If I am feeding my horse an anhidrosis supplement, do I need to take salt and electrolytes out of his diet?
The short answer is that it depends on if he continues to sweat without the other salt and electrolytes in his diet. The exact reason for anhidrosis, a condition where horses stop sweating (most common in the summer), is unknown and under debate. That is why it is a hard condition to treat. If you have a protocol that works for your horse and he does well on it, I would hesitate to change it, especially in the summer months. If he is drinking well and urinating normally, you should not have to worry about the extra salt in his diet. Most of the things you are giving will be excreted though the kidneys and urine if they are in excess and will not hurt him in the long run as long as he stays hydrated. Anhidroisis is a tricky diease and you want to keep your horse sweating as it is worse to stop sweating than to have mild electrolyte imbalance. You should look at the ingredients on the supplement; sometimes there are electrolytes built into anhidrosis formulas. If they already are in the supplement, you can try taking him off the salt or electrolytes and see if he still sweats. If he continues sweating with just two of the three supplements, you then can try eliminating everything other than the anhidrosis supplement. I would do it gradually, however, and not all at the same time. If you are uncomfortable with all of the different things you are feeding him, you also can try acupuncture and other alternative therapies to support him. Acupuncture has had good results with ‘non-sweaters’ and sometimes can eliminate the need for supplements.
This question was answered by Heather Woodruff, D.V.M., a 2009 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she completed a Sport Horse Internship at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute with a focus on lameness and sporthorse medicine. The internship also gave her additional experience as she spent time in the surgery, medicine, field and reproduction divisions at Hagyard. In 2010, Woodruff was accepted as an Associate Veterinarian in the Hagyard Sport Horse Program. After spending a season working in Thermal, California, under Duncan Peters, D.V.M., as the official show veterinarian for HITS Desert Circuit Horse Show, Woodruff gained valuable knowledge of the competition sport horse and treatments. Woodruff was selected as a treating veterinarian for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, which provided Woodruff with many diverse experiences throughout the WEG Kentucky Cup Test Events and the championships in such disciplines as endurance, combined driving, show jumping, threeday eventing, dressage, vaulting, and reining.