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Is there such a thing as "mild" anihidrosis? Advice needed

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  • Is there such a thing as "mild" anihidrosis? Advice needed

    I have a horse, who it seems, does not sweat. I have only had the horse a short time, but in that time each time he is ridden there is no sweat. Maybe a little under the bridle, and a little under the girth, just damp though, not wet.

    The horse was quite unfit, and so I'd have thought that it would sweat a bit. A recent ride of 45 mins of trot work up hills still didnt get any sweat, yet the horse I was riding with, had foam between her legs (and she would be at the same fitness level).

    I spoke with my vet who says he thinks the horse is just fit! I am not convinced... there are no other physical issues, the horse drinks and eats well (will even stop while out on a hack, and have a drink from a puddle if need be).

    I know pretty much nothing about this condition, and according to the local vets, they have never seen it (I am in new zealand) therefore they think it is unlikely.

    Is there any way I can self diagnose the horse...what other things can I look out for to determine if it is a fit horse, or a horse with anihidrosis lol

    ANy advice/info appreciated ;-)

  • #2
    Start by monitoring heart rate, respiration and body temperature before you mount up, immediately at the end of a good work out and then track at 5-10 min intervals thereafter until all are back to normal. Your vet should be interested in this information. Body temp can increase 2oF and be normal, but should return to normal 15-30 min afterwards. Respiration rate can exceed heart rate immediately at end of work, but should drop precipitously right after in line with the heart rate, ending up about half of the heart rate in about 15 min if your horse is fit.
    pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

    Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill


    • #3
      My guy will sweat patchy on his neck and sometimes it drips between his legs, but it is not enough to keep him cool. He pants when he gets hot. Does your guy pant (or breathe real quick and shallow?) Does he seem to be tire easily or have exercise intolerance? These are some other signs his body isn't sweating enough. Also, keep a record of his temperature to make sure he isn't overheating.

      Hopefully it is not anhidrosis; it is not a fun thing to go through!


      • #4
        My horse would only sweat very lightly for about a year before he went completely non-sweating.

        A horse suffering from anhidrosis will look miserable or at least uncomfortable, and will struggle more to recover from exericise, at least in my limited experience.
        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


        • #5
          The signs are more exercise intolerance when they are heading into anhydrosis, in my experience, rather than total absence of sweat. I've seen them crash and suddenly stop sweating, and that's an emergency situation, but often they just sweat less and less, and tolerate exercise poorly. There are all levels of anhydrosis, from patchy sweating (they will sweat under the saddle and a bit on the chest, but not on the flanks or shoulders), to not much at all. My Friesian always sweated some, but was tremendously intolerant of exercise still, so I had trouble getting people to believe he actually had anhydrosis. He didn't sweat efficiently enough to cool down his big body in the summer, although he was fine in the winter.

          I finally had to send him up North, by the way, and he is fine up there.


          • #6
            Well sadly I have a lot of experience with anhidrosis since I live in South Carolina. In my experience it really does not become a problem until the temps reach the upper 80's -90's Farenheit. Plus lots of humidity. And all the horses I have known who had it (including my own horse) have ALL started sweating again literally the first night the temps went down in the 60's. A big clue is the horse's respiration. It will get very fast and they will blow extremely hard because they are trying to lose heat through panting.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys... Basically the horse has a normal resting heart rate. If anything a little on the low side. After a 40 minute ride trotting and walking with one relatively good canter, the heart rate was still only 50-55. At no time does the horse blow or get distressed.

              Given that I am in NZ, it is currently winter here. Daytime temps are pretty mild though, around 17-18 celcius most days....I think that is about 66 farenheit?

              The horse loves to be worked, is keen and forward. No respiratory issues that I can tell, and I'm unsure of body temp but will check that out.

              I guess I will know more as the weather heats up.

              Thanks again....will check out the temperature this weekend.