Table 8.7 Summary: Examination of the collapsing horse

Table 8.7 Summary: Examination of the collapsing horse

At the time of the event

First aid

  1. Airway
  2. Breathing
  3. Cardiac
  4. Do not endanger people by examining the animal during the episode unless experienced handlers are available and can approach the horse safely.


What is the mental stage of the animal? Is the animal conscious?

Are there any rapid eye movements?

What is the heart rate?

What is the heart rhythm?

Examine the capillary refill time, mucous membrane colour and arterial pulse quality.

After the event

General inspection

Has the animal recovered a normal mental state?

Is there evidence of traumatic damage caused by the event?

Cardiovascular system

Check the mucous membrane colour and refill time, pulse rate, rhythm and quality, check for signs of congestive heart failure. Auscultation

Neurological examination

Conscious or unconscious

Ocular motion

Pupillary light reflex

Peripheral reflexes