How To Prevent Heat Stress Colic?
• Provide shade with fans located up high in the shelter.
• Lose salt and clean cool water (change out the water several times a day) to prevent heat stress colic.
• Use the Hay Pillow to slow down hay consumption.
• Never work any equine in extreme heat. Avoid surgeries or sedation during extreme heat.
- Clip a donkey, horse or mule if medically needed.
Signs of heat stress in a donkey, horse or mule:
Hot skin to the touch
• Rapid breathing with flared nostrils
• Laying down wont get up
• “Glassy” eyes
• Staggering or weak gait
• High core body temperature. The rectal temperature is the last to increase so internal temperatures of the muscles will be even higher.
For more mild cases:
Call the vet
• Bathe the donkey, horse or mule in cool water and repeat as necessary. Allow to air dry. Do not scrape keep in shade under the fan.
*Check the body temperature using a rectal thermometer.
•For more severe cases:
Call the vet.
• Hose the donkey, mule or horse using cold water for at least 5 minutes. If using a bucket, apply cold water every minute (a person on each side) for at least 5 minutes. After this time the rectal temperature should be near normal but check to make sure. Allow to air dry do not scrape. Put back into a shaded space.
Veterinarian may need to sedate add intravenous fluids to save a life.
For both situations:
• Once your equine is acting more comfortable can walk again, move to a shaded area.
- Check the body temperature using a rectal thermometer.
• Give cool clean water. Equine that refuse to drink may require intravenous fluid therapy. Discuss with your veterinarian.
• Bathing may need to be repeated as core temperatures can sometimes increase again as heat stored in muscle is released.
• Monitor your donkey, mule or horse carefully do not leave their side until the vet says you can to ensure they are eating and drinking normally, look for normal urine and manure in both appearance and amount during the next 24 hours. Please talk to your vet for guidance as heat colic can be a life threatening issue for all equine.
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