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What to look for in a healthy horse

29/03/2015

Signs of a horse being in good health. It is important to learn about each individual horses health so that any changes are easily recognised, pulse rates and even temperature, respiratory can vary slightly and what is normal will of course be significant to any health checks.


Initially entering a stable you should always do a quick check for general well being, the following is a good guide.

Has he eaten and drank normally?

Is his bed disturbed to a normal amount (look for scratches on the wall as an indication to being cast or excessive rolling) and has he done a regular amount of normal pings?

Is he stood comfortably and not resting a foreleg?

No unusual lumps or bumps.

No discharge from eyes or nose

A full check for signs of good health should then include the following;

* The horse should be well covered.

Enough fat and muscle on its body for the specific purpose and level of fitness to cover the skeletal frame in such a way that there are no prominent bony extrusions.

*The horse is alert with bright eyes and mobile ears.

His eyes should be clear of any discharge and he should have an interest in his surroundings.

* He has eaten and drank the correct amount without sign of quidding.

* Mucous membranes should be salmon pink in colour.

Membranes should respond to capillary refill test; press the horses gums with your thumb and hold for a few seconds, on removal the capillieries should immediately refill with blood.

There should be no discharge from nasal membranes.

*Supple skin and shiny coat

The coat should not be dull or "staring" or look "tight"

*No abnormal heat or swelling.

*Dehydration test normal

Pinch the skin on the neck between thumb and forefinger, the skin should recoil immediately.

*pings should be normal in quantity and texture.

ping should be golden/brown in texture and should break on hitting the ground, greener if grass fed. Horses should pass roughly 10 - 15 pings per 24 hours, depending upon what they are fed.

*The normal temperature is 100.5 degrees F or 38 degrees C

* Urine should be pale yellow and clear in colour.

*Resting pulse rate will be around 36-42, foals will be higher.

*Resting respiratory rate is around 8-12 breaths per minute.

* The horse should be stood comfortably, never resting a foreleg and not favouring resting a hind leg.

* Gut sounds should be audible on placing the ear against the flank.

* Everything about the horse should be relaxed, comfortable but interested.


Signs of a horse being in good health.

It is important to learn about each individual horses health so that any changes are easily recognised, pulse rates and even temperature, respiratory can vary slightly and what is normal will of course be significant to any health checks.

Initially entering a stable you should always do a quick check for general well being, the following is a good guide.

Has he eaten and drank normally?

Is his bed disturbed to a normal amount (look for scratches on the wall as an indication to being cast or excessive rolling) and has he done a regular amount of normal pings?

Is he stood comfortably and not resting a foreleg?

No unusual lumps or bumps.

No discharge from eyes or nose

A full check for signs of good health should then include the following;

* The horse should be well covered.

Enough fat and muscle on its body for the specific purpose and level of fitness to cover the skeletal frame in such a way that there are no prominent bony extrusions.

*The horse is alert with bright eyes and mobile ears.

His eyes should be clear of any discharge and he should have an interest in his surroundings.

* He has eaten and drank the correct amount without sign of quidding.

* Mucous membranes should be salmon pink in colour.

Membranes should respond to capillary refill test; press the horses gums with your thumb and hold for a few seconds, on removal the capillieries should immediately refill with blood.

There should be no discharge from nasal membranes.

*Supple skin and shiny coat

The coat should not be dull or "staring" or look "tight"

*No abnormal heat or swelling.

*Dehydration test normal

Pinch the skin on the neck between thumb and forefinger, the skin should recoil immediately.

*pings should be normal in quantity and texture.

ping should be golden/brown in texture and should break on hitting the gro