of Horse Quencher and electrolytes the night before strenuous exercise, a second dose in the morning before starting exercise, and a dose every 3-4 hours during exercise. Take Home Message As you enjoy your equestrian activities this summer, keep hydration and electrolytes in mind.As with most situations, prevention has been scientifically proven to be the best strategy." Happy Trails

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