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Photos courtesy of Valley Vet
Photos courtesy of Valley Vet

Quality horse stall fans and fresh water aids in horse comfort and heatstroke prevention.

As summer temperatures continue to rise, make sure you’re taking precautions to avoid heatstroke in horses and keep horses comfortable overall. Two important actions to take include installing barn fans and providing horses access to ample fresh, clean water -- always.

Preston Hickman, DVM, Wichita Equine and Sports Medicine, detailed heatstroke in horses and commons signs horse owners need to know:

“Heatstroke resembles a horse tying up and or in shock but can resemble a horse with exhaustion when they collapse. An exhausted horse might be distressed and anxious. He might have a high heart and respiratory rate that does not decrease with rest, and his skin might feel hot and dry. Some horses become stiff and experience pain due to muscle cell damage, which can be detected by observing red or brown urine (hemoglobin and/or myoglobin uria). Horses affected this badly might go down or develop other, often life-threatening conditions such as laminitis, kidney failure or diarrhea.”

Signs of heat stroke in horses include:

  • Temperature as high as 105 to 107 F
  • Rapid breathing, rapid pulse
  • Stumbling, weakness, depression
  • Refusal to eat or work
  • Dry skin and dehydration
  • In severe cases, a horse may collapse or go into convulsions or a coma

BARN FANS | There are many reasons to keep your horse’s temperature under control ranging from heat stroke prevention mentioned above, as well as performance enhancement, fly control and more. When selecting your next barn fan, here are a few things to consider.

Be safe! Choose horse stall fans with an enclosed motor. This will keep dust and debris out and the fan operating as expected. More so, an enclosed motor barn fan helps prevent barn fire risk for your animals. While box fans are commonly found in horse barns, they present greater fire risk as dust and hay can more easily reach the motor, which can potentially cause a fire.

Keep barn fans clean to keep fresh air circulating in your barn. Choose a waterproof model for easy cleaning.
Keep all barn fans pointing in the same direction, with the natural flow of air to maximize circulation.
With a powder-coated mounting bracket and aluminum blades, this premium 18" indoor or outdoor fan stands up in humidity, rain and fog and ranks high among agricultural fans with its increased longevity and corrosion resistance. With a fully enclosed motor, this direct-drive waterproof outdoor fan is maintenance-free and can easily be sprayed down to remove dirt and dust build-up to help ensure both safety and function.

FRESH WATER | The most important nutrient horses receive, and especially during warmer weather, is water. Always make sure horses have access to ample amounts of fresh water. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, “An idle 1,100-pound horse in a cool environment will drink 6 to 10 gallons of water per day. That amount may increase to 15 gallons per day in a hot environment. Work horses require 10 to 18 gallons of water per day on average but could require much more in hot weather.”

The amount of fresh water available to your horse, and the source from which it originates, is critical. During warmer weather especially, water sources such as ponds and troughs can quickly generate dangerous algae. While most algae are harmless, certain types can increase horse colic risk, such as blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. Automatic horse waterers can conveniently offer horses ample fresh and safe water when it’s needed the most

Visit Valley Vet to learn more.

All photographs and images courtesy of Valley Vet.

This article originally appeared on Valley Vet and is published here with permission. Valley Vet Supply was founded in 1985 by veterinarians for people just like you - people who want the very best for their four-legged friends and livestock.

There are more informative articles in our section on Health & Education.

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