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Clinical examination

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Abstract

A thorough clinical examination, including collecting a history, is very important to identify underlying causes of disease, and avoid only treating secondary problems. This chapter considers initial assessment on arrival to the clinic, transportation, handling, physical examination, and health and safety considerations.

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Figures

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6.1 Example of a history questionnaire.
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6.2 (a) Lifting a spur-thighed tortoise. (b) Aggressive species such as this soft-shelled turtle can be grasped at the caudal part of the carapace. Beware: the carapace can be very slippery.
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6.3 (a) Handling a water dragon. (b) Restraint of a veiled chameleon for examination of the vent region by gently controlling the limbs.
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6.4 Snake handling techniques. (a) Use of snake tongs. (b) Use of a combination of snake restraining tube and hook to restrain an aggressive snake. (c) Using a snake restraining tube. (d) Large snakes such as this Burmese python require support from more than one handler.
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6.5 Measuring the carapace height.
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6.6 Mediterranean tortoise with an overgrown beak.
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6.7 Trauma of the tympanic membrane in a green iguana.
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6.8 External ear canal and tympanic membrane of a normal palm gecko.
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6.9 Instruments useful for oral examination in chelonians.
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6.10 Veiled chameleon with severe stomatitis.
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6.11 Female Standing’s day gecko with cervical swellings caused by endolymphatic calcium sacs. Other causes of swellings could be bilateral abscesses.
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6.12 The common boa has rows of small teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
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6.13 Water dragon with dental disease.
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6.14 Examination of the tongue and its sheath in a snake.
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6.15 Tokay gecko showing normal red area at the tip of the tongue.
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6.16 Leopard gecko with constricting bands of skin on toes and also round the distal radius and ulna.
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6.17 Femoral gland impaction in a green iguana.
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6.18 Monitoring the heart of a juvenile Nile monitor using a Doppler pencil probe.
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6.19 Transillumination of a leopard gecko, showing the hepatic shadow within the coelomic cavity.

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