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Animal Rescue: Hypothermic Horse

Accidental Hypothermia in the Horse: A Review for Emergency Responders

Article courtesy of  TLAER.org

During many equine emergencies initial assistance is concentrated on removing (rescuing) the victim from the incident site, and taking care of critical medical needs later. In the case of hypothermia such prioritization of the rescue effort has sometimes fatal consequences. Also, once the equine victim is removed from the hypothermia-causing environment, well meaning but misunderstood efforts to restore body temperature can be counterproductive resulting in a more severe hypothermic state.

The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the mechanisms responsible for thermoregulation and hypothermia, and to assist the emergency responder with information that may help save the life of the hypothermic horse. Little information exists on accidental hypothermia in the horse. Therefore, observations on the mechanisms of hypothermia in other species are also mentioned.

Click here to download the full article: The Hypothermic Horse