Check Temperature

STEVE: A horse’s temperature is right around 100, normal temperature. The acceptable number would be somewhere in the order of about 99 and a half or usually I’ll have horses even run closer to 99 and up to about just below 101.

If it gets above 101 we usually want to keep an eye on it, it can be indicative – especially if the horse has been checked before and you know that’s a little bit higher than he has been when he’s been perfect in the past – it may be indicative that the horse is coming down with something, you know, you’re getting to something early.

What we normally do is, I have a glass thermometer, just because that’s what they recommend but I use a digital thermometer because it’s quite convenient and they’re very accurate and they are very quick. And it’s done via sticking it up under their little armpit…no no no.

So, what you do is, we check horse’s temperatures with digital thermometer, and we do it by a rectal temperature. The normal rectal temperature on a horse is around 100.

The first thing I recommend is, if the horse is running a very, very high temperature, you know, more that let’s say 102, 103, that’s probably indicative that you need to have this horse looked at by a professional. And the reason why I’m telling you that is, because if he’s got early pneumonia, if he’s got possibly a virus going through…these are things that need to be diagnosed right away so you know that you’re not going to have a major setback, have a problem like potential laminitis or other things or a systemic infection that can basically take over your horse’s overall health and well being and disallow him from doing the use and function that you normally use him for.

If you need – they may call and say, “Look keep an eye on it, there’s no overt coughing, he doesn’t have discharge, that sort of thing, you don’t have strangles or some sort of infectious disease.” Then really a professional needs to evaluate him for this particular purpose. If that’s not the case, when there’s really no other signs, if it’s the middle of the night and for some reason you need to wait until the morning, then you can possibly give him a couple of grams of phenylbutazone paste or some sort of anti-inflammatory that you have on hand that will get him through the night.

Most of the time, if it’s during regular hours, during the day and you see something like this going on, they should probably be looked at and evaluated by a professional.

It’s the same thing that we always preach – preventative medicine versus restorative. Keeping things on the preventative side can keep you on the healthy side of the bouncier horse to where you don’t get setbacks in their weight, you don’t have problems with their coat, you don’t have trouble with their feet, you don’t have problems with their eyes.

The indicative part here, as far as their temperature is concerned, is that if you have a problem early on, as far as a slight temperature, it gives you an idea that there may be something to watch for, maybe have the horse checked out before something becomes a bigger problem.