Horse Health- Checking Vital Signs
Temperature Pulse Respiration
Temperature, pulse, and respiration also known as TPR is a great way to check your horse’s vital signs to make sure your horse is healthy. Knowing your horse’s normal vital signs will help you recognize when they are abnormal. Abnormal vitals could be a sign of distress such as being overheated, colic, or a respiratory infection.
Adult Horse Normal Vital Signs:
Temperature: 99-101 degrees Fahrenheit
• The temperature of a horse can be determined using a digital thermometer that is placed in the horse’s rectum.
Pulse: 22-44 beats per minute
• You can listen for the heartrate using a stethoscope or if you don’t own a stethoscope you can determine the pulse by pressing on the lingual artery located under the jaw of the horse.
Respiration: 10-24 breaths per minute
• Watch the flank rise and fall to determine the respiration rate. Each time the flank rises the horse is taking a breath.
For additional information or questions please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office to speak to a Livestock Extension Agent.