Focus on fluids: how to rehydrate a sick horse *H&H Plus*

  • What’s involved in rehydrating a sick horse or restoring the body’s natural fluid balance? Karen Coumbe MRCVS explains the importance of fluid therapy

    Horses can be surprisingly reluctant to drink when you want them to.

    Different methods have been developed to encourage them, from adding apple juice to the bucket or warming the water, to feeding supplementary salt or soaked hay and wet feed to up the water intake. Such tactics can help, but not when a horse is seriously unwell.

    The amount of water a healthy horse needs to drink daily will vary, depending on factors including his age, environment, nutritional status, workload and temperament. Certainly, some will only want to drink out of their own buckets containing their usual tap water, in their own stable, so it is worth trying to accustom a horse to change before it is required.

    This feature is also available to read in the Thursday 25 March issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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