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Pet Health Check: Body

Pet Health Check: Body

As a response to a message asking to know more about health checking your pet at home, here is some information… part two:

Last weeks post covered the face, this week will cover health checking the rest of the body – as a continuation from the face/ head…

From feeling for lumps, nicks, cuts, etc. on the head and face of your animal; run your hands gently down the spine, feeling all along for anything out of the ordinary.
– check the spine is straight, not sticking out at any odd angles
– no lumps or swelling around the spine
– check the skin around the spine is not punctured or wounded (open)
– feel gently, slowly, and carefully

– same as above, just continue down the spine to the tail, checking the same things
– if your pet is a tail chaser, check that your pet has not caught its’ tail and done damage (with their teeth)

– gently apply a slight pressure, to check for any pain
– feel for any internal lumps

– check it feels normal for the species, not oddly shaped
– gently apply pressure, checking there is no pain (nothing feels broken)
– no lumps or swelling

– no lumps, swelling, cuts, nicks, etc.
– free from pain when gentle pressure is applied
– joints bend normally; no pain or stiffness

– not too long; curling
– not flaking or split
– clean and free from dirt, debris, stones, etc.

The fur patterns on your pet tend to match up with the skin colour; i.e. black patches of fur will have dark skin beneath, white fur will have pale skin beneath, brown fur will have brown skin beneath (etc. etc.) so know what your pet looks like all over so you can tell if anything is unusual. Know what is normal for your pet in terms of fur/ skin/ feather/ scale type, note any benign abnormalities so that you are able to ascertain when anything unusual occurs.
– skin: free from dryness/ crusting; fur/feathers: free from dandruff/ debris
– fur free from matting/ knots
– feathers should have a healthy shine
– fur should be soft and shiny
– wire hair/fur should not be brittle
– scales ought to be normal; not raised, or discoloured
– free from parasites, abrasions, lesions, infection

Male Bearded Dragon

Pet Health Checking: Face

Pet Health Checking: Face

As a response to a message asking to know more about health checking your pet at home, here is some information… part one:

First and foremost, wash and thoroughly dry your hands. Ensure you are clean before health checking your pet. If you feel the need, wear thin medical gloves.

Start with the eyes. Always.
If there is anything anywhere else on the body, you don’t want to transfer it to the eyes accidentally; staring with the eyes will avoid this.

– free from discharge
– free from foreign bodies
– not red, bloodshot, or discoloured in any way

Next move onto the nose.

– free from excessive and/ or unusual discharge
– clean and clear
– watch also for excessive sneezing

Then the mouth.

– gently lift up your pets lips to check the teeth
– small animals with split lips can have one side of the lip lifted at a time, the bottom lip can be gently pulled down to check the bottom teeth
– check for tartar build up
– know the colour your pets teeth ought to be, so you are able to tell if there is any discolouration (e.g. rats have yellow teeth, cats have white teeth)
– check gums are not discoloured or bleeding
– rabbits and rodents; check teeth are not overgrown (or likely to cause damage)
– check tongue is normal size/ shape and not discoloured (e.g. Chow-chow dog has a blue tongue unlike other breeds)

Next check the ears.

– check the external ear is free from cuts, nicks, lumps, not extreme temperatures, and not painful when in normal motion
– check there is no excessive wax build up
– no unusual odour (dogs ears smell pretty bad normally, ensure you do not mistake this for infection)
– no mites, fleas, ticks, or other parasites

– free from cuts, nicks, lumps, and pain
– fur/ feathers not matted and free from debris
– skin is not dry or infected

Look out for the corresponding post next week, covering the rest of the body.

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