Your horse's temperature should be between 100 and 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37.5 and 38.5 degrees centigrade.
Here, veterinarian Jo Dudney of the Liphook Equine Hospital, shows us one way to safely take your horses temperature.
How to check
• Make sure your thermometer is working properly. For mercury thermometers, the level needs to be as close to the bulb as possible, you lower the mercury by shaking the thermometer until the mercury is near the bottom; digital ones need to be turned on and the display checked.
• Lubricate the end of the thermometer with Vaseline
• Ask someone to hold your horse
• Approach your horse from the front, so he is aware that you are there, talking to him and touching him as you head towards his back end
• When you reach his tail, stand close to your horse but to the side, and move his tail sideways
• Gently push the thermometer into your horses anus, so you feel it lying against the rectal wall. Never let go of the thermometer or it may get sucked into his anus.
• Leave it in place for one minute, and if it is digital, until it beeps
• Gently remove the thermometer, read and record the temperature
Before taking into consideration vital signs like temperature, pulse and respiration, take a moment to stand outside your horses box and just observe his demeanor.
Is he alert and interested in his surroundings? Is there any food outside his stable suggesting that he is dropping his feed and needs his teeth checked? Is there any evidence of discharge outside his door (for example, from his nose?). Then as you approach the horse, continue to assess his demeanor, taking into account his body and coat condition.
If you have any questions about your horses health, always seek professional advice immediately so an accurate diagnosis can be made.
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