As most of us know we should always offer clean water to horses always. But sometimes we forget to clean it. Sometimes people do not see the point in cleaning it. So it goes green and gets loads of bugs in it. But is this ok for your horse to drink. Well would you drink that?? no. Would you if you really needed to as in life or death. YES. But should you make your horse choose like that?
Well no and here are a few reasons as to why you must always keep your horses water clean.
We are all fully aware that water is a key nutrient for all of us. It is important for almost every function, from digestion and respiration, to reproduction and lactation. But what we sometimes forget is that even when our animals have fresh water available, that doesn’t mean they been drinking. If their water has algae or is full of mud or excrement, chances are that they wont drink as much as they need to be. In the winter, if it is too cold or even frozen over, horses will have lower intake of water as well.
A horse that is not drinking as much as it needs can cause many problems. It can be the main reason why horses get impactions that can cause colic, in winter vets will tell you to watch your horses more as the lack of water can cause this. I have always tried to add extra water to the feed in winter just to help make sure they get enough water. It is always advised to keep an eye on your horses intake.
In summer i add salt to feeds and put salt licks around to try and get them drinking more and in winter i add extra to feed to make sure they are having extra. On average the bare minimal a horse need to have is 0.5 to 1 gallon of water per 100g of body mass. So always make sure you horse has as much a clean water as they will want. I always always try to keep water in the shade in summer to let them have some cool water.
Signs to look out for when you think your horse may be dehydrated.
- Sunken eyeballs
- Dry mucous membranes
- Increased heart rate
A quick way to check your horse’s hydration level is to pinch the skin near the base of the horse’s neck for two seconds. If the skin returns to normal, almost immediately, then the horse is not seriously dehydrated. However, if the skin stays in the pinched position, the horse needs water.
Horses can contract Potomac horse fever (PHF) they can get this from ingesting the bacteria that can be present in some species that inhabit the drinking water. This risk factor comes mostly from river that horses can drink from but can also come from other drinking sources. this can happen within 5 miles of a river source but is unusual.
Horses can also contract salmonella from water. Salmonella can cause serious diseases in horses. The way in which a horse contracts salmonella is from manure or oral contaminations. Then a horse will contaminate the water source and feed buckets and then other horses can get this. Salmonellosis isn’t solely a water-borne disease, but it is passed easily through contaminated water both in unclean buckets and troughs as well as natural ponds and streams. So cleanly scrubbed buckets and water drinkers is best.
• SIGNS: Once ingested, salmonella bacteria penetrate the cells in the wall of the intestine and multiply, causing damage that leads to diarrhoea. In some cases, the bacteria may get into the bloodstream (septicemia), and infections may develop in other parts of the body.
Clean water is such a basic need for a horse and should never be taken lightly. It is such a easy thing to do but gets overlooked quite often. But if its kept on top of its easy and will keep your horses healthy and happy.
Happy horsing around.