Body Condition Score Chart
Pulse Points on a Dog
Internal working of a dogs Nose, Mouth and Troat
Dogs Internal Organs
Dog External Antomy
Female Reproduction Organs
Male Reproduction Organs
Dog's Pelvis (Hip)
General Physical Examination Of Your Dog By Your Veterinarian
What to expect when you take your dog to the vets for an appointment.
The first part of an examination of your dog actually is from a distance, observations include the following:
General body condition
Before carrying out physical examination of your own dog, be aware when they are ill that they my react differently, so take your time and acquaint yourself slowly and gently.
NB. If your dog is in extreme pain, they may well bite and you may have to take precautionary measures prior to examining the dog, for example muzzling.
The examination then proceeds by recording the dogs:
As a rough guide the normal resting temperature, pulse and respiratory rate (TPR) for a dog is:
Temperature 37.6 – 39.0
Small Dog (<10kg) 110 – 115
Medium Dog (<10 – 25kg) 80 – 115
Large Dog (>25k) 70 – 90
Remember that the dog’s temperature will increase with
NB. A dog’s temperature may also rise after a long car journey on a hot day.
A brief examination of the anus, anal sacs, perineal region and external genitailia may be performed whilst taking temperature – note the colour consistency of faeces on the end of the thermometer.
The pulse should be counted for at least 15 seconds, preferably 30 seconds.
Both femoral arteries should be palpated by placing the fingers on the artery from the front of the leg.
Note & Record:
Note the rate and character of respiration by watching the movement of the thoracic wall at the thoracic arch.
Count for at least 30 seconds and note:
Abdominal component to breathing
Normal capillary refill time is less than 2 seconds
Inspect gingviae for signs of inflammation or masses, check teeth for calculus formation.
Open mouth gently to examine the oral and occlusal surfaces of the teeth, tongue, hard/soft palate, pharynx and tonsils.
To visualize pharynx and tonsils is usual to depress the base of the tongue with a spatula or finger.
The underside of the tongue should be examined for evidence of linear FB’s e.g. Thread or piece of string, in any animal that is vomiting!
Check conjunctival mucous membrane, eyelids, third eyelid, cornea, iris and lens.
Pupilary light reflexes should be evaluated with a pen torch.
Check mucous membranes for changes in colour, pallor, erythema and jaundice.
The ocular sclera is particularly useful for detecting jaundice.
Examine the pinnae or skin lesions, swelling etc.
Check each auditory external meatus.
Smell ears for abnormal odours.
Check or inflammation/discharge.
Superficial Lymph Nodes and Salivary Glands
Palpate Lymph Nodes
Palpate submandibular and paratid salivary glands
Palpate the larynx and thyroid region.
Gently pinch the trachea to see if his elicits a cough.
Assess hydration status by tenting the skin over the dorsal aspect of the neck.
Trunk and Legs
Palpate and observe for symmetry, size and shape.
Examine skin and hair/coat.
Palpate the mammary glands for swelling, lumps, discharge and ulceration.
Palpate the ribs for old scars, lumps, bumps etc.
Palpate the muscles and flex joints, note any pain, swelling and crepitation.
Examine the external genitalia i.e. penis, prepuce and scrotum/testes; vulva, colour discharge.
The abdomen should be palpated gently between the fingers of both hands. Altering the position of the dog, e.g. raising the forelimbs or placing in lateral recumbency may occasionally aid palpation of an organ or mass that would otherwise not be palpable.
Note consistency of faeces and presence of any blood.