How to check horse’s breathing rate?

Print anything with Printful

Knowing your horse’s respiratory rate is important for assessing its health. You can measure it by observing the rise and fall of its rib area or feeling its inhalation and exhalation. The average rate is 8-20 breaths per minute, but it can vary with age, exercise, weather, and health issues. If your horse shows signs of distress, seek veterinary attention. The breathing rate should never exceed the heart rate.

Your horse’s respiratory rate is one of the key vital signs (pulse, respiration and temperature) in assessing your horse’s current state of health and stability. With a few simple guidelines, you can familiarize yourself with your horse’s average respiratory rate. It’s important to know what your horse’s readings are when it’s healthy, as its normal may be slightly above or below the average respiratory rate. By taking these steps before any onset of health problems, you will be able to interpret the changes appropriately.

There are several ways to measure your horse’s respiratory rate. The easiest way is to simply be silent and watch the gentle rise and fall of your horse’s rib area. You can also gently place your hand on his side and feel the inhalation and exhalation.

It’s best not to try to visually observe the movement of his nostrils, as the breath is often too subtle to see. A slight glow can be seen during higher breathing rates. Some people prefer to use a stethoscope to measure a horse’s respiratory rate, but because the breathing is so quiet, it’s often more difficult to monitor.

It is important to remember that counting a breath is a complete cycle of inhalation and exhalation. You might start by observing your horse after it has been exercised and its breathing rate is stronger and higher. Then, once you become familiar with his breathing, you can practice getting an accurate count in his resting state.

The average respiration rate of the adult horse is eight to twenty breaths per minute. You can use a 30 second reading and double that number for your total. It’s best not to go below a 30 second calculation.
It’s important to be aware that your horse’s respiratory rate increases with age, exercise, fever, hot, humid weather, pain, and pregnancy. Unusual flashes of your nostrils, foam or chewed food in your nostrils are signs of distress and need further investigation. Short breaths in a resting horse or exaggerated rib movements are also red flags that your horse needs attention.

One of the most important rules to remember is that your horse’s breathing rate should never exceed its heart rate. This information, along with the other vital signs, should be reported to the vet.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content