What type of general observations should you be making before you begin your clinical examination?
You should be making observations about demeanour, posture and gait, mentation and body condition.
What does BAR and QAR stand for?
- Bright, alert and responsive
- Quiet, alert and responsive
What type of body condition scoring system is commonly used in small animals?
1-9 scale where 1=cachexia, 5= ideal weight and 9=grossly overweight
How should you approach a dog during a consultation?
Be calm and confident. Close your fist and allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand. It is better to scratch them under the chin rather than over the head as they see this as trying to dominate them. With timid dogs talk to the owner and ignore them so that the dog gets used to you and sees that the owner trusts you.
How should you approach a cat during a consultation?
Talk to them and stroke the firmly - this is calming whereas light petting is annoying. Need to be extremely organised during cat exams so have all your equipment read. Complete the consultation as quickly as possible. Some cats may need to be sedated to examine them.
What are you looking for when examining the head?
What are you looking for when you examine the nose?
- Discharge - serous, purulent, mucoid, haemorrhagic
What are you looking for when you examine the eyes?
- Conjunctival mucous membranes
- Periorbital skin
- Breed related problems
What are you looking for when you examine the ears?
What are you looking for when you examine the mucous membranes?
- Colour: yellow (jaundiced), pale pink (anaemia), white (severe anaemia, major blood loss), blue (cyanosis), other
- Feel - dry/tacky/sticky indicate poor hydration
Where, apart from the oral mucosa, can you check the mucous membranes?
The conjunctiva, prepuce and vulva are other places to check mucous membranes.
How do we check capillary refill time? What is normal? What does it tell you?
- Press a finger to the gum
- 1-2 seconds is normal
- Tells us about the animal's perfusion
What are the three normally palpable lymph nodes?
Submandibular, prescapular and popliteal
What is the correct way to use a stethoscope?
When you look at the earpieces of the stethoscope they need to point forward
What can you osculate with your stethoscope?
Cardiac and respiratory systems
What is a normal canine a) heart rate b) respiratory rate c) temperature?
- a) 60-180 bpm
- b) 10-30
- c) 38.3-38.7°C
What is a normal feline a) heart rate b) respiratory rate c) temperature?
- a) 110-180 bpm
- c) 20-30
- d) 38.0-38.5°C
Where can you take a pulse rate in cats and dogs? How long should you listen for?
The femoral artery. Listen for 15 seconds then multiply by 4.
What are you looking for when you examine the skin?
- Condition of coat
- Lumps and bumps
What are you looking for when you examine the external genitalia?
- Males: verify sex and reproduction status, perianal area, prepuce and penis, testicles (if intact)
- Females: verify sex and reproduction status, perianal area, mammary glands, vulva
What are you looking for when you examine the limbs?
- Palpate each limb (and also tail)
- Feeling for masses, pain, atrophy, etc
- Assess condition of paws and pads
Give a summary of all the areas you are checking from top to tail
- Mucous membranes
- Femoral pulse
What should you always do after completing a clinical examination?
Write down your findings!! If you do not record what you found you didn't legally see it in the consult.