How do I take the vital signs of my animals, and what are normal vital signs?


You will need a couple of tools to measure vital signs (a thermometer – with a tether, a stethoscope, and a watch with a second hand). First, observe the animal from outside their pen. Are they moving easily, are they breathing quietly, do they lie down and rise without problems? Restrain the animal. Quietly watch the number of breaths they take in 30 seconds – multiply by 2 to get the number of breaths a minute. Place the stethoscope on the middle of the animal’s right side just behind the shoulder. Listen for the heartbeat and count the number of beats for 30 seconds – multiply by 2 to get the number of heartbeats in a minute. Lastly, lubricate the thermometer with your saliva or a lubricant gel and insert it fully into the animal’s rectum through the anus for 3 minutes. Remove and check the reading. Resource: Vital Signs in Animals