Monitoring vital signs? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-02-2010, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Western US
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Monitoring vital signs?

Do you monitor your horse(s) vital signs? Which ones, and how often?

Right now I just check the strength of my boy's digital pulse daily, as he's recently turned out on pasture full time and I'm totally paranoid. But I haven't been checking pulse rate, temperature, etc.

Do you monitor anything on a regular basis? Or just check it when something seems wrong?
Shenandoah is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-02-2010, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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i may be just a bad horse owner, but i don't normally check anything on a regular basis. Except looking him over for bumps and bruises. Now if i come out and he is acting sick, or just not himself i run through the check list. he is a stalled horse, so i don't really worry about founder since the barn skimps so much on everything you have to worry more about them starving before that.

Temp = 99.0 - 101.0 F
Pulse = 30 - 40 bpm
Respiration = 8 - 15 breaths per min.
Gut sounds check both sides
Dehydration = tent skin, check gums

These are just what i start off with and i actually do check his gums everyday, because he has been known to not drink. Now if he is lame or something i check his legs for swelling, knots or cuts, than i check his hooves to make sure they look good, and i press on them to see if he is sore.

Hope this helps some, i just posted all that in case you didn't know and to remind myself.

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post #3 of 4 Old 09-02-2010, 11:42 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
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I think it is just good practice to get in the habit of doing. Because when it really counts and you need to get it done, you are familiar with it, your horse is familiar with it and you both know what to expect.

Trying to stick a thermometer in a horse's backside that isn't used to it can make for all sorts of new problems - especially if they aren't feeling good in the first place.

Everyone should be know what the vitals are, record them and take them regularly.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-03-2010, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: secret mountain valley
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the biggest reason to check your horses vitals regularly isn't because you're looking for something wrong, but so that you know what is normal for your horse. It makes it SO much easier to recognize abnormalities when they do occur.

My BO called me when I was out of town because she thought my guy was mildly colicking. I happen to know which gut sounds tend to be louder and which are quieter (there are 4 quadrants to check) and what his normal pulse and resp. are. It really put my mind at ease knowing what she heard was normal for him when it might have been suspicious in another individual.
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