The first part of this exam is first thinking about any subtle changes in your pet’s behavior or mannerisms. Any subtle changes at all can really be significant.
Questions to ask yourself and to keep in mind on a day to day basis:
- How are they eating?
- Is there a change in their water consumption?
- Is there a change in their activity level?
- Is their behavior different at all?
- Any limping, any vomiting, diarrhea?
- Do you notice any sort of change in their lifestyle at all?
The Physical Exam
Start at the front of your pet then work your way to the back.
- Look in their eyes (are they clear, cloudy, etc.)?
- Look into their ears (are they pink, red, have an odor)?
- Oral exam (sometimes dogs or cats can develop not only dental issues, but they can get masses or growths within their mouths that can be a problem)
- Listen to their heart and their lungs
- Palpate their abdomen
- Body condition: Run your hands all over them to feel for any lumps, bumps, feel their joints, feel if there’s any swelling, any pain
After doing the above, you’ve now gone through a pretty comprehensive body system analysis in just a matter of minutes.