What are the normal vital signs of the adult horse?

Temperature =100.5ºF (99º – 101.5ºF) Pulse = 32-44 beats per minute Respiration = 12-16 breaths per minute Capillary Refill Time (press & release gums) = 1 to 2 seconds Mucous Membranes = should be pink & moist Gut Sounds = fairly frequent rumbling, gurgling, or swishing sounds; usually no longer than a minute of total silence

We recommend that the horse owner become familiar with the normal parameters of their horse and learn how to properly check vital signs. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to take your horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration, and check capillary refill time and mucous membranes. In the event of an illness or emergency, this information will enable you to give your veterinarian a more complete medical history and profile. After learning the protocol, practice taking your horse’s vitals regularly so that you will be fully prepared and comfortable doing so in an emergency situation.

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