Don't 'horse around' with this heat and humidity.
Good Morning Show viewer Debbie Staley (with her horse ghost) submitted this VERIFY inquiry: "Hi, Meghann. I give Ghost a lot of baths in the summer. And, I always make sure he's dry before I put him away. I read on Facebook lately that if you give a horse a bath and put him in the pasture wet, the water on his body will attract the sun, and then the water gets hot, and as a result the horse gets hotter after the bath than before the bath. Can you VERIFY this for us?"
Staley runs America's Equine Sanctuary in Denton. She's referring to the post below, which is circulating the horse community on Facebook. It is from South Coast Sport Horses, LLC, and says never to turn a wet horse out to pasture, or it will overheat in the sun.
To verify, we consulted Dr. James Talbot, a large animal veterinarian at Carolina Equine Hospital in Browns Summit.
Dr. Talbot said the post is part true and part false.
He explained most horses can naturally cool themselves down through evaporative cooling. That's why they sweat, like humans do. During times of high heat and humidity, some horses lose that ability to sweat because their glands get overworked.
It is called anhidrosis, when horses rely on their handlers to cool them down with rinsing, misters or shade.
Dr. Talbot said when a horse is hot and sweaty, rinsing him and leaving large amounts of water within his hair can slow that evaporative cooling process. He recommends the handler scrape off the excess water before turning out the horse.
That said, if the horse is not hot, and you're just giving him a bath, the evaporative cooling process is already underway. You can turn him out totally soaked, but his instinct will be to roll around in the dirt to get off the excess water himself.
Dogs and cats do not sweat like horses do. Canines sweat through their noses and by panting. Felines sweat through their paws. The American Kennel Club emphasizes it is crucial outside dogs and cats have access to shade and fresh, clean water at all times. Bring them inside in the summer when possible.
Viewer Debbie does not have to wait for her horse to dry before turning him out to pasture, as long as she scrapes off the excess water.
Have a VERIFY inquiry? Contact Meghann Mollerus at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing on her Facebook timeline -- Meghann Mollerus News.