Emergency First Aid

Read pages 13-17 in your reference guide before taking the module quiz.

Anyone who works with horses should know how to do a basic physical exam or assessment on a horse. Along with vital signs, physical exams are a great tool for learning more about whether or not there is something wrong with your horse. We are not saying that you can replace veterinary care for your animal but merely be able to recognize a problem and be able to relay that information to your veterinarian.
A PE depends on the power of observation. In vet tech school we teach students to work from the nose to the tail observing the animal’s
temperament, body posture, and condition of the skin, body, hair coats and more.

Everyone that works with horses needs to know how to obtain vital signs. If your horse just does not seem right you will need to know how to tell if a horse is feeling well, or if they need immediate veterinary attention. A horse’s vital signs should be checked regularly and it is suggested that you write down your horse’s normal vital signs and put them in a location such as your first aid kit. Any time a horse seems “off”, their vital signs should be taken. Vital sign charts between veterinary sources can vary a little they all fall in a similar range.

Horse Normal Vital Signs

Temperature- 99.1-100.8 degrees F

Pulse- 28-44

Respiratory Rate- 10-24

Horses should NEVER open mouth breath. If you see a horse open mouth breathing contact a veterinarian right away. This is very abnormal for horses.