“If we want horses to help us to help them get better, we need to control their fever.
Plain and simple.”

– Peter R Morresey, BVSc, MACVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACT


Fever can lead to numerous adverse effects in equine patients, including anorexia and increased catabolism. These changes can potentially lead to muscle wasting and weakness if a fever is left untreated. Debilitating effects, such as laminitis, can occur with prolonged fever.


Fever is primarily associated with infectious disease in horses; however, fever can be a manifestation of many inflammatory, immunologic, and neoplastic conditions. Controlling fever in horses has many positive outcomes during illness, including maintaining appetite and water consumption, and promoting normal locomotion and behaviors that hasten recovery.

A horse’s normal body temperature is between 99.5 and 101.5 degrees F and 37 to 38.3 degrees C.
Resting Heart Rate: 28 to 44 beats per minute
Respiratory Rate: 10 to 24 breathes per minute
Capillary Refill Time: 1-2 seconds (gum color return to pink after pressing and releasing with thumb)
30% of fevers that equine veterinarians see are from respiratory infections1

If you are concerned that your horse may be suffering from fever please talk to your veterinarian.
1 Ipsos Ag & Animal Health, May 2016. Data on file at Kindred Biosciences.