How do you know that your horse is sick
How do you know that your horse is sick

How do you know that your horse is sick?

There is no doubt that knowing the horse’s physical condition continuously helps you to maintain it in good health and protect it from any injuries or health problems, and it is noted that many beginners do not know if the horse suffers from a health problem despite the fact that the horse shows some symptoms or does some Behavior When suffering from a disease, these symptoms and behaviors are evident to people who have good experience in horses and therefore can know that the horse is ill and needs veterinary care and thus they can treat this problem or visit the vet and thus this problem will shrink before it gets worse.

How do you know that your horse is sick

In this article, we will mention the symptoms that appear on a horse when it is exposed to disease or injury, and how to detect each organ that shows these symptoms and we will also mention the behaviors that the horse performs, so that horse breeders (especially beginners) can benefit from them and protect their horses from various health problems.

Check the basics, and the basics here. The horse’s temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate.

Temperature measurement

How do you know that your horse is sick

The horse’s normal temperature is from 37.2 to 38.3 degrees Celsius, and if the horse’s temperature is higher than 38.3 degrees, this is a sign that the horse suffers from a health problem.
If the temperature is from 38.3 to 38.8 degrees it is really high but you do not need an urgent visit to the doctor, all you have to do is to measure the temperature every two hours until the temperature returns to normal.
If the temperature is higher than 38.8 degrees, you should see the vet immediately, because the temperature reaching this point indicates infection or severe inflammation.

Measuring the heart rate

How do you know that your horse is sick
horses sick image from

The normal range of heart beats from 25 to 42 beats per minute. In order to be able to check your horse’s heart rate, you must place the stethoscope on the horse’s chest (specifically behind the left elbow), then listen to the heartbeat and count the beats that you heard in a minute. If the heart rate exceeds 42 beats per minute. This indicates that there is some problem that needs to be visited by the vet. This problem may lead to a heart disease or an infection.
It should be noted that measuring the heart rate of a horse must be done and the horse is in a resting position, so do not measure the horse’s heartbeat after the horse has made a great physical exertion, because increasing the speed of his heartbeat after work or running is normal.

Measure breathing rate

How do you know that your horse is sick
horses sick image from

The normal rate for horses ’breathing is from 10 to 24 breaths per minute. In order to measure your horse’s breathing rate, you must monitor the movement of the horse’s chest and count the breaths that he performs in a minute. You want to measure it after the horse makes a physical effort, you should wait at least half an hour for the breathing to return to normal.
Excess respiratory rate may indicate various health problems such as infection, allergies, fluids in the lung, heart problems, or even cancer, so you should see your vet immediately if you notice any increase in your horse’s breathing rate.

Examine the mouth, nose and eyes

How do you know that your horse is sick
Examine the mouth . image from

You should look in these organs for any unusual secretions, and these secretions may be green or yellow and if you see that the secretions have some redness (i.e. mixed with blood) then you should contact the veterinarian at once.
When examining a horse’s eyes, check carefully the position of the eyelid and the area around the eye. For example, if you see that the eye is sunken to the inside and the eyelid is slightly drooping, then these symptoms could be a sign of horse infection with “Hornor syndrome”, which affects horses as a result of a disorder in the nervous system.

Horse skin examination

You should constantly check your horse’s skin to monitor any change that occurs to it, such as the color becomes faded, which indicates that the horse is in poor condition, either because it is not cleaned well or because it suffers from a lack of nutrition, but in this case the subject is not this serious and does not require an urgent visit to the doctor Vet at all, but it is enough just to contact him to take his advice regarding nutrition and care.
You can also check the elasticity of the horse’s skin until you know if it suffers from dehydration or not, and you can do this by gently grasping the skin covering the horse’s shoulders, then you leave the skin and notice the way it returns to normal. If the horse is normal, the skin returns to its position quickly But if the horse is thirsty and dehydrated, you will find that the skin returns to putting it somewhat slowly, in which case you have to make sure that you give the horse enough water.
If you are sure that the horse is drinking enough water and yet it appears on its skin that it feels dry, then in this case you should visit the vet because there may be any health problem that makes the amount of water lost more than the amount of water he drinks every day (even if it is Enough).

Other notes

You should note if your horse suffers from diarrhea or constipation because each of them is a sign of a health problem, and therefore if you see the horse trying to pass stool and cannot, or if you notice that the stool is more fluid than normal, then in both cases you should consult your veterinarian (Knowing that the issue is not urgent), but if you notice any blood in the stool, you should see a vet immediately.
If you notice that the horse sweats more than normal during rest mode, that is, without any physical exertion and without the weather being hot, this sweat indicates that the horse may have a fever or sweat because it suffers from some pain, and this heavy sweating needs to visit the vet because the horse Loses water and salt through sweat, leaving the horse dry.

Behavior of a sick horse

There after the behaviors or behaviors that the horse performs when he suffers from illnesses or injuries, we will mention the most important ones.

How do you know that your horse is sick
Behavior of a sick horse image from

Dullness and lethargy

Usually the sick horse looks very exhausted and its reactions are somewhat dull and it does not respond in the natural way, for example, if it is issued a neighing when it sees its owner, it will not issue this neighing, nor will it knock on the stable door in order to obtain food, but it will be abnormally quiet, as well. You will notice that his head is somewhat low and does not respond to close sounds.


If you find that the horse appears to be uncomfortable, this indicates that he is suffering from a problem, and one of the manifestations of uneasiness is that the horse does strange things, for example, he walks faster than normal, or finds him trying to kick himself or lie on the ground and then rises and then lays again and repeats the matter several times, All these behaviors indicate that the horse feels pain as a result of a disease such as stomach ache, and therefore if you see your horse performing any of these actions, you should contact the doctor and do not ignore such matters.
Refrain from food
You should notice that the horse ate from time to time in order to monitor any interruption in eating. The horse may suffer from a problem that causes it to refrain from eating what needs to be consulted by a doctor. Worse than that, stopping eating for more than six hours may lead to stomach ulcers, which will increase the situation Complicated.

Chaos while eating

How do you know that your horse is sick
Horse eating image from

If you see that a horse has a lot of food during eating, which leads to dirt on the floor or walls, this indicates one of two things.
The first is that there is some problem with the horse’s teeth that you need to see a doctor.
The second is that the horse may suffer from a problem that makes it unable to swallow food, such as having an ulcer in its falsity, or it may indicate the presence of a fork stuck between its teeth, and this may happen as a result of the food being jammed in the horse’s falseness, which results in suffocation and loss of ability to swallow, and finally, this may happen As a result of the presence of a bacterial infection, in all these cases the horse is able to chew food naturally but cannot swallow it which causes him to lower his head down and therefore the food falls from his mouth.