Walking On, Volume 8, Issue 9, Nov/Dec 2021 - Page 11

For the Health of It or other diagnostic testing may be needed to determine an underlying cause in cases of repeated myopathy or suspected exhaustion .

Treatment includes immediately stopping ex- ercise and initiating assisted cooling . This can be done with electric fans and running large volumes of cold water over the entire body . Intravenous fluids can be given to restore hydration and electrolyte status . Once there is evidence that the intestinal tract is functioning , then oral fluids may be added to aid hydration ; however , these should not be administered until the horse has good gut sounds and no signs of colic . Horses should not be transported following exhaustion until cleared by their medical team .
Exhaustion is best prevented by acclimatization , proper training , nutrition , and supplementation of electrolytes . Electrolyte products require adequate water intake to be effective . Horses given con- centrated electrolytes without appropriate water consumption will actually increase dehydration . Acclimatization to a climate with excessive heat , altitude , or humidity may take up to two weeks . Conditioning will create larger muscle glycogen stores , improve efficiency of heat elimination , and train horses to eat and drink during prolonged work . It is also important to allow horses enough time to recover and rehydrate from transport prior to beginning competition .
Event organizers will assess the
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CONTACT : Rebecca Ruby , MS , BVSc ,
Diplomate ACVP , ACVIM-LAIM Rebecca . ruby @ uky . edu | ( 859 ) 257-8283
University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Lexington , Kentucky

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