An intake examination must be performed on every animal as per the Ontario SPCA Intake Protocol.
Scan animal for microchip ( Microchipping Guidelines ). If a chip is found then appropriate steps should be followed to determine the animal’s identification and ownership.
- TPR (Temperature, Pulse, Respiration) – HR (Heart Rate), RR (Respiratory Rate), Temperature, CRT (Capillary Refill Time), and Weight.
- Overall appearance – BAR (Bright, Alert, Responsive), QAR (Quiet, Alert, Responsive), D & D (Dull and Depressed).
- Hydration status – Lift up skin between shoulder blades. It should snap back into place. If it remains tented or takes more than a second to return to normal, the animal’s hydration is likely abnormal
- Musculoskeletal – Have a look from a distance first. Note any abnormal findings on lameness, asymmetry, etc. If animal allows, run hands over body to feel for swelling, lumps, bumps, sensitive areas, or any other abnormal findings.
- Skin – Look for fleas and evidence of infection. Feel coat for excess oiliness, dirt or grease.
- Woods Lamp Exam – As per the Woods Lamp Protocol
- Body condition – The animal should have good muscle mass (ribs, vertebrae and hips should not be easily visible). Follow the guidelines below for body scoring:
- Heart and lungs – Check for any heart murmurs, or abnormal lung sounds using a stethoscope.
- Ears – Look for abnormal signs, signs of infection, smell for any signs of yeast.
- Eyes – Look for signs of discharge and infection, look for signs of inflammation, redness or irritation.
- Nose – Look for signs of nasal discharge or blockage. This is also an indication of an upper respiratory infection.
- Mouth – Assess age and health, look for broken teeth or pus or a red line along the gum line.
- Mucus membranes – Gum and conjunctiva should be pink and moist; compare colour to your own nail bed.
- Lymph nodes – Notice if nodes are easily palpable or cannot be located.
- Trachea – Check for any coughing after stimulating the trachea (For dogs only)
- Abdomen/Mammary glands – Check if there is any pain or any firm masses in the abdomen. Check to see if milk present if glands enlarged, if glands are hard.
- Urogenital – Check for any discharge, number of testicles, spay scar, etc.
Note results from physical examination into the animal’s Shelter Buddy entry, as well as Intake Examination Form.