Dr Travis: Veterinarian House Call
Dr. Travis Stork has made many house calls to deserving patients, but it was finally time for a very special house call of his own. Dr. Courtney Campbell dropped by Dr. Travis’s home in Colorado to visit one very special lady: his dog Nala.
Nala is very important to Dr. Travis, because they’ve been best friends for almost 14 years. Now that Nala is getting older, Dr. Travis worries and wants to be sure that he’s providing the best care possible. Dr. Campbell explained some simple techniques for caring for your pet at home. Try this at-home veterinary exam with your own dog.
The Doctors: At-Home Veterinary Exam
- To test circulation, press your thumb against your dog’s upper lip. If the color returns within a couple of seconds, her circulation is very good. This is called capillary refill time.
- Check your dog’s lymph nodes by feeling underneath the chin, the shoulder, behind the knees, and in the groin.
- Just like in humans, feel your dog’s breast tissue for any signs of lumps of bumps.
- Check your dog’s pulse by taking two fingers and placing them on the inside of her thigh. This is the equivalent of the femoral artery in humans. For a dog of Nala’s size, a good pulse is about 120-130.
The Drs TV: Exercise For Older Dogs
Dr. Travis and Dr. Campbell took Nala for a walk in order to discuss exercise in aging dogs. Dr. Campbell explained that good joints require good, strong muscles, so a slow walk is the perfect activity for older dogs like Nala.
If your dog looks uncomfortable the next day, then lower the activity level. You can also warm up and cool down with your dog by massaging their joints in a circular motion, and flexing and extending their hips.
Dr. Campbell later stressed that your dog and cat’s liver is not the same as yours. If your dog looks sore, don’t ever try giving them human pills like ibuprofen or aspirin, which can be deadly. When in doubt, call your vet to ask his or her advice.