We believe horses receive the best care from well-educated owners and caretakers that take an active role in preserving and improving their horse’s health.
After you perform the Whole Horse Exam, write down your findings on the Whole Horse Exam FORM and share them with your vet.
For additional videos that illustrate how to perform any single skill contained in the WHE, please visit the YouTube Channel for Horse Side Vet Guide™ a mobile Smartphone application for horse owners and equine professionals.
The Whole Horse Exam™ (WHE) is a collection of skills that all horse owners and equine professionals should be able to perform on their horse. These skills include taking basic vital signs and assessing other health indicators. The WHE should become as natural to you as catching or riding your horse.
When you want to generally assess the state of your horse’s health, simply perform this exam. By practicing the WHE on your horse when they are in health, you will be better equipped to confidently perform the WHE when you suspect that your horse has a health-related problem. By sharing your findings with your equine veterinarian, you will assist them in determining the nature and severity of any problem or illness.
The WHE includes assessing your horse’s general attitude and demeanor, appetite, temperature, pulse/heart rate and quality, respiratory rate and quality, mucous membrane color and capillary refill time, skin pinch assessment for hydration, assessment for heat and digital pulse in feet, and intestinal sounds. Taking the time to evaluate your horse’s face, eyes, legs, body condition, coat, skin, feet, soles and legs also yields valuable information.
Part of this exam involves touching your horse as much you can, especially the areas you don’t evaluate normally, such as the belly or under their mane. In addition, a simple evaluation of your horse at the walk is very helpful to identify stiffness and lameness.
If you are unable to perform any skill contained in the Whole Horse Exam™, please contact our office. We are happy to teach you these skills during a routine visit or at a scheduled appointment.