Friday, August 31, 2012

Horse Health: Checking Your Horse's Vital Signs

Every horse owner should know how to check a horse's vital signs.  This can alert you to trouble, give you some indication of how serious it is, and give you important information to relay to your vet if you need to call them.

Here's a great guide to checking your horse's vital signs, and a pretty nice wall chart to go with it.

The only thing I would add is you also need to know your own horse.  Every horse is an individual, and normal vital signs may vary slightly.  It's also important to know your horse's normal demeanor and behavior, as even small changes in behavior, stance or appearance can signal trouble brewing.  This includes things like normal behavior around other horses, in the stall, at feeding time, and when grooming and riding; how the horse holds its body and positions its legs; and the horse's expressions and attitude - the face, ears, eyes and lips can tell you a lot.  Horses can be stoics - this makes sense since a horse showing pain or illness would be attractive to predators - but they vary on this spectrum as well.

8 comments:

  1. Great info, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent post, and that is a great chart, I agree that you need to know your own horse , that makes a world of difference

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Kate - love that wall chart! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE the wall chart.

    I agree that it is important to know your horse's particular vitals. My horse's body temp runs low (around 99), so 101 is a low grade fever for him. His pulse is about double his respiration rate, which I believe is a common ratio for horses.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great advice. I honestly think we've headed off some potentially bigger problems due to me knowing my horse well. Just being able to look at my horse standing in the cross ties and knowing something doesn't look right...she's standing different, she's holding herself different. It's worth a mint.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice wall chart. I agree it's important to know your horses and be able to evaluate them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such important things to know! Not so much when your horse is well, but it's when she's sick that knowing this stuff comes in handy, for sure. Also, by knowing what the stats are when she's healthy, you have more to go on if you suspect she's not quite herself.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting - we appreciate it. No spam or marketing comments will be published.