First off I will preface by saying the vet is coming out today.
Once the temps here in my part of NC started hitting the upper 90's-100, I noticed my gelding breathing heavily, didn't think much of it as he paces and calls to the mares quite often, so he could have been doing this. This week I have been around the barn and have seen him doing this w/o the pacing, and he has started to sweat less. Yesterday after riding only about 15 mins. of trot work (intermittently at that), he was breathing harder, no sweat and took about 30 mins. to really cool back down to more normal body temps. We suspect anhidrosis.
I have been following the other thread here on the board about treatments and such. But for the riding aspect of this condition, how do you do it? Only ride in the wee morning hours/ late evenings on the summer days? This is all so new as the gelding has only been mine for 1.5 years now. He did not have this problem last year, but then again, we never hit these kind of temps for 2 (very dry) weeks straight. Any advice on working with the anhidrotic horse will help lots.
Oh--one more question, I saw it is best to start the supps (one AC, etc) before it gets hot. Obviously I cant do this now, so will steroids help him get through this so the supps can start working or should I just go ahead and stock up on the beer (for me too)
I'd avoid the steroids - this isn't a lung problem and they won't help. Of course, follow your vet's recommendation. The thread on the Dressage Forum has lots of ideas for
riding, but yes, early or late for the rest of the summer.
I'd start the beer ASAP, and One AC in the hopes that it might help your guy (didn't mine.)
I actually could only ride at night, my horse was so severe. Rode by ring light at around 8-9 PM, brought a friend along 'just in case.' Not a habit I'd like to repeat XD There is something 'proactive' about getting that ride out of the way at 6 AM though, then you've got the rest of the day...whatever you choose, hope it works out for you! On the occasions I did ride during the day, I kept a sponge and water down in the ring--I hosed him before I got on, then as he dried would sponge him wet again...usually had to do this 2-3 times before the lesson was over, but it surely kept him cool. I have bitter memories about anhidrosis and could have cried when my yearling filly started to sweat buckets...last two horses were both displaced up north their condition was so bad.
Thank you :-) Are there any side effects with the beer that I should be aware of? Also, do you do it 1x or 2x a day or is it really just experimentation? This is so frustrating when all you want to do is ride and learn. He isn't making it easy.
If hosing him several times a day is something that helps, I may bring him home as I don't think the trainer can really monitor like I could if he were home. And I will def. keep a bucket of water with us when riding, and make sure he's wet before the ride too.
Keeping the horse wet is a very viable and successful solution to riding when the sun's up since you are totally replacing your horse's cooling mechanism in that way. My horse was SO severe that I actually brought him in during the day--we hooked up a misting device to two box fans on his stall and he actually stayed fairly comfortable.
I never noticed any beer side effects (though there would be some debate if you can call natty light 'beer' XD) Just bought the cheapest case I could find and he got one can over his food 2x a day, though at the time I was underage and buying it was a bit of a nuisance...I have been told that doing a guiness is more successful. He was also a BIG horse, so I'll leave it to other COTHers to see how much they fed successfully. The hosing and wetting DOES cool the horse off (just be sure like always to really strip all the water off or it holds the heat) but it is only a temporary solution--if he's happy under a big shade tree with his buddies at your trainers, it might be better to leave them there. Sometimes stress can make anhidrosis worse.
Go ahead and start the One AC or Let M Sweat, you may get some results even though it's already into the hot season.
I use cheap beer; I don't believe that it has to be dark beer for all horses to work. You might have to do some trial and error with this. I've heard results from both types.
I also feed a low sugar electrolyte supplement - twice the recommended dose. I like Seminole's Rebound Lytes.
Make sure you are on top of fly control; they can overheat even more if they are constantly stomping and swishing flies.
I switched my guy off grain to soaked beet pulp with a ration balancer; I just didn't feel comfortable giving him grain in this heat. I use ice cold water, soak the BP for 5 minutes, and feed it extra cold. It also hides the supps very well.
I don't ride unless he looks comfortable, i.e. he's had a good day, shows some signs of sweating, isn't huffing and puffing. I also pick a shady spot under the oak trees, and i soak him thoroughly prior to riding. I try to ride at night but then I have to deal with the bugs.
It's very weird - some days he has sweat all over his neck, other days he's bone dry. Very inconsistent.
It's a horrible thing to have to deal with, and I wish there was a support group for us b/c I worry about my horse constantly!! Anhidrosis sucks.
It's recommended to use Guinness Stout because of the higher amount of hops that a cheap beer won't have. A spritzer filled with water and rubbing alcohol is a good thing to keep on hand for a quick cool. I give the Stout once a day and the One AC 2 times a day.
She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!
A friend had success with One AC with her 20 year old horse who suddenly developed anhydrosis after a stressful move to a hotter climate. It took about 4-6 weeks for him to start sweating again, meantime he had to be carefully managed with hosing down multiple times a day on hot days, and stall fans.