Knowing My Horse's Normal Saved His Life!
Knowing our horse's normal is a very important responsibility! One of the first things we as horse owners often say to our veterinarian is my horse doesn't seem normal, then we follow with a description of our observations. Whether we are describing something that felt off in the rhythm of a gait as we rode, the horse being off feed, the temperature in the horse's limb, etc.
I experienced this in full force with my gelding Peppy. Luckily for both of us, I caught him being “off” very early and he just pulled through a major impaction colic. The veterinarian was clear that had I not caught it as quickly as I did the result would not have been as positive. Peppy's recent illness did bring an awareness to me about knowing each horse's normal vital signs.
Most of us are educated on how to take our horse's vitals but how often do we do it? Do we know what our individual horse vital signs are? Do we take vital signs on our horse on a regular basis so that the horse is comfortable and prepared when we need to take vital signs in a time of stress, injury, or illness?
Horse Vital Signs
Horse vital signs have an average range, but if we take our horse's vitals on a consistent basis we will know for sure how “off” the horse truly is. It also gives us and the horse practice, so that in a time of stress, injury, or illness the horse is not alarmed by any of the steps we take to check their vitals.
Here is a great video to show how to take a horse's vital signs.
Horse's Normal Checklist
So in light of my recent scare with my horse… I thought I would share with you the updated “normal” list, I am now will implement for my personal horses and horses being boarded or in our care at our facility:
- Pulse– Heart Rate
- Respiration Rate
- Capillary Refill Rate
- Gum Color Description
- Gut Sounds
- Fecal Observation- quantity and consistency
- Skin Tent Test for Dehydration
- Hoof and leg observations temperature and texture
- Eyes Description and Observation
- Nasal Discharge Description and Observation
We often mention on our posts and to clients that observing your horse is very important to understanding and maintaining their health and wellness. This case with Peppy is a prime example! For more tips on being prepared for equine emergencies check out the audio below.
For more natural horse care tips and information check out the links below.
- 5 Simple Ideas for Using Peppermint Essential Oil with Your Horse
- Equine Naturopathy- Discover Nature's Health Care
- Understanding Alternative Therapy for Horses
Don't Allow Dangerous Digestive Problems Linger-
In my content, I share the story of supporting my mare through health concerns, naturally, after traditional methods had failed and euthanasia became the only recommendation veterinarians had for her. Part of our mission has to do with the success I had in helping her, and wanting that for your horse…
The reality is Pokey had been “telling” me for years that there was a concern, but sadly the vets and other equine professionals and mentors I had at the time told me the things I noticed were no big deal! So I created a free pdf guide that shares 10 Tell Tale Signs Your Horse May Be Suffering From Dangerous Digestive Problems.
Pokey struggled with #3 on this list for years and yet I was told she was just lazy and it was a training/behavioral problem. Don't let others misguide you or silence what your horse wants you to know. Click Here and download the guide now.
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Life is better when you're horsin’ around!