Teddy the Haflinger - Anhidrosis
Summer is here in full force with warm temperatures and high humidity. This is also the time of year when Teddy starts to struggle with anhidrosis, a condition where the horse's ability to sweat shuts down. This can be dangerous because sweating is how horses cool down their bodies, and it can lead to heat exhaustion, collapse, or worse.
The first sign that Teddy shows this condition is when the first hot, humid days start, he will be rapidly breathing with visibly flared nostrils and heaving flanks, even while just in his pasture. I always compare how he is sweating compared to other horses and he does have a little bit of sweat on his chest, but that is all. I will hose him down for several minutes while continually scraping until the water on his body is cool. Then, he sits under a fan for at least an hour to cool off. I also body clipped him for the second time this year.
Teddy has had this condition for the past two years and after researching the various supplement and treatments, I've found that there is not one thing that works for every horse. There is also no substantial finding that addresses the cause of anhidrosis. So, what I did is try what most people try first, and that is One AC supplement.
I also found that people give beer to there horses for anhidrosis, specifically dark beer, so I added a Guinness Stout.
Finally, I also added an electrolyte supplement.
I started Teddy on 1 scoop of One AC back in March to try to get him ready for summer. Then, at the first sign of becoming over heated, it went up to 2 scoops of One AC and 1/2 scoop of electrolytes in his morning supplements and 2 more scoops of One AC, the beer and 1/2 scoop of electrolytes in the afternoon. He also got daily, sometimes twice daily, hosing/scraping sessions followed by sitting under a fan.
Thankfully, after about a week of this, he started sweating again and no more panting. I then am keeping him on 2 scoops of One AC and 1 scoop of electrolytes in his morning supplements and a beer once a week. I have also been taking his temperature and on the warmest days, he has been at 99 to 100 degrees every day, which is average. I wish I had taken his temperature when he was panting, but I was so focused on getting him quickly to the wash rack, I didn't want to take the time to take his temperature.
Next year, I'm going to be even more proactive on trying to be a step ahead of this problem. Anhidrosis is a scary thing and I feel lucky that Teddy has responded well to basic treatment. The panting was the biggest symptom he had but was not lethargic and did not have any dry coat problems, which are also symptoms.
UPDATE: 2016 - Teddy is sweating this year! We've had 90 degree, humid weather and he is doing great. The changes that I have made in his supplements since last year is to add 1/2 cup of Omega Horseshine a day to his feed, along with Vita-Flex MSM, and I took him off of Smartbreathe. I don't know if any of this is why he is sweating again but am so happy that he is!
If your horse has symptoms of anhidrosis, definitely consult your vet. There are different treatments available and I am listing the one's that I know about below. I've only tried One AC, Guinness, and electrolytes, so ask your vet what is best for your horse.
One AC supplement
Let M Sweat supplement
True Sweat supplement
Platinum Refresh supplement
Equine Mega Sweat supplement
Finally, I have read that beet pulp and antihistamines, such as Dex or Tri-hist can contribute to or be a cause of anhidrosis. Teddy did not take any of these, so I can't comment much more than that. Again, it's best to consult your vet.