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Equine Health Resource

Anhidrosis, Dry Coat Syndrome

Synonyms: Non-Sweating or Dry Coat Disease, Puff Disease

Sweating is a vitally important way to reduce body temperature during and after exercise and in hot conditions. Anhidrosis is a dysfunction of the sweat gland function that renders horses unable to sweat properly. It affects horses of all breeds and ages, it can range from mild (less sweating) to severe (no sweating).

This condition is believed to be caused by stress or exercise in warm climates and may develop gradually or suddenly. It is also known as “puff disease” because horses may continue to breathe heavily long after exercise.

Diagnosis is presumptive, based on history and clinical signs.

Currently, there is no known cure for anhidrosis. Affected horses may need to be moved to a cooler climate, or expectations for performance may need to be reduced. Horses with this condition must be exercised in cooler times of the day.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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