Salt Deficiency

Salt Deficiency in Horses

Last Updated on March 23, 2022 by Allison Price

Why Salt is Important?

Horse owners often overlook salt’s importance, resulting in salt deficiency. Salt is composed of sodium and chloride. Sodium is essential for muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. It also aids in digestion of protein. The absorption of essential nutrients in the small intestine is also a critical function of sodium. Chloride improves the transport of carbon dioxide between tissues and the lungs. It is also essential for maintaining blood pH.

Salt Deficiency

Symptoms Of Salt Deficiency

Salt is an essential component of nutrition. If a horse does not have enough salt, health problems can develop. Salt deficiency can develop if a horse isn’t able to access salt for long periods.

If your horse develops a salt deficiency, possible symptoms may include:

  • Pica (eating unusual foods)
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Insufficient sweat
  • Weight loss and decreased appetite
  • Reduced muscle coordination
  • Lactating mares have lower milk production

Horse Feeding Salt

Salt deficiency is more common in high-performance horses because they sweat more. This is the one way salt leaves your body. A 500kg horse might still need 30-50g of salt per day to maintain its essential needs.

Mineral blocks or salt are often the best option and should be readily available to your horse. Your horse will be able to regulate the amount of salt they consume by having constant access to these blocks. Ranvet’s weather-resistant Salt Lick provides a cost-effective and efficient way to provide your horse with their daily salt requirements. Ranvet’s Salt Licks are available in two sizes: 10kg and 2kg. Each size comes with a complementary holder. For horses over 500 kg, loose salt can also be added to their daily feed at a rate approximately 2 tablespoons per day.

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