Emergency Services

The following constitute equine emergencies.
Please contact your veterinarian immediately for:

Acute non-weight bearing lameness
High fever
Puncture wound
Eye discomfort

How can you help out?

When you call, know your horse’s…


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.

Heart rate:
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

Respiratory rate/effort

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 per minute
Characterizing effort includes: is there an abdominal component? Is it short/shallow? Any noises with inspiration or expiration? Is there a nasal discharge?

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 horse’s hooves to one another. Always compare left to right and fore feet to hind.




If you are uncomfortable, unable, or uncertain about how to obtain any of these parameters do not worry.
Each of these parameters will be part of our physical examination upon arrival.

25 Shady Lane
Carlisle, PA 17013
Fax: 717-249-1007
Regular Clinic Hours
8am – 5pm
24 hour emergency service
provided to our clients

Dr. Holly Wendell, Owner