Normal Parameters

It is paramount for horse owners to know what is normal and what is not normal in their horse's resting vital signs. If their vital signs are outside of the normal/healthy ranges, then please call us. Please note, hot and humid environments will alter these normal values.

Please hover over the image below to see a horses normal vital sign parameters.

Temperature
37.2-38.3°C. Take your horse’s rectal temperature using a digital thermometer that’s been dipped in a small amount of lubricant. Make sure you hold the thermometer in place or clip a string attached to the thermometer to the tail.
Heart Rate
28-44 beats per minute
Mucous Membrane
They line the mouth and gums and should be moist and pink. Normal capillary refill time (the time it takes for capillaries in the gums to return to pink after being pressed with a finger): 2 seconds or less.
Breathing Rate
10-24 breaths per minute. Measure the respiratory rate by watching the horse's flank move in and out (each inhale or exhale is one breath), watching the horse’s nostrils flare with every breath (do not place your hand or anything near his nostrils)
Healthy Hooves
Watch for a bounding digital pulse (the pulse as felt in the digital arteries at the back of the fetlock) and heat in the hoof, which can indicate laminitis.
Hydration
Pinch his neck/shoulder skin and release; generally, the skin should snap back to normal in a one or two seconds.
Any longer indicates dehydration.
Healthy Gut
Gurgling, gaslike growls, “tinkling” sounds (fluid), and occasionally “roars”