What Is A Normal Horse Temperature? (Solution)

Read the temperature. If it falls between 99–101°F, your horse is in normal range. Figure 2: Measuring a horse’s rectal temperature. If your horse has been at rest before the temperature was taken and the temperature is higher (or lower) than 99–101°F, call your veterinarian immediately.

What is a high temperature for a horse?

“Normal temperature varies in horses, just like in people,” Dreyfuss explained. “An adult’s normal temperature will range from 99 degrees to 101 degrees. Once you get over 101, for most horses, that would be a low-grade fever. For clinical studies, we often define fever as greater than 102 degrees.

What should a healthy horses temperature be?

The normal temperature for a horse is 99 to 100.0 °F, although a healthy horse’s temperature can vary by 3 degrees depending on environmental factors. Although a high temperature doesn’t always indicate a severe condition, we recommended calling the veterinarian if your horse’s temperature is over 102°F.

Is 100.5 considered a fever?

The medical community generally defines a fever as a body temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. A body temp between 100.4 and 102.2 degree is usually considered a low-grade fever. “If the temperature is not high, it doesn’t necessarily need to be treated with medication,” Dr. Joseph said.

How can I tell if my horse has a fever?

A high fever—elevated by three or more degrees—is a more serious warning sign. In addition to dullness, you might see chills/shivering, sweating, increased respiration and pulse rate, fluctuations in skin temperature or reddening of the gums. An acute fever tends to spike high but come down quickly.

How can you tell if a horse is dehydrated?

The first test you can do to check if your horse is dehydrated is the skin-pinch test. Pinch the skin near the point of the shoulder. If the skin snaps back quickly your horse is sufficiently hydrated. If it takes the skin two to four seconds to snap back, your horse is moderately dehydrated.

What is a low temperature for a horse?

For an adult horse, any body temperature at or below 101.5 F is considered normal.

What causes a 108 degree fever?

Viruses that can cause hyperpyrexia include enterovirus infection, roseola, rubeola, and malaria. Hyperpyrexia is associated with a body temperature of more than 106.7°F or 41.5°C. Typically, treatment for hyperpyrexia focusses on the underlying disease, if one exists.

Can teething cause 100.5 fever?

But according to the AAP, a fever of 100.5 or more is not associated with teething and is more likely a sign of illness. If your baby has a real fever during the teething months, or if irritability goes beyond occasional mild fussiness, it’s a good idea to visit your pediatrician.

Is a temperature of 38.2 high?

A high temperature is usually considered to be 38C or above. This is sometimes called a fever. Many things can cause a high temperature, but it’s usually caused by your body fighting an infection.

Do horses get a fever with colic?

A horse may feel sick, depressed and off his feed for many reasons, including a fever, but a fever may also be a sign of some serious intestinal problem related to colic, like a necrotic, leaking or ruptured bowel.

Do horses run a fever with colic?

Along with the clinical signs of pawing, rolling and not wanting to eat, horses with colic will often times have an elevated heart rate due to abdominal pain. Horses suffering from colic rarely have a fever. So if your horse does have a fever (anything over 101.5 F. ) the colic is probably secondary to something else.

How can you tell if a horse has a temperature without a thermometer?

To estimate your horse’s body temperature without use of a thermometer, use your finger to assess the temperature of the mucous membrane inside the lips, at the corner of the mouth. Compare your estimated reading with a thermometer reading twice on 10 different horses.

Signs of a Healthy Horse

By Tom Lenz, DVM, M.S., DACTI, veterinary students are taught that in order to detect an ill or lame horse, they must first examine a large number of healthy, sound animals. Horses differ in their health, but there are some markers of general well-being that apply to all of them. A healthy horse’s attitude is one in which he is bright and alert while also showing interest in other horses, you, and their environment. They will roll every now and again, especially after being turned out, but they will always shake off the dust after they have rolled.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian.

The temperature of the horse’s rectal cavity can help to distinguish between dental issues and other causes of difficulty eating.

Anything higher than that amount may indicate the presence of an ongoing infection.

  • *Eyes and noses- Your horse’s eyes and nose should be clear, completely open, and clean, not hazy or discolored, and his or her mouth should be clean as well.
  • The nose should be clear of excessive mucous and free of debris.
  • The weight and physical condition of your horses must be maintained at an optimal level; you should not allow them to become overweight or underweight, since either state can be harmful to their health.
  • A bodily condition score of 4-5 is considered to be optimal.
  • Unhealthy coat might indicate malnutrition, parasites or a general lack of health.
  • It is possible for the horse’s heart and respiratory rates to be somewhat raised when the horse is enthusiastic or when the weather is hot and humid:
  • The horse’s heart rate ranges from 28 to 44 beats per minute, depending on its size. Breathing rate: 10-24 breaths per minute
  • Horse’s mucous membranes: The horse’s gums should be moist and a healthy pink in color. In order for the horse’s capillaries to refill, you must press your finger firmly on his gums for one to two seconds before the horse’s point of pressure returns to a pink hue. Sounds from the intestines: Gurgling sounds, gas-like growls, tinkling sounds, and the occasional roar are all common throughout pregnancy. Colic can be characterized by the absence or diminution of digestive noises.

*Manure and urine- A healthy horse will pass manure eight to twelve times per day. *Urine- A healthy horse will pass urine once or twice per day. Urine should be wheat-colored and clear or slightly hazy, with a small cloudiness on the surface. Depending on the amount of exercise and weather conditions, the normal horse consumes between five and ten liters of water each day. In terms of the horse’s legs and feet, it should stand squarely with its weight evenly distributed over all four legs and feet.

Bumps, swelling, wounds, and hair loss on your horse’s legs should be avoided at all costs.

In less than 10 minutes, you may do a fast examination of your horse’s condition.

AQHA, an AAEP Alliance Partner, has given this article as a courtesy.

Thomas R. Lenz is a trustee of the American Horse Council, a former chairman of the American Quarter Horse Association’s research committee, and a former president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Normal Vital Signs and Health Indicators – The Horse

The ability to recognize and assess a horse’s normal, healthy resting temperature, heart rate, respiration (breathing) rate, and other vital signs is critical for any horse owner. It is also important that the horse be educated to allow handling for the purpose of assessing vital signs. Watch our video tutorial on how to take your horse’s vital signs for further information. Please contact your veterinarian if your horse’s resting vital signs do not fall within the usual limits listed below to determine what could be wrong.

  1. To discover more about the horse’s vital indicators, you may click on any spot on the horse.
  2. Learn about the many types of eye problems.
  3. If you observe a greenish, yellowish, or white “snotty” discharge, call your veterinarian right once.
  4. Moisturizing and pink mucous membranes that coat the inside of the mouth and gums are ideal.
  5. 10-24 breaths per minute is considered to be a normal respiratory rate.
  6. This should come across as unambiguous.
  7. Dehydration is indicated by a prolonged period of time.
  8. To listen to the horse’s heart, place a stethoscope immediately behind the elbow in the girth region on the left side of the horse’s chest.
  9. 2 pencil), which is on the bottom side of the jaw where it crosses the bone, if you don’t have a stethoscope available.
  10. Read on to find out more Tendons and ligaments are robust, strong bands of soft connective tissue—collagen-rich materials that hold diverse bodily parts together.
  11. In contrast to ligaments, which connect bones to other bones, tendon connects muscles to bones.

Read on to find out more Photo courtesy of HorseScience.com Even though it’s difficult to define the “ideal” hoof, a horse’s feet should be balanced, with a straight hoof-pastern angle (a straight line down the front of the pastern and hoof wall), easy breakover (the toe is not too long and is squared, rounded, or rolled to allow for easier movement), adequate heel support (if shod, the shoe extends to the end of the hoof wall to support the back of the leg to the heels), and Keep an eye out for a bounding digital pulse (the pulse that can be felt in the digital arteries at the rear of the fetlock), which might suggest laminitis in the horse.

  1. Read on to find out more Check the condition of your horse’s body by seeing and manually examining the fat that covers his ribs, shoulder, withers, loin, tailhead, and neck areas.
  2. Download Score for Physical Condition PosterIllustration: Robin Peterson, Director of Visual Media and Learning Listen to your horse’s stomach noises by pressing your ear or, better yet, a stethoscope on both sides of the belly, high and low, on both sides of the horse’s abdomen.
  3. Silence for an extended period of time shows an anomaly and may imply colic.
  4. A modest amount of liquid consumed either shortly prior to or soon after a bowel movement is likewise considered normal.
  5. You may take your horse’s rectal temperature using an electronic thermometer that has been dipped into lubricant for added convenience.

Make certain that the thermometer is securely fastened to the tail or that a rope linked to the thermometer is clipped to the tail. How to take your horse’s temperature in this video

Measuring Temperature, Pulse, & Respiration (TPR): What’s Normal for My Horse?

  • The Equine Science Center is staffed by Nettie Liburt, a Support Staff member
  • Karyn Malinowski, an Extension Specialist in Equine Science
  • And Carey Williams, an Extension Specialist in Equine Management.

A horse’s temperature, pulse, and respiration may all be measured, and the results can give vital information about the horse’s overall health and well-being. It’s a quick and simple approach to figure out how your horse is feeling at the moment. If you have a horse health problem and want to discuss it with your veterinarian, sharing this simple information will be quite beneficial.


It is critical to take your horse’s body temperature on a regular basis in order to establish what is typical for him/her at that time. Veterinary thermometers are simple to come by and are quite inexpensive to buy. Both digital and mercury thermometers will function properly. Digital thermometer with a typical reading for a horse, as shown in Figure 1. Keep a small supply of petroleum jelly or other lubricant on hand, and apply a thin coating to the lower half of the thermometer to prevent sticking.

  • After that, place the thermometer into the horse’s rectum with extreme care.
  • Continue to maintain firm control on the thermometer in order to prevent it from moving too far or falling to the ground (see Figure 2).
  • Take note of the temperature.
  • Figure 2: Taking the temperature of a horse’s rectal cavity.
  • Remember that it is typical for a horse’s temperature to rise during and soon after activity, but that it should return to normal within a short period of time afterward.


Pulse is a measure of the rate of one’s heartbeat. Prior to taking a pulse, have a watch, stopwatch, or smartphone with a timer nearby so that you can keep track of the number of heartbeats in seconds while counting them. Placing your fingertips (not your thumbs!) under the lower jawbone, toward the neck, and under the cheek of a horse is a simple technique to feel the animal’s heartbeat (see Figure 3). You should be able to feel a huge vein-like structure that travels around beneath your skin; the vein will feel like a little pencil or thread under your skin.

  1. Maintain a mild pressure on the vein until you can feel the “bounce” or pulsing of the blood within it.
  2. Count the pulse for 15 seconds, then multiply the result by four to get the final result.
  3. As a result, the heart beats around 48 times every minute.) Figure 3: Using two fingers under the cheek of the horse, determine the animal’s pulse.
  4. The procedure is the same as it is everywhere.
  5. For an adult horse, a typical heart rate is between 28 and 48 beats per minute (bpm).

Horses of larger breeds tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum, whilst horses of smaller breeds tend to be on the higher end. Newborn foals have a greater heart rate, ranging between 80 and 120 beats per minute, whereas yearlings have a heart rate ranging between 40 and 60 beats per minute.


The intake of oxygen and the expulsion of carbon dioxide and water vapor from the lungs are referred to as respiratory function. The measurement of respiration rate is rather straightforward. Make sure the horse is comfortable, whether in a stall or tied to a crossbar. Place yourself quietly by the horse’s side, with your back to the ribcage area. Keep an eye out for the rise and fall of the ribs or flank area when doing nothing. Keep your timer close at hand. Make a note of the time and the number of breaths taken for a minimum of 15 seconds.

  • A horse’s usual respiratory rate at rest is roughly 8–14 breaths per minute, give or take a breath or two, depending on the individual horse.
  • After you’ve been sniffed and checked out, wait until the horse is through inspecting you and has resumed normal breathing before starting to count breaths.
  • Figure 4: Placing the hand in front of the horse’s nose in order to assess the horse’s respiratory rate.
  • A person’s breathing rate can increase to as high as 120 breaths per minute while they are engaged in strenuous activity.
  • Horses have an unusually high ratio of heartbeats to breaths, which is 4 to 1.
  • There are instances when this ratio has to be adjusted or reversed, and veterinary assistance is required.
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Monitoring your horse’s TPR on a regular basis is very crucial for his health. The information gathered from these inspections is extremely helpful to both the horse owner and the veterinarian doing the examination. Changes in these numbers can suggest a variety of problems, including infection, discomfort, and distress, to mention a few examples. Your veterinarian will be able to assist you in interpreting the results of your TPR examination.


  • The normal ranges of rectal temperature, resting heart rates, and resting respiratory rates are all measured.
  • BD Scott and M. Martin have collaborated on this project. Horses’ Vital Life Signs: How to Recognize Them. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. Accessible over the internet
  • CW Williams is a CW Williams is a CW Williams is a CW Williams is a “Do you think you’re stressing out your horse?” The NJAES Rutgers Cooperative Extension fact sheet FS656 and the Rutgers Equine Science Center publication Trail Riding Etiquette for Horse Enthusiasts by Williams, CW and Elsishans, J. Accessible over the internet

The month of November 2016

Normal Horse Body Temperature, Vital Signs, & Health Indicators

The majority of people are familiar enough with their own bodies’ processes to recognize when the signs and symptoms indicate that something is awry. For example, a high temperature may suggest the presence of a fever. In order to properly care for your horse’s health, it’s critical that you recognize the same indicators that other horse owners are aware of. Horses are unable to communicate verbally, thus it is up to you to determine whether there is an issue that requires your attention.

In order to assist you, this article will cover your horse’s body temperature, as well as various other vital indications that may provide you with insight into your horse’s health and present state of affairs.

What’s the Average Body Temperature of a Horse

The temperature of your horse’s body may tell you a lot about how well they’re doing. It might be a symptom of bad health, signaling to you that you should seek medical attention. Your horse’s temperature should be between 99 and 101 degrees Fahrenheit on average, despite the fact that it will fluctuate somewhat. Veterinary attention is required if the temperature of your horse rises beyond 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is a Horse’s Body Temperature Always Consistent?

Even in the case of a healthy horse, the body temperature might fluctuate by up to three degrees Celsius. Exercise, stress, excitement, and warm weather are just a few of the environmental elements that might cause variations in your horse’s body temperature, including hot weather. It’s reasonable to expect your horse’s temperature to be somewhat elevated if you know that he’s been working hard recently. Nonetheless, it is essential to be careful and retest as soon as possible. If your pet has a persistent temperature of 102 degrees or above, you should take him to the veterinarian.

What’s the Best Way to Take a Horse’s Temperature?

With horses, the most precise approach to measure their temperature is with a rectum thermometer, which is the most commonly used type. You may get them in pharmacies or, in the best case scenario, at a tack store. Ensure that the thermometer does not get lost inside your horse by tying a long thread to the end of the thermometer’s probe. Even if it appears to be impossible, it is a very real option that you will not like dealing with in any way. Plastic thermometers are the most reliable options, while digital thermometers are often the quickest and most convenient to use.

How to Take a Horse’s Temperature

Before attempting to take your horse’s temperature, either tie them up or have someone else keep them still while you do so. Also, keep in mind that certain horses will not be pleased with this procedure. Instead of standing immediately behind the horse, you can consider standing to the side of the horse rather than directly behind it. To begin, lubricate the thermometer with mineral oil. Vaseline or petroleum jelly can be used as a moisturizer. Then, relocate the tail to the side of the horse so that it is no longer in the way.

Make sure to keep the thermometer in position until the reading is accurate.

Be careful to clean and sanitize the thermometer after you have taken your horse’s temperature before putting it away.

If you use a horse thermometer, you don’t want to transfer bacteria and disease to other horses.

Other Important Horse Vital Signs

While temperature can offer you a clear indication of your horse’s immediate health, it’s far from the only sign you should be looking for.

Many other vital signs can offer you further glimpses into your horse’s condition, allowing you to cutillnessesand health concerns off early by catching them before they truly take hold.


Equines have pulses that are similar to human pulses in that they are a good predictor of their health. It’s possible that a horse’s heart rate is abnormally high because he’s in bodily trouble, enthusiastic, frightened, or in pain. Elevated heart rates can be caused by physical activity and heat. Furthermore, some disorders might cause your horse’s heart rate to increase, providing a strong indicator that there is an issue that needs to be addressed further. The heart rate of an adult horse should be between 30 and 40 beats per minute on average.

Horses that are younger in age have naturally greater heart rates.

Yearlings have heart rates that range between 45 and 60 beats per minute.

Breathing Rate

It is possible that the amount of breaths your horse takes per minute is an indicator of their health. Adult horses breathe at an average rate of 8-15 breaths per minute, depending on their size. Horses that are younger will take more breaths than horses that are older. Naturally, hot temperatures and physical activity can cause a horse’s respiratory rate to increase somewhat. A rapid breathing rate, on the other hand, may indicate the presence of additional problems. If you notice that your horse is breathing fast, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you’re not comfortable with that, you can count breaths by observing or feeling the expansion of your horse’s ribcage with each breath.

Make certain that you count each inhalation and exhalation as a separate breath during the exercise.

Gut Noises

The stomach and intestines of your horse are continually gurgling and producing noise. To the contrary, if the stomach is silent, it typically indicates a larger risk of developing a medical condition than when the gut is producing a lot of noise. Even if you don’t hear any sounds coming from your horse’s stomach, you should contact your veterinarian right once since it might be an indication of colic. It’s simple to pay attention to your horse’s instincts. You may just push your ear against the horse’s body, just below the final rib, to get this effect.

Make careful to inspect both sides of the coin.

If you are listening for stomach noises and do not hear any sounds at first, you may want to consider enlisting the assistance of a stethoscope. You should consult with your veterinarian if you are still hearing nothing through the stethoscope after a few minutes.


horses consume an amazing quantity of water, making it possible for them to get dehydrated in a relatively short period of time. Depending on its level of activity, an adult horse will consume between 5 and 12 gallons of water per day, on average. For horses that are having trouble drinking water, you may try adding in something delicious like Gatorade or apple juice to get them to drink. If the situation persists, you’ll need to consult with your veterinarian for more assistance. There are various methods for determining whether or not your horse is dehydrated.

Simply squeeze the skin on the back of your horse’s neck and hold it for a few seconds to release the pressure.

Dehydration will cause a wrinkle or fold to emerge on the skin of a dehydrated horse, which will dissipate in around five seconds.


Adult horses have a body temperature that ranges between 99 and 101 degrees Fahrenheit on average. Anything beyond this level necessitates a visit to the veterinarian. However, the temperature of your horse is not the sole measure of his or her health. Check their heart rate and breathing rate to make sure they are healthy. Additionally, keep an ear out for gastrointestinal sounds and make sure your horse is well hydrated. If all of these factors are in agreement, your horse is most likely healthy.

Temperature, Pulse and Respiration in a Horse – Extension Horses

Every horse owner or caretaker should be familiar with the fundamental physiological characteristics of temperature, pulse, and respiration (TPR) if he or she want to offer good care for a horse. Keeping track of these three vital signs is extremely essential and may be highly beneficial to both you and your doctor when you suspect your horse is unwell. Having a basic understanding of the usual readings for these three vital signs can give valuable insight into your horse’s physiological condition.

Normal TPR

To determine whether or not your horse’s TPR levels are abnormal, you must first understand what is considered normal. Although the usual heart rate for most horses is 32 to 36 beats per minute, some horses have lower heart rates, such as 24 beats per minute, or significantly higher heart rates, such as 40 beats per minute, depending on the breed. You’ll need a thermometer, a stethoscope, and a watch with a second hand or one that counts the seconds to complete this task successfully. In order to get an accurate reading, a digital thermometer should be used because it requires significantly less time and is more versatile than a glass mercury thermometer.

You may use a tiny clamp or clothespin to secure the string to the horse’s tail, and then leave it in place until the temperature can be determined.

These thermometers are available for purchase at any pharmacy shop.

Using a stethoscope, it is possible to clearly hear the heart beating and the sounds of respiration. The heartbeat may be heard and the heart rate (pulse) and respiration rate can be determined with a cheap stethoscope that can be obtained at a pharmacy or equestrian supply store.


Most horses may have their rectal temperature measured with no difficulty by putting a tiny quantity of lubricant (petroleum jelly) on the thermometer. When approaching a horse from the side, be careful not to stand directly behind the horse in case it decides to kick. Bring the horse’s tail up or move it, and then place the thermometer into the anus. There is a ring on the top of thermometers that are intended for use with animals. It is possible to link this ring to a string, with a clip being attached to the other end of the string.

The usual rectal temperature of a horse is 99.5 to 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 to 38.6 degrees Celsius).

Newborn foals are susceptible to hypothermia (low body temperature), thus if the foal’s temperature is less than 98.0°F (36.6°C), contact your veterinarian immediately for assistance.

If the horse’s rectal temperature is higher than usual, it is suffering from a fever rather than a temperature.


Although the heart rate may be measured without the use of a stethoscope, it is much easier to do so with one. The facial artery, which is located on the bottom side of the jaw in a shallow groove under the final cheek tooth, can be used if a stethoscope is not readily available. The heart rate is calculated by counting the number of beats for 15 seconds and multiplying the total number of beats by four to get the beats per minute. Keep in mind that any enthusiasm displayed by the horse will result in an increase in heart rate.

Each sound produced by the heart is regarded as a single beat.

The heart rate of a foal varies depending on its age.

Foals with heart rates ranging from 60 to 80 beats per minute when they are a few weeks to a few months old will be considered young.


Watching the horse’s chest move in and out (a horse’s inhale and exhale are considered one breath) or feeling the air flow out of the nostrils are two ways to measure respiration. When the horse inhales and exhales, the stethoscope may be used to listen to the air moving over the trachea, which is where the breaths are heard. It is also important to observe the peculiarities of the respiratory system. Is the sound intelligible? How long are the breaths taking place? Are they shallow or deep? Are there any strange sounds linked with the respiration, such as squeaking or crackling?

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Newborn foals breathe at rates ranging from 60 to 80 breaths per minute when they are born.

Adult foals have resting respiration rates of 20 to 40 breaths per minute, depending on their age. It’s important to remember that if your horse or foal becomes aroused for whatever reason, the respiratory rate may momentarily increase.

Capillary Refill Time

The color of the mucous membranes, or gums, is another indicative of health. Healthy horses have pink gums that are moist to the touch and have a lovely shine to their coats. Capillary filling time may be determined by pushing your finger firmly on the gum above the front incisors and swiftly releasing it from the area. The amount of time it takes for the region to convert from white to pink again is referred to as the capillary refill time. The average replenishment time is around 2 seconds.

Knowing your horse’s usual vital signs and being able to take its vital signs in an emergency will considerably boost the chances of your horse surviving a major sickness or injury.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please take a moment to complete our survey so that we may continue to improve our website. Thank you for your time. Fill out the survey right away. Craig Wood is a professor at the University of Kentucky.

Equine Vital Signs – What’s normal?

Every horse owner should be aware of their horse’s typical body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate (TPR), as well as how to acquire these measurements for their horse. In addition, you should be familiar with certain other “basic” “typical” things like borborygmi (gut noises), mucus membrane color, and capillary refill time, among other things. Knowing what is usual will help you when things aren’t going as smoothly as they should. If you feel that your horse is suffering from a health concern, you should share this information with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Depending on external conditions such as the weather, stress, and activity, your horse’s typical body temperature might vary by up to three degrees Celsius.

You should take your horse’s temperature at many times throughout the day to establish a baseline for what is normal for your particular horse’s temperature.

  • At the moment, taking a horse’s temperature rectally is the most precise method available. Plastic digital thermometers, which are now widely available, have made this process considerably more efficient and straightforward. No matter what sort of thermometer you use, whether digital or mercury, it is a good idea to attach a thread and a clip to it in order to prevent it from being lost if it should fall on the stall floor or, worse still, get sucked in. Vaseline, KY jelly, or spit can be used to lubricate the thermometer. Holding the thermometer lightly against your horse’s rectum, rather than immediately behind him, is the best way to get an accurate reading. Wait for a digital thermometer to beep, or for a mercury thermometer to beep after 2-3 minutes. In order to avoid the transmission of disease, you should properly clean your thermometer after each use with soap and water or alcohol.

Temperatures of 102° F or above should trigger a contact to your TEVA veterinarian right once. Although a fever does not necessarily imply an infection, any condition that causes the body’s normal temperature to rise should be investigated. Heart Rate (in bpm) (HR) An mature horse’s resting heart rate is 30-40 beats per minute, which is considered normal (bpm). Foals have a greater resting heart rate, which ranges between 70 and 120 beats per minute. If your horse is aroused, in discomfort, suffering from certain conditions, or has recently exercised, his heart rate will be elevated.

  • You may either listen to your horse’s heart with a stethoscope or feel his pulse on his facial artery or digital artery to determine his heart rate. For the most part, most individuals can easily locate these two arteries. The facial artery travels along the outside of the bottom of his jawbone, on the outside of his cheekbone. The digital artery is located on the outside of his leg, at the level of his fetlock, and it supplies blood to his leg muscles. To check for a pulse, gently press down over the artery in your wrist. To use a stethoscope on your horse’s chest, position it directly behind the elbow and listen carefully. You may multiply the number of beats in fifteen seconds by four to get the total number of beats in fifteen seconds.

Heart rates that are not related with activity, particularly when accompanied with anomalous behavior, should be treated very carefully. Any heart rate more than 40 beats per minute necessitates a visit to your veterinarian. Having a heart rate more than 60 beats per minute signals a serious ailment that should be handled as an emergency. The rate at which you breathe (RR) For an adult horse, a typical respiratory rate is between 8 and 15 breaths per minute (bpm).

Inhalation and exhalation should be of same duration, and the inhalation and exhalation should be of equal length. Heat, humidity, exercise, fever, and discomfort can all induce an increase in the pace at which the respiratory muscles contract. How to measure the respiratory rate of your horse:

  • Keep an eye on your horse’s chest as it goes in and out, or rest your palm on his chest to feel the movement in and out. Use your stethoscope to listen to his breaths, either in his lungs or in his trachea, if you feel that something is wrong. Again, for fifteen seconds, count the number of breaths you take and multiply the total by four.

A rapid respiratory rate, increased difficulty while inhaling or exhaling, or the production of noise when breathing should necessitate a visit from your veterinarian. Borborygmi (Gut Sounds)The intestines of horses are in virtually continual action, resulting in a steady stream of noise coming from them. The noises may be a little softer at times than at others, but they are always present. Excessive noises in the bowels, as in the case of diarrhea, may suggest irritation or inflammation of the digestive tract.

Gut Sounds can be heard in the following ways:

  • Using your stethoscope, you may listen for gurgling, gassy, and “fluidy” noises coming from your horse’s flanks on either side of the animal. You should be able to hear these on both sides if you listen carefully. Without a stethoscope, you may also listen to your horse’s flank with your ear if you don’t have one handy. Most horses produce stomach noises that are loud enough that you can hear them even if you are not using a stethoscope.

If your horse does not have borborygmi and is exhibiting any other symptoms such as lack of appetite, fever, pawing, or laying down, call your veterinarian immediately for further evaluation. Time for Capillary Refill (CRT) It is the amount of time it takes for blood to return to blanched tissues in the gums, which is measured as Capillary Refill Time (CRT). This is a measure of the flow of blood in the body. The normal replenishment time ranges between one and two seconds. Capillary replenishment in your horse can be checked in the following ways:

  • Lifting your horse’s top lip and pressing on his gums can allow you to determine his CRT. Measure the time it takes for the typical pink to appear in the place you pushed on the screen:

It is possible that your horse’s CRT is three seconds or longer, which might suggest poor circulation, dehydration, or disease. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Color of the Mucus Membrane Mucus membranes are the tissues that line the inside of the eyelids, the inside of the lips, the inside of the gums, the inside of the nose, and the inside of the vulva. Another indication of blood circulation is the color of the mucus membranes. Mucus membranes that are in good health are a moist pink color.

Dehydration may be indicated by dry mucous membranes.

  • Anemia and blood loss are indicated by a very light pink color. White indicates serious blood loss, anemia, and shock. Bright red/purple: toxicity, mild shock
  • Bright red/purple: poisoning
  • Bright red Extreme shock and low oxygen levels are represented by the colors gray and blue. Bright yellow indicates liver illness.

If any of the conditions listed above apply to your horse’s mucous membranes, call your TEVA veterinarian immediately. The ability to recognize when things are NOT typical for your horse can assist you in identifying abnormalities, and will give a wealth of information for your TEVA veterinarian. Equestrian Collections is a trademark that was registered in 2011. Sallie S. Hyman, VMD, DACVIM, CVA is the author. The information contained in this article is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation by a qualified equine specialist.

What’s the Normal Temperature of a Horse? (7 Easy Steps to Take)

The body temperature of your horse, much like that of humans, may tell you a lot about the animal’s overall health. An abnormally high temperature, for example, may indicate an infection, heatstroke, or another dangerous disease. In order to identify when something is wrong with your horse, it is essential for you to understand what is typical for your horse as a horse owner. In order to assist you, we conducted extensive study on horse temperature and created this guide that explains what is normal and what is not in this situation.

We also provide information on how to correctly take your horse’s temperature, which we believe may be of use. Let’s get this party started.

What’s the Normal Temperature of a Horse?

Horses with normal body temperatures often range between 99 and 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit (degrees Celsius). When a healthy foal is born, its body temperature should vary between 99.5° F and 102.1° F. Anything that rises over these levels may be a warning that things is not quite right. Individual horses’ body temperatures can vary, and a horse’s temperature might occasionally record at a lower level than what is considered normal. Low temperatures, however, according to experts, should not be cause for concern.

If the animal is in good health, a low body temperature should not be a reason for concern at all.

Ensure that you contact a veterinarian as soon as your foal’s temperature falls below 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature of your horse may rise by a few of degrees as a result of strenuous activity or exercise, but it will normally return to normal within an hour or two.

How to Take Your Horse’s Temperature (7 Easy Steps)

Taking your horse’s temperature is a simple procedure that takes only a few simple supplies. All you require is the following:

  • Temperature gauge (digital or mercury)
  • Vaseline/KY Jelly or any other mild lubrication
  • Tissue, cotton wool, and other materials Alcohol for rubbing
  • A pair of latex or rubber gloves

Step 1: Wait Until After the Horse Has Passed Stool

The optimum time to check the horse’s temperature is after he or her has had a bowel movement, since this will reduce the risk that you may accidentally enter the thermometer into excrement while checking the temperature. A greater temperature is typically seen in stool, which causes the thermometer to inaccurately depict the animal’s true body temperature when used in conjunction with the stool.

Step 2: Talk to the Horse

You are almost certainly the owner of the horse you are inspecting, and your equine has probably already figured out that you want to check their temperature. If you are taking the temperature of someone else’s horse, or if you are doing this for the first time, you will need to engage with the horse and become comfortable with it. It is also critical that the horse becomes acquainted with you in order to avoid being scared. For example, you can do things like chat calmly to the horse while offering them goodies or rubbing behind their ears; these simple activities will go a far way in helping you and the animal establish a much-needed bond between you.

This will help to guarantee that they are not moving around excessively when you begin getting their thermometer reading.

Step 3: Examine Your Thermometer

Checking your horse’s body temperature may be done using a digital or mercury thermometer, depending on your preference. If you’re using a digital one, make sure to turn it on first; this will allow you to determine whether or not it is functioning properly. It is necessary to verify if the thermometer’s battery is dead and to replace it if this occurs. Shake the thermometer several times if you are using a mercury thermometer to ensure that the mercury is re-entrained in the bulb.

If you do not follow these instructions, the thermometer may give you a misleading reading. Once you’ve finished examining and preparing the thermometer, you should lubricate the part that goes into the rectum to ensure that it doesn’t cause too much discomfort for the horse.

Step 4: Position Yourself for the Job

Keep your distance from the horse, preferably on the mounting side, so that they are not startled. Then, starting from this position, walk toward the horse’s back while running one hand along their back to keep their attention. It’s important to remember that horses cannot see directly in front of them, so avoid standing directly in front of them at all costs. Instead, take up a position next to their back leg so that they can see you. They won’t be frightened and will not be kicked out this way.

See also:  How To Keep Horse Water Trough Clean? (Perfect answer)

Step 5: Hold the Horse’s Tail

With one hand, gently grasp the horse’s tail (near the rump) while holding the thermometer in the other. Lift the tail to a suitable height so that you may have access to the rectus muscle. In order to avoid damaging the animal’s anus, carefully put the edge of the thermometer into the anus. Continue to converse with the horse while you’re at it. They may not love the experience, but they will undoubtedly appreciate a pleasant and calming voice. If the animal clenches its anal muscles, try rotating the thermometer to see if that helps.

It is necessary for the thermometer bulb to be located within the rectum.

When using these approaches, it is recommended to secure the thermometer with a string.

So the best approach to prevent your thermometer from falling into your horse’s anus is to be cautious with how far you push it, rather than attaching a thread to the thermometer itself.

Step 6: Read the Temperature

According on the type of thermometer you are using, once it has finished reading the horse’s temperature, it will either beep (in the case of a digital thermometer) or raise the mercury level in the thermometer’s mercury reservoir (in the case of a mercury thermometer). The waiting period might be anywhere between 30 and 120 seconds, depending on how long it takes for the temperature to stabilize and become steady. After that, carefully draw the thermometer out of the equine’s anus at the same angle at which it was inserted previously.

Take note of the temperature and maintain a record of it for future reference.

If the temperature is higher than normal, wait a few hours before continuing.

Things such as dung or a delayed thermometer may occasionally cause the reading to be inaccurate.

Step 7: Clean the Thermometer

Turn off or shake down your thermometer, then give it a thorough cleaning with a clean tissue or cotton wool soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe it out completely.

The thermometer will be cleaned and disinfected as a result. Don’t forget to clean the thermometer of any feces that may have become adhered to it.

Factors Affecting Horse Temperature

When it comes to horses, their typical body temperature will range between 99° F and 101.5° F, although this figure may change somewhat depending on two primary factors: first, their activity level. Weather conditions: When the weather is very hot or cold, your horse’s body temperature may rise or fall somewhat. However, because equines thermoregulate, the fluctuations in temperature are typically minimal or non-existent. The temperature of your horse should not rise over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

Some activities can even elevate the temperature of the animal to as high as 105° F.

When to Contact Your Vet

The presence of a high fever in your horse that does not decrease within a few hours should be cause for concern, and you should get your horse assessed by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your horse is exhibiting additional symptoms such as lack of energy, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, or other signs of illness, they should be examined as well. Another situation in which veterinary assistance may be required is when the thermometer is mistakenly inserted into the equine’s rectum. Unharmed, a veterinarian will securely evaluate the depth of the hole and remove it without injuring the animal.

The Takeaway

Checking your horse’s temperature on a regular basis might help you recognize when something is amiss and when it is necessary to contact a veterinarian. The good news is that You are not required to pay someone to complete this task for you. As long as you have a digital thermometer in your equestrian care equipment, you will be able to efficiently monitor the core temperature of your horse. All you have to do is grab the thermometer and place it into the animal’s anus to get a reading. It’s as simple as pie.

Your Horse’s Normal Vital Signs

Every horse owner should be aware of and be able to monitor their horse’s typical, healthy vital signs in order to keep their horse in good health. The usual ranges for a healthy horse are depicted in the table below. Please keep in mind that severe situations, such as extremely hot temperatures, may cause your horse’s range to be altered. These figures are for regular, healthy horses at rest and should not be relied upon. Exercise, as well as feelings of fear, worry, and excitement, may all cause a rise in body temperature as well as heart and respiratory rates.


These line the mouth and gums
Should be moist with a pink, healthy colour

Capillary Refill Time

The time taken for capillaries in the gums to return to the healthy pink colour when pressed with a finger.
2 seconds or less

Gut Sounds

A mixture of grumbles, tinkling and roars. There is no rhythm but you should hear a sound every few seconds.


If you pinch your horse’s skin it should return to lying flat within 1-2 seconds. The longer the skin stays pinched up before flattening, the more dehydrated the horse is.

We recommend that all horse owners get familiar with the ‘typical’ symptoms that their horses exhibit while in their care.

Comparing established typical readings to periods when you feel anything odd is occurring might be beneficial for both you and your veterinarian when assessing whether or not veterinary treatment is necessary. Detailed instructions on how to check the vital signs of your horse.

Know your horse’s vital signs

Everyone who owns, rides, or otherwise interacts with horses should be familiar with their horse’s vital signs. These basic examinations will assist you in determining whether or not your horse is healthy and whether or not you will need to contact the veterinarian. When you are able to communicate these simple but critical factors to your veterinarian during an emergency (which frequently occurs when you must provide information over the phone), you will receive more accurate and appropriate care for your horse.

Writing them down in a journal and keeping track of the horse’s behavior and general health may be a good idea.


Rectal temperature taking is the most accurate method for taking the horse’s temperature. Keep a digital thermometer made of plastic in your first aid kit. They are safe, simple to use, reasonably priced, and readily accessible at most pharmacies. They are activated by pushing a button on the side of the device. All you have to do is grease the horse’s rectum with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and place the thermometer inside it. Always thoroughly clean the thermometer before putting it back into its case.

  • When taking a precise measurement, it may take one to three minutes; however, many digital thermometers take readings rapidly and beep when they are finished.
  • Note: To prevent the thermometer from being dislodged in your horse, tie a piece of string to the handle end and secure it with an alligator clip.
  • In warm weather, horses’ body temperatures tend to be higher than normal.
  • This is why it is critical to take your horse’s temperature several times and in a variety of conditions so that you can determine what is normal.
  • Viral infections can result in either early subnormal temperatures (akin to the shivers one gets with a viral cold) or extremely raised temperatures (41-42°C) in a short period of time.
  • When you are concerned about a suspected sickness in your horse, you should take his temperature twice a day and search for patterns and differences.

The Pulse

The horse’s pulse can be collected from a number of locations, including the area under the jaw, beneath the tail at its bone, and the side of the horse’s foot, among others. By placing your palm or stethoscope on the left (near) side of your horse’s chest beneath the elbow, you may perform the easiest and most efficient examination. (If you are unable to locate the pulse, your veterinarian will be pleased to demonstrate.) Because most horses will not stand still long enough to count heartbeats for a full minute, count for 15 seconds and multiply the results by four instead.

  1. When you take your pulse, you are measuring the pace and intensity of your heartbeat.
  2. Although horses’ maximum heart rates can surpass 180 beats per minute, a rate more than 80 should be regarded dangerous in the majority of horses that do not exercise.
  3. The horse’s heart rate will be elevated by physical activity, tension, fear, pain, and excitement.
  4. Colic or intestinal discomfort is the most prevalent cause of an increased heart rate in children.
  5. The strength or power of the horse’s pulse might be a sign of other issues that are present in the animal.
  6. When a horse has been exercising and is pumping a lot of blood to transport oxygen to functioning muscles, a strong, powerful pulse can be felt.
  7. Being aware of your horse’s typical heart rate and pulse quality enables you to draw comparisons in order to analyze conditions and gauge his or her response to them.

This statistic is the single most accurate predictor of horse fitness available on the market. Having the ability to take your horse’s heart rate helps you to analyze and track training and fitness in your equine athlete with relative ease.


At repose, the typical breathing rate of a mature horse is 8-15 breaths per minute, depending on the breed. The rate of breathing of a horse rises in hot or humid conditions, during activity, during fever, and during discomfort. Rapid breathing when at rest should be treated by a veterinarian, and it is important to remember that the respiration rate should never surpass the heart rate. In addition, a horse’s inhalation and exhalation times should be equal. It is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after work before monitoring your respiratory rate at rest in order to get an accurate measurement.

Always count one inhalation and one exhalation as one breath (not as two).

If you are having trouble seeing the horse’s ribcage move, consider looking at the horse’s nostrils or placing your palm in front of the horse’s nostrils to feel the animal exhale as a substitute.

This will also produce weird sounds if the horse’s windpipe is obstructed by mucus, or if he has allergies or heaves, as well as other conditions.

Gut sounds

Gut noises produced by your horse’s stomach and intestines can provide extremely valuable information to your veterinarian, which he or she can use to identify an ailment. Gut noises should be present at all times. The lack of gut noises, rather than the presence of excessive gut sounds, is a more reliable indicator of a problem. In most cases, the absence of stomach sounds suggests the presence of colic. If you are unable to detect any sounds, contact your veterinarian immediately. Put your ear up to the barrel of your horse, right behind his final rib, and listen.

Make sure to listen to the stomach noises on both sides.


Horses need drink a minimum of 20 litres of water every day in order to be considered healthy. If your horse is dehydrated, it is critical that you encourage him to drink as much as possible. If he continues to refuse to drink water, try flavoring it (molasses or cordial are excellent choices), and consult your veterinarian if he still refuses to drink. Horses should drink significantly more when the weather is hot and humid. In these conditions, a horse in racing preparation may consume up to 70 litres of water every day.

How to do a pinch test is as follows: Pinch the skin around the neck of your horse.

Otherwise, it indicates that he is dehydrated as a result of not drinking enough water. Dehydration is indicated by the length of time the horse’s skin remains pinched up before it flattens out.

Capillary refill time (CRT)

It is the amount of time it takes for blood to return to blanched tissues in the gums, which is measured as Capillary Refill Time (CRT). This is a measure of the flow of blood in the body. The normal replenishment time ranges between 1 and 2 seconds. Checking the CRT is as follows: Then, for 2 seconds, lift your horse’s top lip and firmly push your thumb on his gums to leave a white mark on his gums. After releasing the pressure on the white mark, it should revert to its regular pink color within 1-2 seconds of being released.

Mucous membrane

The mucous membranes of a horse’s eyelids, gums, and the inside of his nostrils are all lined with mucous membranes. The color of the mucous membranes is another sign of the flow of blood through the body. The gums of a healthy horse are somewhat paler than the gums of a healthy person. As soon as you see your horse’s gums are very pale or bright red, greyish blue, or brilliant yellow, take him to the vet straight away! Mucous membranes are a variety of colors. Moist pink indicates a normal and healthy circulation.

Toxicity or moderate shock are indicated by expanded capillaries, which are bright red.

Bright yellow: This color is associated with liver issues.

Always seek the counsel of your veterinarian as soon as possible rather than later, since the sooner a veterinarian can inspect your horse, the more time they will have to address the problem if it is caught early.

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