When the hot weather comes, as much as we may all hate to admit it, we are just not built for it.
The same can be said about our animals, and they are more vulnerable still not having the ability to protect themselves.
If you notice an animal panting heavily, with red gums and tongue, uncoordinated, lethargic, reluctant to rise, vomiting or with diarrhea then you have a very sick animal.
Animals with lighter or white coats or pinkish skin tend to be the worse affected from sun related diseases.
Often it can lead to decreased milk production in an animal, as well as poor wool quality in sheep.
Animals, especially sheep and cattle, can be susceptible to sunburn, photosentization and even heat stroke!
It is vital it times of very high temperatures that all animals, regardless of species, have a clean adequate supply of water.
Shaded areas are always a plus, and if possible livestock could be put out to pastures at night rather than during the day.
This helps the animals avoid the warmest parts of the day.
For pigs, one needn’t worry, if they have a source of mud nearby they will protect themselves from the sun by coating themselves in the mud.
For other animals that you may be worried about a baby formula sunblock can be used, especially to protect vulnerable areas on them.
Otherwise, as hard as it may be to believe, mud can also be used and applied to sensitive area as it acts as a natural sunblock.
As mentioned earlier having an adequate water supply is vital.
Zinc supplementation can also be provided to animals and has been proven to help prevent photosensitivity.
If an animal suffers from any sun related illnesses, it is strongly advised to house them away for 3-4 weeks out of the sunlight.
They can also be given antibiotics, provided by a vet, to help speed along their recovery.
Fly pour ons are a must during these hot spells also, with animals more likely to be attacked.
Also Farmers, don’t forget about yourselves.
You like your animals need protecting from the dangers of the sun.
Factor 15 is the minimum recommended sunblock for Ireland’s climate, so get lathering it on!