We must keep in mind that in the care of a patient there are activities to be carried out that are basic, such as the physical examination which is vital to know what circumstances the animal is in, this in turn accompanied by a very good anamnesis (series of questions that are asked to guide us to the diagnosis of the pathology) to know the patient’s history, which must be given by the person who lives with the horse.
Some of the different questions that are asked are, if it has suffered other diseases, what they have been, the clinical signs present have been seen since when, if the animal is being treated with any medication, a specific time when the anomaly occurs ( in the case of claudication), what activity they were doing at the time of the incident, among many other questions.
All this in order to have the greatest amount of data possible which will help us to have a differential diagnosis, and to be able to analyze some possible pathologies.
When receiving a patient we must specify whether their condition is an emergency or not, since depending on this we will act on their clinical condition, for example an animal that comes to us with abdominal colic due to severe gastrointestinal problems, trembling with a lot of blood loss. Among other symptoms, one of the first actions we must do is the aggressive administration of hypertonic fluids to begin to stabilize it.
Otherwise, when the patient who is being admitted or who we will treat comes to us due to a blow or a slight increase in size in some area, we can proceed to make the regular approach to the patient.
It is extremely important to mention that with what has been said above, we do not classify a clinical case as more or less important, but rather the way it is approached, since from the smallest detail to the most serious, we seek to provide the patient with the most well-being. fast as possible.
Approach to the Equine Patient
When facing a patient, the first thing we do is take the temperature, which ranges from 37.5-38.5 G, the heart rate ranges from 32-36 beats per minute, and the respiratory rate ranges from 12-30 breaths per minute. These basic values will tell us what state the patient is in, in turn we will observe the color of the mucous membranes, which are pink, the capillary refill time that is not more than 2 seconds, auscultate intestinal and lung sounds, absence or presence, digital pulse in case of knowing if it is normal or not and of course the attitude that the patient presents.
These indicators that have just been mentioned are very simple to take but very important since they are what opens the way for us to know what state the patient is in. All of this must be reviewed in a clinical history where, apart from all this, it will be noted. any anomaly found in the organs or systems that we can evaluate, such as vision, hearing, skin, nervous system, skeletal muscle, physical condition of the patient, reproductive system, among others.
By obtaining the aforementioned data added to the patient’s history plus other diagnostic tools, which will be mentioned, we will be able to have the definitive diagnosis and know the triggering cause of the disease and thus be able to apply an effective treatment that solves the present pathology.
In general, some of the diagnostic tools most used in patients are:
- Blood tests.
- Cytological tests.
- Stool exams.
- Nasogastric catheterization (in cases of abdominal cramps).
In the case of evaluation of foot pathologies, the procedure (diagnostic tools) used is:
- Hoof tester or foot clamps.
- Lameness locator.
- Nerve blocks.
These medical instruments mentioned above are some of the most used in patients who present some symptoms when being checked by a veterinarian in the field or in the hospital where they go, in order to have a precise diagnosis of the case.
University of Zulia, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences (FCV)
Member of the College of Veterinary Doctors of the state of Zulia, no. 2483
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