This presentation has been developed to introduce veterinary students to the process of carrying out a systematic physical examination in canine patients. It is designed to act as an introduction to these processes and procedures only, giving the students a framework from which to work as they develop and refine these skills throughout the veterinary course.
Physical examination is a key skill which will be used throughout a veterinary surgeon's career and is a key determinant in selecting diagnostic tests and establishing a diagnosis in veterinary patients.
A significant element of the first two years of the veterinary course is anatomy and physiology, and a framework for carrying out a physical examination is introduced early in the course at Nottingham since physical examination is essentially applied anatomy and physiology.
Between species, and even within a particular species, what is "normal" can vary enormously, and in order to become accustomed to what is normal, it is necessary for students to examine as many animals as possible over the five years of the course.