Category Archives: Medical

Can You Identify Normal Horse Vital Signs?

I saw this article from Standlee Feeds (no affiliation except I like their feed…) and thought it was good information.

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August 31, 2021

In the words of Dr. Cubitt, “Know what is normal for your horse, so you can identify when something is abnormal.” Knowing your horse, their quirks and tendencies not only helps to create an unbreakable bond and solid relationship but can also keep them healthy and well.

Normal horse temperature should be between 99.5 and 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit
The most accurate way to take a horse’s temperature is rectally (dipped in lubricant), using a digital thermometer.


Always be sure to clean the thermometer after use
Exercise, stress or infections can elevate temperature
Leave the thermometer in long enough to avoid a false low reading

Normal horse pulse is between 38 and 40 beats per minute
There are 3 ideal areas to take your horse’s pulse: under the jaw, beneath the tail at its bone or an area on the side of the foot. Count for 15 seconds and multiple by 4.


Don’t double count heartbeats
The normal pulse for foals is between 70-120 beats per minute
The normal pulse for yearlings is between 45-60 beats per minute

Normal horse respiration is between 8 and 15 breaths per minute
Watching your horse’s ribcage or nostrils for 1 minute, count 1 inhale and 1 exhale as a single breath.


Do not measure respiration by letting your horse sniff your hand
Wait for 30 minutes after exercise to check rate
Respiration rate should not exceed pulse rate

Horse dehydration can be observed when the skin takes more than two seconds to return to its place
Pinch the skin on your horse’s neck or shoulder area and it should return to its usual position within 1-2 seconds.


Horses need 5-12 gallons of water per day in normal environments
In heat or with heavy exercise, horses need 15-20 gallons of water per day
Learn more about horse hydration needs during the winter and summer months.

A normal horse gut sound is gurgling, like the sound of fluid dripping or tinkling
Place ear or a stethoscope up against the horse’s body, just behind the last rib, checking both sides.


Call the vet if there is an absence of sound, as it could indicate colic
Normal horse capillary refill time is between one and two seconds
Place finger against horse’s gums for 2 seconds, creating a white mark from finger pressure. The white mark should return to a normal pink tone within 1-2 seconds.

Other Tips for Horse Owners:

Be sure to check vital signs regularly to know what is normal, so that you can identify anything abnormal
Do not take vital measurements on a nervous horse to ensure accuracy
Call your veterinarian immediately if anything is abnormal
If all else fails and you are unsure if something is wrong, be sure to contact your veterinarian. If you have questions on nutrition, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage.

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It took 2 months for my Ivermectin order to be filled!! You, too?!

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 | Filed under Medical

It wasn’t until this recent news cycle that I figured out WHY my standard Ivermectin order was so delayed.


I always get the same dozen tubes.  Usually it is competitively priced, easy and immediate through Riding Warehouse.

Not this time.  I just couldn’t understand it… and then I realized why my standard order was 2 months delayed.

However, the good news is that the two tubes I was able to get at Tractor Supply successfully did the trick in getting rid of Princess Buttercup Pebble’s Lung worms.  Doesn’t she look so much better and brighter?!  (pic below)


The horses love and hate worming day.  They do it, but only because they get a super special treat afterwards.  Today, it was watermelon.

Actually, I think BG likes the taste of wormer.   She practically grabs the syringe out of my hand!   She has always been that way.  She’s a very willing food experimenter.  She likes a lot of healthy snacks that the others won’t even try.

*Did you know that non-fruiting mulberry tree leaves are a natural dewormer?

A dozen boxes of Ivermectin arrive… a dozen boxes immediately in the recyle. Yay! I’m glad that’s done!

I was a month late worming (due to the delays with my order) and Gwen’s tail showed the tell-tale signs (she didn’t need her udders cleaned…).


I wrote about lungworms a while back.  You can read that story here.

Donkeys get lungworms.  Horses not so much.  I had never encountered lungworms with Norma or Mo.  However the two newbies came in and they were both sick with one thing or another – having come from the feedlot in Texas.

When the vet came to examine PBP, I thought she had pneumonia.  But I was wrong.  She had lungworms.  Doc gave her a shot of Ivermectin then told me to give her booster Ivermectin paste every two weeks for 2 months.

Well.  The Ivermectin aisle looked like the toilet paper aisles of 2019!  There were two tubes left of the most expensive kind, of course.  So I grabbed them – and I was thrilled to get them!  Still, it didn’t occur to me that the shortage was due to Covid.  I thought it was the time of year or maybe inflation and gas prices… Anyway, it took 2 months for me to realize that there is no Ivermectin anywhere.  I am very happy that my order was in long ago.  I do know that Riding Warehouse just got in their supply.

Here is a pic of PBP after her Ivermectin treatments.  No more shaggy hair (the first pic is in mid July – it is hot here, everyone is shed out by then) and she now has hardly any lung rattle (she has some scarring).  She looks so much brighter!

The pic on the left was mid July, and it was hot. PBP is young and should have been shed out… . After her Ivermectin treatments, she is now shed out with hardly any lung rattle. Lung worms.

We are very close to our goal!  We only need $715 to meet our goal for “Donna’s 10”!  THANK YOU THANK YOU!

SEPTEMBER BUCKET FUND:   In honor of Donna (my mother), Let’s help 10 neglected and starved oldsters! September Bucket Fund: “Donna’s 10!”
click here for story.  Click here to donate!


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!