Feeds for Anhydrosis, Dry Coat & Non Sweating Disease, the Puffs in horses.
Anhydrosis cannot be treated effectively through medication and must be managed by diet and controlled environment. Horses that live in a hot humid environment are not able to make a full recovery.
Feeding low NSC, oil based feeds such as CoolStance and PowerStance may reduce the heat of digestion, and may assist in reducing the cooling requirements of the horse. Oil does not cause production of heat as it is digested and therefore enables the horse to stay cool while feeding and not have to compromise energy levels. Feeds generate heat during digestion in the body, and some feeds generate more heat than others. High fibre diets are digested in the large intestines and generate heat of fermentation. Cereal grains fermentation in the hindgut causes the horse to become hot and "fizzy" which compromises the horse suffering from anhydrosis as they cant cool down.
Balanced electrolyte supplements are available for horses living in hot humid environments and should be fed in the months before the onset of summer/hot weather. Clipping, air conditioning, hosing down and exercising in the coolest part of the day helps.
What is Anhydrosis?
Anhydrosis is known as "dry coat" or "non-sweating disease" and "the puffs". These horses lose the ability to sweat, and hence cannot sweat to regulate body temperature, which can lead to overheating (hyperthermia).
The exact cause of anhydrosis is unknown, although it is known that the horse's sweat glands become unresponsive. Horses that are exposed to a hot humid climate are most susceptible to this condition. All breeds of horse can be affected by anhydrosis.
Symptoms of Anhydrosis
Some horses have been shown to sweat profusely in the few weeks or days before anhydrosis starts. Affected horses can stop sweating altogether, or reduced and patchy sweating, especially in areas typically prone to heavy sweating (such as the girth or over the back). These changes in sweat production can occur overnight or start to set in gradually. Symptoms of anhydrosis
- loss of performance
- horses "blow" with fully dilated nostrils for up to an hour after exercise to reduce heat
- Increase or decrease water intake the coat and skin can become very dry and scaly with hair loss apparent around the face or neck.