Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot Pie

Hot, hot, hot, hotter, hotter, hottest.  Today didn't seem so bad - the temperatures were up in the high 80s by the time I went to the barn to check on my horses at around 10 a.m.  But the humidity was horrible (relative humidity of 74%), and there was little wind and the sun was beating down - our barn has no shelter or shade in the pastures. Dawn and Drift were somewhat sweaty, but poor Pie was absolutely dripping with sweat, panting and close to being seriously overheated.  I brought them in and cold hosed them and then scraped them off so the remaining water would be a thin layer that could evaporate from their skin and cool them further, and then put them in their stalls under their fans.  I gave everyone a scoop of electrolytes in their feed pans - Pie ate some out of my hand.  It took a lot of hosing to get Pie cool enough that the water didn't immediately heat right up again on his skin.  After I put him in his stall, I got some ice packs out of the freezer and held them on both sides of his neck on his jugular veins, and also rubbed him all over his neck and body with the ice packs - he let me do this despite the crinkling plastic of the ice pack containers (which he was initially worried about) so it must have felt good.

After I did the ice treatment, he felt good enough to start nibbling some hay, which was a good sign.  After I was done hosing Dawn and Drift, I took Pie out and hosed him some more as he was still a bit too warm.  Getting him cool enough that the water on his skin stayed cold didn't take as long that time.  After I scraped him off and put him back in his stall, I took his temperature and it was about 101F, which was fine considering how hot he'd been - he was much more comfortable at that point.  It's clear that Pie's just not a hot weather kind of guy, particularly if the humidity levels are high.

Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be even hotter with heat indices over 105F.  The horses will have to go out later and come in earlier.  Hoping for some relief from the heat soon . . .

16 comments:

  1. We've been hearing reports of the heat, everywhere but here. It sounds dangerous and disagreeable.

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  2. We're pretty hot here too with temps in the 90's and high humidity. It's supposed to get worse as the week goes on. We've been hosing them off when they come in too. They do have sheds with fans to cool off and some trees but hot is hot. Hope we all get some relief soon.

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  3. Poor Drift, I bet it is scary to have him overheated like that. He's very lucky to have you looking after him so well. They all are.


    Your hot weather is making national news, it has been for a while now, meanwhile here in the Pacific NW, we are stuck in cool and rainy, I think we are the only corner of the US that isn't experiencing some sort of awful weather. I am not complaining, it's much easier to keep warm than it is to try to stay cool. I do not have A/C and I'm not sure how I would cope in that heat. I grew up in Willoughby Hills, Ohio and remember quite vividly how uncomfortable the humidity and heat can be. I hope it breaks soon for you.

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  4. This heat is bad, but the humidity is the worst. I haven't ridden since Friday and then we only did walk/trot. I am thankful that my horse has a shed and lots of trees in his paddock. He is also a good drinker.

    Thank you for describing how you cooled off Pie. Only scraping the water off and repeating as necessary cools the horse, just like it is good to mist an overheated person with cool water and a fan. The ice packs were a great idea.

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  5. Is there any way you can put a shallow water trough out in the pasture so they can splash and cool a couple of feet off? If this awful heat is going to continue for several more weeks, it might be a worthwhile investment (especially since you don't have any shade out there). Perhaps everyone at the barn could chip in a bit.

    It sounds absolutely miserable for everyone.I feel guilty sometimes for being a human who gets to go inside to beat the heat (or cold) while my animals are outside!

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  6. Humidity is a killer. That's one of the reasons be moved from Ohio to New Mexico.

    Hopefully it will break before too long.

    Dan

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  7. Sounds awful. We're experiencing yet another cooling trend--huge drop in temps, clouds, wind and a prediction of rain. What summer?

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  8. Why does every season need to be extreme this year?

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  9. I'm with Pie. That heat sounds miserable. Your treatment sounded perfect -- all he needed was a margarita and misters to make his recovery complete. :)

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  10. Can you set up a sprinkler in the pasture for them? Poor Pie, I know how awful it feels to be overheated.

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  11. Gosh poor Pie, feel bad for him. This heat is horrible, but the humidity along with it is even worse.

    Stay cool!

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  12. Poor Pie. He must have been miserable. Hope this heat breaks soon.

    So far, my guys are OK standing in front of their fans. I am toying with the idea of setting up a sprinkler in the paddock to see if they take advantage of it.

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  13. Poor Pie! Thank goodness you were able to get him cooled down! I was worried about AJ last summer, so hopefully he's enjoying the Michigan temperatures more that what we're having here!

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  14. Poor Pie - he must have been miserable. Glad you were able to take care of him promptly.
    Stay cool!

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  15. Having no shade in your pastures would make it really tough on the horses. I think the pastures are better than the barn on hot days at our farm because they can stand in the shade and catch the breeze at the same time. Luckily we've never had any heat-related issues in the summer. We do have two horses that came to us as non-sweaters and we check them often and cold hose them in the afternoon if they need it (although most of the time they don't).

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  16. Glad you found Pie when you did and got him cooled off. That heat sounds awful.

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