100% Potassium Chloride for use in feed.
Potassium Chloride is an electrolyte that can help rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance.
During exercise, the large muscle mass of horses, generate an enormous amount of heat. To facilitate cooling, horses sweat and can lose significant levels of fluid and electrolytes which increases as temperature and work load increases. In hot and humid conditions, horses can lose >15L of fluid per hour and if fluid and electrolytes are not replaced, dehydration or heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion, which precludes the very serious heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is characterized by body temperature > 41oC/106F), tachycardia (heart rate > 60 beats per minute), and an elevated respiratory rate (> 80 breaths/minute).
Electrolytes are essential for central nervous and muscle function. They are critical to maintain acid-base or pH levels which impact how efficiently energy is utilized (ie how fats, carbohydrates and protein is converted to ATP, hormone and enzyme functions, cardiac and respiratory function and fluid and blood volume levels.)
Low levels of potassium have serious impact on cardiac function, muscle weakness cramping, tying up, and digestive disturbances and colic.
Training in cool and moderate temperatures (15-20C), horses can lose 6-7litres of sweat (1.2% body weight for a 1200 lb horse. In hot weather, fluid losses can approach 15 liters (2.7% of bodyweight) per hour along with 6-7 gram of electrolytes.
In a study with relative humidity,(45%) and moderate temperature (20C), horses performed a steady, low intensity trot for 3 hours. Results were body weight loss of 33kg, and 25kg of this was fluid loss and 250gm of electrolytes
Large sweat losses impact plasma volume, reducing the amount of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the working muscle. Performance and heat exhaustion will ensue if fluid and electrolytes balance is not restored.
Relying on a salt block may not ensure adequate electrolyte replacement. In a study on equine athletes who had free access to a salt block, revealed that 66% of the horses had inadequate electrolyte levels. The only sure way is to top dress or supplement electrolytes.