When the temperature outside starts to drop, horse owners must take precautions to make sure their animals stay safe and healthy. horses are susceptible to several cold-weather dangers, including frostbite, hypothermia, and impaction colic. Steps should be taken to keep their horses warm, well-fed, and free from ice and snow.
The dangers of cold weather for horses
While horses are able to tolerate cold weather conditions better than other domesticated animals, they are still susceptible to health risks associated with winter weather. Horses that are kept outside should have access to shelter from the wind and precipitation, and should be allowed to move around and get exercise whenever possible. Horses that are kept in stalls should have a deep bed of straw or shavings to help keep them warm. It is important to check on horses regularly during cold weather, and to provide them with supplemental feed if necessary.
Horses should be kept inside if the temperature is below freezing, and they should have plenty of hay and water to keep them warm. If horses must be kept outside, they should be blanketed and have a shelter to protect them from the wind and snow.
Horses can suffer from frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold-related conditions
In fact, horses are sometimes even more susceptible to cold weather injuries because they have a thick coat of hair. If you live in a cold climate, it’s important to be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia in horses, and take steps to prevent these conditions from occurring.
When a horses skin is exposed to cold temperatures for a long time it can cause frostbite of the ears, the muzzle and the tips of the hooves. This can cause the horse to lose feeling in the affected causing the skin to become pale of blue. If you suspect this condition, you should consult with your vet as soon as possible.
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature falls below normal. Horses may develop hypothermia when exposed to long period of cold weather or if they are wet and exposed to cold. The horse may experience shivering and lethargy. In very extreme cases they can die. If you suspect hypothermia it is best to consult with a vet.
Horse owners in cold climates should always take precautions to keep their horses warm and dry during the winter. Horses are susceptible to cold weather injuries such as founder, laminitis, and impaction colic. Keep the area where your horse is dry, draft-free area with plenty of straw or shavings to bed down in. They should also have shelter with a good roof to protect them from the wind and rain. Check horses’ water buckets regularly to make sure the water is not frozen.