Vital Signs for Wildlife

Whilst examining the animal in your care, it is important to know the "normal" vital sign values.

  • A reading outside the "normal" range may indicate disease, injury, pain or stress.
  • It is important to remember that these vital signs are not static, they are constantly changing.
  • They are merely a snapshot of the patients health status at that moment in time.
  • It is crucial that the taking of vital signs and monitoring of the animal is repeated at regular intervals.

For completeness some vital signs have more than one value or range listed.   This may be due to 
  • the reputable sources disagreeing about the "normal" value or range (given the limited number of cases studied)
  • the sources not indicating the age of the animals referenced.  The value for an infant or juvenile may be very different to that of an adult.

Note: These values have been collected over many years, gleaned from lectures, text books, personal experience, wildlife courses, zoos and veterinary communications.
 It is impossible to give credit to each source but appreciation is noted.
  • Macropod
  • Possum
  • Glider
  • Koala
  • Flying Fox
  • Echidna
  • Platypus
  • Comparison Table
Heart Rate
(beats per min) 
Respiratory Rate
(breaths per min) 
 not noticeable - 12
Rectal Temperature
Flying Fox
Comparison Table
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