Taking your horse’s temperature

One of the most frustrating things about horses is when you know something is not quiet right with them, but you can’t tell what. If only they could talk, right?…

In these situations I usually reach for my thermometer. Taking your horse’s temperature is one of the fastest ways to identify if those early warning signs you think you are picking up on really are correct, or if they are simple faking 😉

You can buy an ‘equine friendly’ digital thermometer online for under £10. I have this Nettex model. This plastic digital thermometer is really useful because it stores the last temperature reading you took, and displays it again when you turn it on (even if you turn it on again months later) and once inserted (you know where!) to take a reading, listen out for the beep. It beeps once a temperature reading has been established.

The normal range of temperature for an adult horse should be 37.2-38.3°C.

Anything above 38.5 is a strong indicator that something is not right (most probably a raised temp as a result of some kind of infection) and that you should get your vet on the case.

I know this sounds obvious but remember to stand to the side of your horse when inserting the thermometer into its bottom! Most will not even flinch as it is such a small probe and only needs to go in a few cms, but to avoid getting kicked this is the best place to stand. These plastic thermometers are easy to clean and it’s good practise to disinfect it after each use.

I don’t have a head for figures so when I take a reading I always make a note of it (on my phone usually) so that I can refer back to previous readings if I am taking them throughout the day. This is useful for tracking the progress of a condition.

Here’s a link to that thermometer on eBay click here if you want to buy one.


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