Horses have a natural ability to handle extreme temperatures much more effectively than humans. This is important to remember; however, it is also important to consider the upper and lower limits of their comfort zone. Also known as the thermo-neutral zone, a horse’s “comfort zone” is generally between 40° and 80° Fahrenheit. Inside of these temperatures, horses can maintain a normal body temperature without expending excess energy for heat dissipation or generation. Higher than the 80° mark, horses will likely encounter heat stress.
No matter if you live in the northeast or southwest, your horse may exceed the upper limits of his or her comfort zone frequently in the summertime and experience heat stress. When the temperature rises, horses must initiate physiological processes to cool itself, and these are often the first signs of heat stress.
A horse dissipates body heat by:
• Sweating (evaporative cooling)
• Rapid breathing/respiration (evaporative cooling)
• Vasodilation/maximizing blood flow to skin’s surface (convective cooling)
The first sign of heat stress may be something as simple as poor performance or lethargy, followed by dehydration, high body temperature, or even decreased gut sounds. As the temperatures continue to rise, heat stress can become much more serious and, if left unchecked, potentially fatal.
Don’t let heat stress have a negative impact on your horse. BioZyme® Inc. has just introduced Vitalize® Blazin’, the most innovative product available to help manage the effects of heat stress in horses.
Vitalize Blazin’ is an oral liquid product to support normal recovery from heat stress and exertion in horses, beginning at the cellular level. It contains a proprietary blend of L-arginine, L-citrulline, and Aspergillus oryzae to support blood flow and cooling. In addition, it promotes water retention and contains antioxidants to mitigate damaging free radicals that are caused by exertion and exposure to heat.
“As the temperature rises, horses may begin to experience heat stress. This can result in discomfort, fatigue, poor performance, or even more severe symptoms. In addition to often being in warm climates, performance horses are also at a greater risk for heat stress because exercise generates heat. Recent work published in the Australian Veterinary Journal demonstrated that racehorses generate enough heat to raise their core body temperature by 1.8° Fahrenheit each minute they are galloping,” said Lynsey Whitacre, Ph.D., BioZyme® Inc. Companion Animal Business Development.
To help keep horses comfortable and performing to their greatest ability, Vitalize Blazin’ is recommended for use during times of elevated exercise, exertion or performance, when the heat index reaches above 90° or when acclimating to a new climate. Whitacre reminds equine enthusiasts that it typically takes a horse 15 to 21 days to acclimate to a new climate. Blazin’ is an easy-to-use top dress, and best results are seen when the product is used for three or more consecutive days.
“For decades, electrolytes have been used to support horses during heat stress. Blazin’ is a new, innovative approach — the next generation of product to help horses perform at their greatest potential, even when it is blazin’ hot,” Whitacre said. “It works by actually supporting blood flow to the skin’s surface, allowing the horse to cool itself more efficiently, while also supporting water retention. It’s a product that is innovative and unparalleled in the industry.”
To learn more about mitigating heat stress in your horse with the new Vitalize Blazin’ or to find a dealer near you, visit www.vitalizeeq.com.
*This story was originally published in the July 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!