It is rightly said that – PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CARE. If every pet parent knows beforehand diagnosis tips before it’s too late when a pet is sick, it can greatly save pet from undergoing too much pain along with saving vet bills. Every pet owner needs to learn a primary physical examination; they would watch their dogs much closer and take them to vet’s examination if necessary.
What Do You Need to Examine?
Eyes speak a lot about your pooch’s health. Look into their eyes with the help of flashlight to see if the pupils are responsive and of the same size. Notice whether eyes seem sunken or the skin under them is pale or discolored. If you find out anything not normal, don’t take it too long to visit a vet.
Check the ears properly. Lift those flaps and look at the skin before looking inside. You should know what is normal for your dog and they should seem normal not smelly and yellowish. When looking into the ear canal, do not put anything inside. If the ear smells, having a discharge or are discolored, clean them with the help of cleanaural drops. And, if it requires clinical care, visit a vet. Ear problems may be annoying but they may not end up into emergency.
Mouth physical examination needs to be performed regularly. Your dog should be used to you opening her mouth and since, she would be used to you not hurting her, will be a smooth process. Look for the gums as they should appear pink and moist. The teeth should be tartar free and white. In case of any changes to the teeth, it is fine you can cover up with the help of regular brushing with Dentipet toothpaste and dental spray gel. But, if the gums seem problematic, immediately take your pooch to your vet.
Chest and Abdomen
Having a pet, it is important to own a stethoscope. It’s inexpensive and takes just a few trials to get used to it. Listen to your dog’s heartbeat and count how many times it’s beating per minute. Find the artery on the inside of the back leg and press down on it to count the pulse (A big healthy dog might have a heartbeat of 60 times per minute, and a little dog at 160). If these numbers are not matching, go ahead and get her checked with a vet.
While you are listening to her heartbeat, run your hand over her stomach and abdomen to feel any lumps or bumps or abnormal swellings. If your dog shows any pain when you are running your hand on the belly, then there is something wrong. You need to get her right to the vet.
Nose and Skin
Check the nose, it should be moist and clean without any running water, the skin should be dry but not flaky. Hydration level should be normal. If you pull your dog’s skin, it should go back quickly, but if it takes time going back slowly, it means your dog is dehydrated. There should not be any lumps or bumps. And, of course no fleas or ticks. Check for any flea dust or ticks that may be found by checking on the fur. In case of parasites, you can use flea and tick treatment to treat the infestation.
Temperature helps to give overall view of your dog’s health condition. Using a digital rectal thermometer find the temperature. Lubricate the end with petroleum jelly and gently insert it into the rectum, about 1 inch for small dogs and 2 inches for large dogs. A normal temperature is between 100º and 102.5º F. If the temperature reads 103 or under 99, your pooch is sick and needs further care right away.
Though dogs may seem active and fine without any health issues, it is crucial for every pet owner to examine and take her to a vet for a regular checkup. Not for vaccines or heartworm test, but for overall physical test to look for any subtle changes that your vet may recognize. Moreover, dogs age very quickly and develop arthritis, obesity, early heart disease or periodontal disease. You may not notice these changes by physical examination but can be identified in a clinic.