What time of year is most problematic for horses with CPL?
So, what is the answer?
Answer: All Seasons!
Every month HEAL promotes Be Part of the Research Survey in our newsletter and on social media. This is one of the questions on the survey:
What time of year is most problematic for you?
Let’s take a quick look at each season.
Environmental: Where you live plays a huge role in managing CPL. Environmental areas that are damp and humid are particularly problematic due to fluctuations in barometric pressure. Higher levels of humidity make it more difficult to breathe and sweat, thus creating more lymphatic waste. Locations with low humidity levels often battle high heat temperatures. Breeds most impacted with CPL and/or chronic swelling are draft, draft crosses, large breeds, and quarter horses (to be addressed in another blog).
Spring: April showers bring May flowers, as the old saying goes. When the rain comes, it’s mud season. Standing in mud mixed with muck isn’t the ideal setup; it’s not conducive to wound healing. Instead, it’s a perfect breeding ground for vectors to set up shop, thrive, procreate, and create various types of equine disorders.
Summer: It is no surprise that summer is at the top of the list as owners battle heat and flies.
Fall: Just like spring, fall can be a rainy season. As pretty as the fall leaves are, they disseminate mold in the air as they decompose. (This deserves its own blog, too.)
Winter: The cold weather decreases blood flow to the outer extremities as the body prioritizes blood flow to the internal organs. After all, the first parts of your body to get cold are your hands and feet. If the protective skin has been ulcerated and open wounds are exposed, it makes them prone to foreign viruses, bacteria, and fungus due to standing in mud, muck, and snow for long periods of time.
In Summary: Heavily feathered horses hold in the moisture and create an optimal environment for fungus and bacteria to take root. It is challenging to keep the legs clean no matter what time of year. This is why HEAL promotes clipping heavily feathered horses. A CPL horse’s lymphatic system is already taxed to remove waste and toxins efficiently under normal conditions, but adding environmental factors just adds insult to injury!
Go to www.healequine.com/research to complete the survey.