12.07.08: Hot Stuff

Thank goodness for small miracles. Jeffra was here on Saturday for body work appointments. I am so grateful for her being here because it was HOT, about 105, which fairly high humidity. I would have simply given Storm the day off if it weren't for the fact that I had to go get him for his session. I found him in the pasture standing panting like he had run 100 miles and bone dry. I brought him up to the barn, and Jeffra freaked out, and went straight to work on him with the tens unit working on acupuncture points trying to stimulate his lymphatic system to get him to start sweating. She had me work on the opposite side currying him against the hair growth to help him as well, and when she finished working on one side, we swapped sides, and I repeated the entire process. We finally got him sweating a little bit, and so she had me take him outside and hose him off really good, concentrating on his head/neck, chest, belly and up under his flanks. After he began to cool down, I hosed the rest of him off and he went into the stall under the fan. We kept a close eye on him through the day, and gave him a boost with molasses and extra Dynapro in a syringe straight into his mouth. He did ok, though we were concerned for a while that his gut my shut down, which would be a really bad problem. Thankfully he didn't, and by the time evening feed came around, the temperature had dropped outside considerably, and so he went out where he could be cool and eat and move around more overnight.
Sunday morning I got up and checked on him about 10:00 before the heat was beginning to rise, and found him breathing somewhat hard, and still very dry. The other horses weren't sweating all that much, but I didn't feel right, so I figured it was the better part of valor to go ahead and bring him in, hose him down again, and put him under the fan. The humidity seemed to be higher than it had been the day before, despite the temperature being lower, which made the inside of the barn seem warmer. I got him cooled down, gave him an extra boost of molasses and Dynapro again, and left him to chill under the fan. I checked on him periodically throughout the day, and he was doing ok. 
Begin research: This is a condition called Anhidrosis, which means that they stop sweating. For a horse, this could be life threatening if it isn't treated. All of the research that I have found has no idea why it happens. It can happen to any horse, any age, any breed, any sex. Once their body full shuts down and stops sweating, the condition is premanent, and requires careful management to keep them cool. There is no 'cure' or treatment, other than a few supplements (and crazy 'remedies' including giving the horse a stout beer each day, which is reported to work by several people I know!) and managing their temperature. We've invested in supplements that should arrive soon, and he'll have to be brought in, hosed off, and stalled under a fan when the temperature and humidity climb. I am not pleased about that, but he seems to be relaxed in his stall, and isn't hollering or pacing while he is in there. We are also looking into getting some kind of misting system to help reduce the temperature in the stall even more, since the barn is often really stuffy inside. 
We'll do what we have to do to manage him, and hopefully he hasn't shut down completely at this point. I am just so grateful that Jeffra was here to be able to help him recover. It could not have worked out any better.