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PSA: Take Your Horses Temperature!

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  • PSA: Take Your Horses Temperature!

    Said kindly -

    There have been a lot of posts lately where horses have odd symptoms such as unusual leg swelling. Horses are so darn wierd, that things like lower limb edema can actually be symptoms of something more serious. There have also been posts of horses off feed. Not eating can be a symptom of many things including pain and infection.. Both which can show up with a temperature.

    Many, many times I have noticed a horse looking just mildly strange and surprise! Whopping temperature.

    So please... Get a thermometer and use it. Your vet will appreciate your knowing if your horse has a temp or not when you call, and sometimes it might be the only solid clue that something is amiss.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2
    Agreed. I got a really nice digital one from Valley Vet for a reasonable price--maybe $30 or so. Sure beats the old-fashioned kind! It even has a little strap to put around your wrist so the horse doesn't suck it in.
    Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!


    • #3
      We took my horses with 3 different thermometers before we called the vet because we couldn't figure out if we were reading the two old fashioned ones correctly, do finally we located a digital one
      RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012


      • #4
        A $10 or less digital thermometer from Walgreens will get the job done. Cheap diagnostics.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


        • #5
          Also take your horse’s temperature for a base line before your horse gets sick! I found that the cheap little thermometers can range wildly in temperature readings! The one that I use regularly red between 96-99 degrees while the one my vet uses reads between 99-100 degrees.
          ~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~


          • #6
            AMEN! Know your horse's baseline vitals.

            Stocking up, off feed, lethargic and, maybe diarrhea, WITH a spike in temp all can equal Erlicchiosis in both horse AND human. Yup, Mr. C'Mare contracted Erlicchia 6 years ago--almost killed him.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


            • #7
              Has anyone used those new "no touch" infrared thermometers for their horses?
              Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


              • #8
                Thank you for the good reminder, EqTrainer.
                I am sitting here watching my donkey, who is standing in his paddock looking mopey. I will go out and take his temp now!


                • #9
                  Now ain't that the truth. And I'm one of the worst offenders, and I've worked for small animal vets for 30+ years. Ya think I'd know better?
                  Out in the early a.m. today, digital thermo in mopey horse-100.5. This afternoon 100.2 So far so good. But it took my horse vet saying to my face--watch his temp.
                  Thanks for the PSA!


                  • #10
                    Wholeheartedly second this advice!!

                    If my horse even looks at me funny, I get the thermometer! I lost my friesian last year with what began as an 'unexplained fever'. It went away. Had another a month later. Again.. went away. The third time, he went to the hospital.. ruptured internal absess (that had probably leaked the two fevers prior).. he went septic.. and I lost him.

                    My new boy, straight off the plane from Holland.. arrived with a fever. Guess what? Shipping fever which went to full blown pleuropneumonia.. 2 weeks in the hospital.. and then 2 1/2 months recovery on BIG antibiotics before he was well enough to complete his journey home. Began with a 'fever'.

                    I swear.. before long, he will see the thermometer and just move his tail aside...


                    • #11
                      I always have my horses temp, heart rate and respiratory rate ready when I call the vet.....its the first thing she asks. Its a good habit to get into.



                      • #12
                        Second those who said know your horse's baselines. My guy runs a little low. "High end of normal" for another horse is "fever" for him. That has been useful information.
                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                        • #13
                          This advice came in handy today. Had a horse with a stove pipe leg. Before the vet arrived, we were able to mostly rule out lymphangitis since he had no fever.
                          Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                          White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                          Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                          • #14
                            Can someone post a good youtube video demonstrating temp taking/reading for horses?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                              So please... Get a thermometer and use it. Your vet will appreciate your knowing if your horse has a temp or not when you call, and sometimes it might be the only solid clue that something is amiss.
                              Thanks for the reminder. AND, I'll even write it in my emergency kit so I don't forget it... you know in an emergency... when I can't think.
                              Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                              • #16
                                I keep horses normal temps and weights posted on the white board in the aisle. Any new horse has temps taken daily for 2 weeks when they first arrive. I always do a TPR when they seem the least bit off.


                                • #17
                                  Depending on the time of year I take temperatures alternate days to weekly to in the winter only if someone is NQR. We have had PHF on our property for the past 2 years so I am very diligent during the most dangerous time of year.
                                  And guess what? Last year the horse who got sick had stocked up in the back legs a few days before she developed PHF symptoms but the day before she had been gallivanting with her sister and I chalked it up to that. All's well that ends well as she survived, however now everytime someone stocks up without an obvious cause I check their temperature....The year before 2 horses got sick and neither stocked up so I wasn't looking for it. Now I know better.
                                  Editing to say I prefer the old school mercury thermometers for accuracy, the strain of PHF we have in our area does not cause the typical high fever, and when I had checked last year's sick horse with the digital it read on the high side of normal, and I do suspect if I had used the mercury thermometer she would have had an official fever.
                                  When I am doing routine checks I use the digital for convenience and if something arouses my suspicion I verify with the mercury.
                                  Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.