Dog Physical Exams
Any concerned person can and should do a simple, straightforward home examination. First, consider how the dog appears in general. Is it gaining or losing weight? Are its fluid and food intake and output normal? Are there any personality changes? Does it limp, cough, sneeze excessively, or have halitosis? Have there been any changes since its health was last evaluated?
If everything appears normal you have passed the first hurdle. Next make a closer examination of the dog’s eyes, cars, nose, and mouth. Do the whites of its eyes look normal and not inflamed? Do they squint or have an ocular discharge? Look in the ears: Are they clean with a minimum of brown waxy substance and with no excess hair? Smell them. Any unusual odor? Then examine the nose, lips, gums, tongue, throat, and teeth. Are the membranes a normal pink? Look at the teeth for plaque or tartar. Fan the hair and look for blemishes and parasites such as ticks, fleas, and lice. Lice look like motorized dandruff of the biting variety.
Next check the nails, pads, and between the digits.
Check every inch of the skin by feeling it with your fingers. Feel for swellings and rough areas.
Now, if you started at the west end, check the east end by raising the tail. Does the anal area appear normal? The vulva in the female and the testicles and penis in the male should be examined. It has always been interesting to us that veterinarians find not many growths in testicles that were unobserved by owners. A small swelling in a testicle can upset the dog’s hormone balance, no check them.
The following are some that you may follow for dog physical exams.
Methods of Dog Physical Exams
- Use a stethoscope to listen to abnormal heart rhythms. If you find a murmuring sound then it would indicate that your dog is either suffering from abnormal airflow into the lungs including fluids inside and outside the lungs or other valve-related disorders.
- Use your hand to feel the abdomen to find out the size of the various internal organs like the liver, kidneys, intestines, and bladder, and the presence of other masses.
- You must check the size of the lymph nodes. Enlarged lymph nodes indicate infection or the incidence of cancer.
- You may also take the help of an otoscope to note down any internal ear injury. Check the eardrum, the deposition of debris, and inflammation inside the ear.
- You are recommended to have a thorough checkup of the eye as well. Examine the cornea and the sclera for any occurrence of inflammation caused to the invasion of bacteria, dust, and allergies. The ophthalmoscope will also help you to examine the back of your eye. Check the optic nerve and almost the entire retina with the aid of the instrument.
- Examine the inside of your dog’s mouth. Find out the level of moisture and color of the gums of your pet dog. Find out if there is any evidence of broken teeth or not. Find out whether there is any incidence of periodontal disease like gingivitis or Tartar.
- Examine the consistency and the fullness of the coat. Check out the presence of ticks, lice, mites, or fleas.
For a complete dog physical check carry out rectal and joint arthritis examinations.
See more: Dog Pregnancy
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