Temperature measurement is one of the most important tasks when monitoring the health of horses. Deviations from normal the body temperature can be an early indication of a health problem, allowing for early intervention, and reducing the chance of complications. Therefore, it is crucial to know what temperature is abnormal for your horse. Creating a baseline is a good guideline for this, especially because every horse is unique, and values may differ from established averages.
Why is temperature measurement important for horses?
A normal body temperature for horses is between 37.5°C and 38.2°C. Deviations from this normal temperature can indicate various health problems. For example, an elevated body temperature may indicate an infection, while a decreased body temperature may indicate shock or hypothermia. By regularly measuring the temperature of a horse, it is possible to detect deviations from the normal temperature, the established baseline, early on. This enables potential complications to be treated in a timely manner.
How do you measure the temperature of a horse?
The most common method for measuring the temperature of your horse is rectal temperature measurement. This means inserting a thermometer into the rectum of the horse and reading the temperature. It is important to use a suitable thermometer designed for use in horses and to thoroughly clean and disinfect the thermometer before and after use. A helpful tip is to attach something to your thermometer to prevent you from losing it, such as a strap that you can attach to your wrist.
How do you establish a baseline for your horse’s temperature?
To establish a baseline for your horse’s temperature, it is important to measure the temperature at roughly the same time of day for several days when the horse is healthy and behaving normally. Also, make sure not to measure during a week with large temperature fluctuations.
It is important to measure the temperature in the same way, at the same times, for at least 5 consecutive days. This allows for a reliable baseline for the horse’s body temperature to be established. It may be useful to note any environmental factors that may affect the measurements, such as stable temperature, weather conditions, and degree of physical activity. Do not measure right after a heavy exercise, but always during rest for a reliable reading.
To monitor the health of horses, measuring body temperature is crucial. It provides early indications of potential health problems, allowing for timely medical intervention to prevent potential complications. By periodically measuring the temperature of your horse and establishing a baseline, you gain a better understanding of the management surrounding your horse and can intervene in time if necessary.
In the health module, there is a handy sheet to keep track of all this information. Take a look in the shop for more information or contact us if you have any questions. :)