b'3 Lethargy, uncharacteristic calm or inactivity, and separationTake your horses pulse, which from the group you can feel by pressing against Horses should maintain a consistentthe mandibular artery, and activity level and keep up with the herd,other vital signs to see if theyre our sources say. A sick horse mightwithin his normal ranges.stand off by himself and stay quiet, Bevevino says. By quiet, I mean hell hang his head a little lower, hold his ears a little less perked up than usual, and not have his eyes quite as wide and brightas usual.You might also notice subtle lethargy, SHAWN HAMILTON/CLIXPHOTO.COMadds Davis. Under saddle he might need a little extra encouragement to get going, and he might run out of gas a little soon-er, she says. Or the pasture pet suddenly isnt keeping up with the herdmates.4 Unusual behaviorWhen caregivers pay attention to6 Other altered vital signs certain blood vessels, such as those in the their horses and observe whats normalIn addition to body temperature,pastern or under the jaw. Count the num-for each, theyll pick up more easily onuncharacteristic respiratory rate andber of beats you feel in 60 seconds, and whats not normal, says Davis.heart rate could indicate impendingcompare that to the healthy averageThere are certainly variations on anillness, Bevevino says. You can use aaround 28 to 44 beats per minute in a individual basis, so its important forstethoscope to take these measurements,resting adult horse.people to see the horses at least a couplebut its not necessary.Keep in mind, though, that individual of times a day to get to know them, sheCount the number of breaths (withhorses vitals vary, so familiarize yourself says. your ear up to the horses nose or chest)with whats normal for your horse when Casual observers might miss the subtlein 15 seconds, and multiply that by fourhes healthy. red flags. For example, the very socialto get the rate per minute, she says. horse thats normally looking in yourMost healthy horses at rest should have7 Weight loss and change inpockets for a treat is now standing backa rate below 20 to 24 breaths per minute.body conditionwith his head down, she says. If youreYou can take the horses pulse alongIllness can take its toll on a body, really in tune, youll know when theyre telling you that somethings off. 5 FeverBody temperature is an objective measurementmeaning it has a numeri-cal valuebut for it to have significance, you must recognize when to take it.You usually wouldnt know a horse has a fever just by looking at him or even touching him, Davis says. Sometimes you can see subtle signs, like patchy sweating or faster-than-usual breathing, but those dont always occur.Keep a digital thermometerone from any drugstore will doon hand, and learn to perform a rectal temperature check, Bevevino says. If the temperature is above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit in an adult horse, chances are youve got a problem. Know that environmental fac-tors such as extreme heat, however, could push the critical temperature limit up to 102 degrees. TheHorse.com | The HorseAugust 201917'