Appetite and Manure production
Normal temperature range: 99-101.5
The temperature should be taken rectally with a digital or glass thermometer.
Saliva or Vaseline may be used to lubricate the thermometer. If using
a glass thermometer, shake the thermometer down first. Attach a string
and clip to the thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the rectum and
clip to the tail. Leave the thermometer in for approximately 2 minutes
prior reading it.
Normal range: 30-44 (adult horse)
Heart rate can be a valuable indicator of pain in the horse.
One of the easiest places to take the horse's pulse is at the jawbone,
where the facial artery is located. Use your forefinger and lightly press
the artery against the jawbone.
You can also place the back of your hand or a stethescope behind the horse's
left elbow. The heart is located directly behind this area.
Count the number of pulses for 15 seconds then multiply by 4 to get the
rate per minute
Normal range: 12-20
Another indicator of pain and/or respiratory pathology
Count the number of breaths for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 for rate
Characterizing effort includes: is there an abdominal component? Is it
short/shallow? Any noises with inspiration or expiration? Is there a nasal
Digital pulses/heat in feet
In a normal horse, the digital pulse should be fairly difficult to feel.
In a horse with a foot or hoof problem, the pulse will be very strong
or "bounding", and indicates a severe problem.
The digital arteries are found on the inside and outside of each leg,
at the level of the fetlock and pastern, near the sesamoid bones
To check for heat use your hand to compare the temperatures of the horses
hooves to one another. Always compare left to right and fore feet to hind.