Vital Signs for Horses and Ponies

Vital Sign

99 – 101.5 degrees F
In winter temperature can get as low as 97 degrees F

28 – 42 beats per minute
Pulse will be higher after exercise

8 – 16 breaths per minute
Respiration will be higher after exercise

Capillary Refill Time
Less than 2 seconds

Mucus Membranes
Pink (bubble gum color)

Hoof Temperature

Basic Guidelines for calling your veterinarian:

  • Temperature > 102 degrees F
  • Pulse > 44, Respirations > 20
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT) > 3 seconds
  • Mucous Membranes: white, red, or blue (purple)
  • Hoof temperature = hot
  • If your horse is not eating (even it’s his/her favorite stuff) or is listless

You know your horse best, please use your judgment as well as these guidelines to determine when to call your veterinarian. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.