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The importance of water for horses

The importance of water for horses
Water is a very important element in the nutrition of horses, but little remembered of its quality, in foals water intake begins between 2 to 3 weeks of life, but its consumption is still reduced, since it is predominant the milk intake . Water is rich in mineral salts of great importance for horses such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Iodine, Chlorine, Potassium, Magnesium, Fluorine and Sodium. In addition it makes up a large part of the organism and is present in all the enzymatic reactions and in the metabolism of the animal.

An equine in normal health and at rest, has a consumption of 45 liters of water per day, this can vary according to food, temperature and environmental conditions. Hay, mineral salt and high-protein diets can significantly increase water consumption.

The hay when very dry takes a deviation of water from the body of the animal to the intestine, in order to humidify the feces; The mineral salt in turn increases the concentration of minerals in the body and this leads to an increase in the consumption of water in order to maintain the physiological balance for the proper functioning of the organism, whereas the diets with high protein level also increase the consumption of water, because there is excessive production of nitrogen, which is eliminated by the urine, that is, it is necessary to increase the production of urine to be able to excrete this.

On days of high temperature animals lose a lot of fluid to the external environment, through perspiration, breathing, and exercise during the day, this loss can be aggravated if the animal has intense sweating and is panting for a long time, already in the days of low temperatures the animal tends to decrease water consumption, so in this case supplementation with mineral salt suitable for equines becomes more necessary.

We should also double our attention when transporting the animals. Providing water before, during and after transportation if it is too long is of fundamental importance so that the animal does not become dehydrated during the course. During long-term activities, such as horseback riding and pilgrimages, water must be provided for the horse during the trip, but in moderate amounts, and the consumption of water should be provided one hour after the end of activities.

Dehydration in equines can lead to death if it reaches 10% of water loss in the body, in less severe cases of dehydration the animal has a decrease in its performance in competitions and work, decrease in feed consumption and decrease in intestinal motility, which can lead to colic pictures by compaction.

So we should always remember to provide excellent quality water, this is just as important as the diet offered to equines, since for a good result of the metabolism, homeostasis, digestion and performance of the animal it necessarily needs to be very well hydrated with water good quality, clean and easy access troughs!
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Postado Por: Gabriel Fernandes

Gabriel Fernandes
Veterinary medicine student, horse lover and currently works in the marketing and customer relationship department at Univittá Saúde Animal.

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