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 Baseline Health

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Husky Stalker

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

Baseline Health Empty
PostSubject: Baseline Health   Baseline Health EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 3:33 pm

I am re-posting this since it was removed, this info is from an old Member, but very helpful.

It occurred to me recently that most people have not become familiar with their pet's base line health. Things get intense and emotional when your dog is injured or sick. What I hope to do with this thread is give everyone some basics that I learned from a CSU animal first aid seminar. Hopefully, with this information at hand you can make a better informed decision about when to contact a vet, and leave forums to forum things. Obviously there are many different symptoms that can be indicators of other things. But when these base line readings are considered along side other symptoms, it becomes more clear if it's an emergency or something that can wait until the first available vet appointment.

The breathing rate is simply counting breaths in one minute. Check after waking and after exercise.

For the pulse, I took one measurement at rest (after waking) and one after running. This gives you a good range to go off of in case of injuries after exercise. I went overboard too by taking these measurements for seven days and averaging them for each animal.

Start with hand like so...
Baseline Health 1

Then inside the rear legs near the top, they have a huge artery that is quite easy to feel...
Baseline Health 2

The temperature is not by any means exact (unless you suck it up and get a rectal unit), but you can get a good base line to watch for changes by placing thermometer in "arm pit", and closing leg on it...
Baseline Health 3

Another thing to watch is the white of the eyes. They are all individual so it's important to know what they each look like. Things like liver (yellows) and respiratory (blues) show there often...
Baseline Health 4

Another thing to get acquainted with is the gums of each dog. Again discoloring is not good and likely signals time for action. Dehydration is easy to spot here. If when you pull up the gums they don't snap back quickly but act more sponge like, time for vet visit. Texture is very important in this area so get to know it. Circulatory system problems show here too. By pressing lightly against the inner gums and releasing, you can measure how long it takes the capillaries to refill and the spot from the touch to disappear. If the touch spot starts taking longer to go away, vet...
Baseline Health 5

Then I put all that info in a simple chart on the front of their folders. These are the items listed on the front (I have purposely left out my dogs' numbers because they vary much more than you'd think, and I don't want someone judging their dog's heart rate against mine)...

Heart Rate: (waking up/after exercise)
Breathing Rate: (waking up/after exercise)
Gum Color:
Capillary Refill Time: (waking up/after exercise)
Temperature: (waking up/after exercise)

It's all there mostly for other people just in case I'm not around. Or in case I get frantic and don't remember something specifically. (Special thanks to my stupid sled dog that lets me do anything to him. Very Happy)

Baseline Health Iaht10
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Baseline Health

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