In our Pet Tech First Aid Classes we show students how to perform a Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessment. It’s a systematic method to set a baseline for your pet’s everyday health. The more you know about your pet’s body, normal bumps and lumps, the better prepared you will be if something abnormal appears.
Remember: Early detection means early intervention.
It is also a good bonding experience for you and your pet. You should be able to touch all parts of your pet without them becoming nervous or agitated. Doing regular Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessments makes your pet comfortable with being touched and helps your pet be more comfortable being examined by the veterinarian.
Starting with your pet’s snout, check for any abnormal discharges or cracking in the nose, tenderness in the muzzle. Move on to the eyes- do they appear? Are they tracking together?
Next, its time to inspect the mouth, teeth and gums. Look for swelling, smells or odors. Followed by the head, skull, neck, spine and skin. Do you know what the signs of mites or infection may be? Chest and ribs should be free should be free of lumps, easily feel the ribs under the coat and breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy.
Move each of your pet’s legs independently to see if there’s any wincing or pain, they should move fluidly with no interruptions. Move on to the stomach and genitals. Giving slight pressure to the abdomen, check for signs of bloat. Do you know the seriousness of bloat and how it should be handled?
Finally, we’re at the tail. It should have a full range of motion, but don’t push your pet’s tail beyond it’s normal range.
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There you have it! A wellness assessment for your pet that’s easy, thorough and repeatable. The assessment is intended to find irregularities in the coat, skin, lumps or bumps that may have changed since your last assessment.
If you’d like to learn first hand how to complete this Snout-To-Tail assessment, sign up for our one of Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR or PetSaver classes today. It’s fun, interactive, informative and most importantly – hands on.