This is the partial or complete loss of the ability to sweat that may come on suddenly or gradually. The inability to sweat properly happens to horses of all breeds and ages and is most common in hot/humid environments. Since horses release about 65% of their heat by sweating, when a horse cannot sweat, he will overheat easier and have a harder time returning his temperature and respiratory rate to normal ranges after exercise. You may also see poor performance, a baseline increased respiratory rate, and poor haircoat. Skin tests with epinephrine can diagnose anhidrosis if an owner is unsure. Research has shown that there is a link between low circulating thyroid hormones, obesity, and anhidrosis in horses. Keeping your horse cool in this situation is important. Misting, fans, shade, and keeping your horse indoors during the hottest part of the day can help. Some supplemental therapies include:
- One ACElectrolytes, vitamin, amino acid and mineral supplements
- Adding dark beer to the horse’s feed once or twice a day
- Acupuncture with or without Chinese Herbal therapy. Although there can be a successful result with just one acupuncture treatment, your horse may need as many as 2-6 treatments 1-4 weeks apart. Acupuncture for anhidrosis treatment is about 75% effective.