Everyone that works with horses needs to know how to obtain vital signs. If your horse just does not seem right you will need to know how to tell if a horse is feeling well, or if they need immediate veterinary attention. A horse’s vital signs should be checked regularly and it is suggested that you write down your horse’s normal vital signs and put them in a location such as your first aid kit. Any time a horse seems “off”, their vital signs should be taken. Learning to accurately observe and judge your horse’s vital signs and changes in behavior takes a lot of practice. Many emergency conditions can be treated quicker if changes in vital signs are detected early enough. Temperature, pulse, and respiration (TPR)—make up basic vital signs. They can greatly help you, and your veterinarian, when you think something might be wrong with your horse. Just knowing these three values for your horse can give your veterinarian great insight as to just how sick or injured your horse could be.
View the video presentation below to learn how to take the vital signs of a horse.