HOW TO TAKE A PULSE OR MEASURE A HEART RATE
When you suspect that your animal may be sick or not feeling well and they appear to be breathing fast or hard, it’s always a good idea to measure their heart rate. Your vet will be very interested if your animal’s heart rate is really racing! In the chart below, you’ll see that the heart rate vary greatly between the species and sizes of the animals!
STEPS TO MEASURE HEART RATES
Secure your Animal
- Goats & Sheep (or other Large Animals) – Place on a Grooming Stand or tie them to a fence and have a friend hold them still.
- Pigs – Pigs wait until they are lying down.
- Find the artery under the jaw area. With your fingers, feel around until you can feel the heart rate.
- Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
- Record the count and report to your adviser or vet if they exceed the range listed.
An elevated heart rate may indicate other health issues that will require attention from your vet. If the count is below or above the range for your animal, seek advice from your adviser and vet.
If your animal has been running around, it’s likely that the run is what has caused the elevated heart rate. It’s when they are idle and their heart is racing that is the real concern.
Perform the Daily Health Assessment Chart to see if there are any other symptoms.
- Your Finger
- Counting Skills