He was burning up, completely hot to the touch. My poor Thoroughbred gelding’s nostrils flared and the sides of his barrel heaved as if he couldn’t catch his breath. He didn’t have a lick of sweat on him — not on his neck or chest which would be normal around noon on a 90-degree August day in Florida. No between his legs or under his cribbing collar, either.
My horse had stopped sweating in the middle of summer and was overheating in his stall.
Anhidrosis is defined as a decreased or inability to sweat, which most commonly manifests in hot and humid climates like Florida and other Gulf Coast states, according to Dr. Martha Mallicote, a veterinarian with the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Fla. It’s a problem that plagues performance horses because thermoregulation, or the ability to regulate the body’s temperature, is so dependent on sweating.
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