Normal Vital Signs of the Adult Horse

1. Temperature: ranges from 99.5° -101.5°
This range can vary depending on environmental temperature and activity.
The temperature is obtained by using a human thermometer placed in the rectum. Digital and mercury thermometers are both acceptable.

2. Heart rate (pulse): ranges from 36-40 beats per minute
Heart rate can vary depending on environmental factors (i.e. nervousness, excitement) and fitness (i.e. a fit race horse can have a resting heart rate of 28 bpm or lower).

3. Respiration: ranges from 12 – 16 breaths per minute
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 how to properly take your horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration. Practice taking your horse’s vital statistics regularly so that in the event of an emergency you will be comfortable and able to obtain this information and relay it to your veterinarian.

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