High salt intake

My question is regarding our approximately 20 to 25 year old Appy-Quarter cross. All of our 3 horses have those big brown salt & mineral blocks in their pens. the two younger ones only nibble at them ...My question is regarding our approximately 20 to 25 year old Appy-Quarter cross. All of our 3 horses have those big brown salt & mineral blocks in their pens. the two younger ones only nibble at them ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Hi Dr. Lowder,
My question is regarding our approximately 20 to 25 year old Appy-Quarter cross. All of our 3 horses have those big brown salt & mineral blocks in their pens. the two younger ones only nibble at them occasionally, but the older one is constantly licking on it and it seems he manages to consume it all within about 6 to 8 months. Because of this constant salt licking, he drinks alot of water – he had to pee 4 times on a 2 hour trail ride – , or twice during a 1.5 hour arena work out. He seems to be healthy, eats well, appears happy and eats normal.I cannot see anything wrong with him, so should I be concerned regarding his high salt intake?Thanks a million for answering so many questions. You’re a great help.

Uli

Uli,

I would guess that your older horse is starting to have some renal problems and is trying to regulate some of his electrolytes the best way he can. I would suggest that you have your local vet pull some blood the next time they are out and see how his kidneys are functioning. You also need to ask them how they feed about having loose trace mineral salt instead of a salt block.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder