Category // Pet Emotions
Similar to how humans need to visit the doctor about once a year for a health checkup, our dogs should also have an annual exam from the veterinarian. Ailments that arise between these exams could go unnoticed for a long time because, unlike people, our pets can’t tell us if something is wrong.
It’s wise to perform routine examinations at home to ensure you’re keeping up with your pet’s health. DIY pet examinations include a quick physical examination of your pet to help you spot lumps, bumps, illnesses, and anomalies. By doing this, you can get assistance right away rather than having to wait until your pet’s annual checkup.
By paying close attention to the areas where symptoms are often apparent, performing a quick physical examination on your pet once a month can help you spot an illness. For instance, if you don’t often touch your cat’s tummy, you might not notice any skin infections or lumps.
Establishing a baseline, or figuring out what is typical for your dog or cat, is another benefit of routine inspections. Then, when your pet is examined in the future, you’ll be better equipped to spot differences and talk about them with your veterinarian.
When your pet is calm and comfortable, as opposed to tense or afraid, it is the ideal time to perform a DIY pet exam. Because of this, it is simpler and less stressful to palpate and evaluate their entire body. To induce your pet to fall asleep before the test, try feeding or playing with them. Additionally, before starting, properly wash your hands. When your pet is prepared, place them on your lap or next to you and examine them from toe to tail.
You can gently insert a digital rectal thermometer into the rectum by lubricating the end with petroleum jelly and inserting it there for about 1 inch for small dogs and about 2 inches for larger ones. Avoid pushing it in if it won’t glide in easily. Dogs often have body temperatures of 102.5° to 102.5° F. The ear type is less accurate, and mercury thermometers sometimes malfunction. Hence a rectal thermometer is advised!
Find the femoral artery on the inside of the thigh and take the person’s pulse there. Look for the artery’s roll and a pulsating sensation. After 15 seconds, how many pulses there were and multiply that number by 4. Dog heart rates typically range from 80 to 120 beats per minute, although this is highly varied. In contrast to puppies and tiny dogs, relaxed, huge, or athletic dogs typically have slower rates.
Although noses aren’t usually chilly or moist, they should be smooth, velvety, and clean, like supple leather. Eyes should be white with only a few small, hardly perceptible vasculature and clear, moist, and transparent. Ears should be able to be lightly massaged without causing any discomfort because they are clean, dry, and practically odor-free. Gums are almost always evenly rosy and wet in the jaw, and dentitions are white and tidy.
Each breath should appear the same as the previous one, with the chest wall moving freely, rhythmically, and effortlessly. (Except when they are panting, your dog shouldn’t be able to breathe.) An average dog will breathe between 15 and 30 times per minute while at rest; an active dog will breathe more frequently than one that is napping or relaxing. The resting breathing rate of smaller dogs is typically higher than that of larger dogs, similar to heart rates.
A healthy dog has soft, unbroken skin with little to no odor, as well as a lustrous, smooth coat, except for wire-haired breeds. The skin is one of the body’s major organs and a key indicator of general health. To check for lumps, bumps, or wounds, run your hands the length of your pet’s body. While doing this, pay great attention to your pet’s coat to see if it appears greasy, dry, or dull. In various locations on the body, part the hair and examine the skin for signs of inflammation, peeling, or crusting.
If you have a suitable scale and your pet is comfortable with it, weigh your cat or dog and record the results. When you perform your next DIY examination, compare the results to make sure your pet isn’t significantly increasing or losing weight each month.
With the skin turgor test, determine how well-hydrated they are. The skin should rapidly revert to its natural place once you tent the skin over the neck or back. Your dog may be dried if it returns gradually or stays somewhat tented.<
Search for indications of dryness, cracking, sores, bleeding, or infection on each of your dog’s or cat’s paws. The same size and lack of swelling in the paws are important. Make sure your pet’s claws are the appropriate length, and trim them if required.
For this, check any lumps or bumps and gently feel your pet’s stomach and chest to determine any hardness. Observe your pet’s attitude as you do this, paying particular attention to any indications of suffering or discomfort. The importance of independently examining your pet’s health cannot be overstated.
If your dog has recently eaten, you may feel a bulge in the left portion of the abdomen, just under the ribcage, where the stomach sits. This can be typical. Begin by gently pressing your hands into your dog’s tummy, located just behind the ribs. Move your hands softly over the entire area as you move toward the back of their body. Your veterinarian should conduct additional testing if there are any lumps, bumps, or masses, symptoms of discomfort, or abdominal distention.
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