Normal Equine Vital Signs
How well do you know what a horses' vital signs are? Here you can test what you know. It is important to have this information ready before you call the vet. This will make you a star equine patient owner.
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True or false... To test for dehydration, pinch the skin on your horse's neck. If the skin flattens back into place when you let go in less than 1 second, the horse is fine. If it doesn't, it means he isn't drinking enough water, he is dehydrated.
Question 1 Explanation:
Correct. True. If the horse is dehydrated, the skin stays pinched up longer before flattening. The more time it stays pinched, the more dehydrated he is.
True or false... Detecting gut sounds such as gurgling, gaslike growls, "tinkling" fluid sounds, and occasionally "roars," he could be very ill.
Question 2 Explanation:
Correct. False. The gut sounds that come from your horse's stomach and intestines can be very important information for your vet to diagnose an illness. Gut sounds should always be present. The absence of gut sounds is more indicative of a problem than excessive gut sounds. Usually, an absence of gut sounds indicates colic. If you don't hear any sounds, contact your veterinarian.
What is the normal capillary refill time (CRT, time it takes for capillaries in the gums to return to pink after being pressed with a finger)?
Question 3 Explanation:
Correct. To check your horses' CRT, lift the upper lip up and firmly press your thumb against his gums for 2 seconds to create a white mark. This white mark should return to the normal pink color within 1-2 seconds after releasing the pressure.
What is the average respiration (breathing rate) for an adult equine?
8-15 breaths per minute.
None listed here.
28-36 breaths per minute.
18-25 breaths per minute.
Question 4 Explanation:
Correct. The average respiratory rate for an adult horse is 8-15 breaths per minute. If your horse shows a high respiratory rate, it can indicate several things. Pain, excitement, stress, fever, or infection can all cause an increase in the respiratory rate.
In an adult horse, what is the normal temperature at resting value?
Question 5 Explanation:
Correct. A horses' normal body temperature at resting rate is 99-101°F (37.2-38.3°C). For the most accurate reading, leave the thermometer in position for at least 3 minutes. Many digital thermometers work well in less than 1 minute. Always clean the thermometer with rubbing alcohol before returning it to its case. If used on an ill horse disinfecting it will prevent the spreading of an illness.
What color are mucous membranes (gums) at their healthiest?
Gray or blue.
Very pale pink.
Question 6 Explanation:
Correct. The color of healthy gums are moist pink. The color of the mucous membranes are another indicator of blood circulation. A healthy horse's gums are slightly more pale than a humans. If a horse's gums are very pale, bright red, grayish blue or bright yellow, call a veterinarian immediately.
What is the normal pulse rate for an adult horse?
20-30 beats per minute.
36-42 beats per minute.
45-55 beats per minute.
Question 7 Explanation:
Correct. The normal pulse rate for an adult horse is 36-42 beats per minute, A pulse rate of 50 or higher in an adult horse at rest may mean the horse is in physical distress. The horse's pulse rate will increase if he is excited or nervous, in pain, during/after exercise, or has a disease. The higher the heart rate, the more severe the condition.
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