Doug Byars, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM

Checking the Vitals: Is My Horse Sick? How Sick?

Being familiar with your horse's normal resting temperature, pulse, and respiration rates (TPR) help you recognize when things are abnormal. The TPR vitals help you determine "how abnormal." Remember, vitals taken after the horse has been worked will be elevated and a 20-30 minute recovery time is recommended for a return to normal values an...

Checking the Vitals: Heart Function and Sound

You are at a concert when suddenly the orchestra stops playing their instruments with the exception of the kettledrums. The kettle drummer hits two beats with a pause. This is repeated over and over as you realize the drumbeats are the heart and rhythm for the orchestra. In your head you can mimic your own heartbeat with valvular doors that slam with...

Checking the Vitals: Abdominal Sounds

Unlike heart and respiratory rates, abdominal sounds do not punch a specific time clock for generating "gut sounds." The rhythmic peristaltic churning of food mixed with fluids within the gut varies in slower waves depending on meal time, the meal itself, and the level of activity. You don't actually "time" bowel sounds, but you do...

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