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Extreme Hot Weather Alert
Extreme Hot Weather Alert for the Southwest
From AZ Equine Rescue Organization. (AERO)
We have been getting a lot of calls regarding what is legal regarding livestock without shade in the excessive temperatures. Shelter was just added as a requirement to avoid cruel neglect in the 2015 changes of ARS 13-2910. However, what that means to livestock is still under legal review which means for right now there is no enforcement. HOWEVER, the statute is clear that if you find a horse in physical distress, regardless of shade, you should call 911 and ask them to investigate an animal you believe is in imminent danger due to the weather. Distress is not just sweating...it should be the animal laying down, thrashing, or does not have access to water...all urgent in nature.
A couple other things to understand about livestock in heat:
- a horse that has access to water AND salt blocks should be able to manage the heat even if not ideal or totally comfortable so folks that don’t have shade please spend a few bucks and get your horses salt blocks so they can get some electrolytes if they need it
- shading just a horse’s head will cool 80 percent of its body so if you can put up shade put up some sheet, tarp or sunscreen that allows a horse to get its head shaded....again not hard or expensive
- fly sheets and other covers can greatly increase body heat in this weather so use with caution
- if you spray your horse down with water, wipe off the excess water or it will create more heat against their body
- don’t burn a horse's skin by putting hot hose water on it....run the water for the length of the hose and test it before spraying your horse
- bare skin will get sunburned on a horse so if you shave hair off to help with heat you then need to keep the animal shaded to ensure they don't get severely burned...we don't recommend shaving down to the skin for any reason other than medical treatments that require it
- bandages, standing wraps, splint boots, and other thing that are on legs can overheat tendons and do more harm than good in hot weather....try to only put on at night if they are necessary
- remember not all electrolytes are equal....we watch how much it makes our horses actually drink and use Farnam apple electrolytes as a consistent success rate electrolyte for ensuring extra water consumption. In excess heat give all horses a scoop...it's relatively inexpensive and much less expensive than colic!
- avoid transporting horses in this type of weather but if you must remember that airflow is essential to not cause heat exhaustion....many trailers have very little and are giant intense heat boxes in hot weather because horses sweat up and create a humid hot space. Open windows as much as possible and check tires so you aren't stuck on the side of the road with your horse roasting in the trailer. You can call our emergency number of 602.538.0416 if you are in this situation so we can get your horses moved for you.
- heat founder does happen but usually with barefoot horses on hard ground....if you don't have money then dig down an inch for at least the front feet and turn the dirt so it's soft. That will change the temperature and reduce the likelihood of founder.
- don’t exercise your horse in these temperatures unless they are conditioned for it. They are already dealing with heat stress and can get heat related illnesses by exercising that goes undetected...even if you go early before the heat of the day they will be more tired when coping with the extreme
We hope this information is helpful and everyone stays safe and as cool as they can this weekend. *****please share•••••
The Arizona Equine Rescue Org, Inc.
Note: This is one of the finest rescues anywhere that also offers services not available from other organizations in the state. They survive on your donations and volunteer time. Visit their website at:www.azequinerescue.org