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Clinical examination

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Abstract

The purpose of a clinical examination is to identify physical and behavioural abnormalities. Interpreting the clinical history and examining the environment will provide important background information that will enable the clinician to focus on specific aspects during a clinical examination. This chapter looks at preliminary examination and physical examination.

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Figures

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Figure 12.2 All fish should be weighed on accurate gram scales appropriate to the size of the fish. Convenient electronic digital kitchen scales are adequate in most cases. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.3 This Pearcii cichlid has a severely swollen abdomen. Ascitic fluid is being removed from the coelomic cavity with a butterfly catheter and syringe.
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Figure 12.4 All body surfaces should be inspected thoroughly. This applies particularly to the ventral surfaces of pond fish, since this aspect is rarely visible unless the fish is restrained or removed from the water for examination. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.5 The fins should be examined carefully for signs of damage or colour change. The pelvic fin on this goldfish developed abnormal black pigmentation a few days after midline abdominal surgery. This resolved and returned to its original golden colour after a further 8 weeks. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.6 Care should be taken when examining the mouth of some fish. The sharp teeth of this anaesthetized triggerfish are capable of causing severe injury.
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Figure 12.7 The nostrils contain a series of laminae which form the olfactory rosette. This delicate tissue is covered by the olfactory epithelium and prone to bacterial infection and ulceration. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.8 Exophthalmos is easiest to appreciate by comparing one eye with the other and viewing them from the front. This koi has a mild degree of unilateral exophthalmos affecting the left eye. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.9 Each eye should be examined carefully. This koi has exophthalmos but also mild hyphaema, a clinical sign that is easily overlooked. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.10 The gill can be examined briefly in a conscious fish by wedging a thumb under the dorsal part of the operculum. This will provide a rough impression of gill condition but anaesthesia is required for a more detailed inspection. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 12.11 A Doppler pulse ultrasound probe is being used to monitor a patient’s heart rate during intra-abdominal surgery.
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Figure 12.12 Examining a normal vent in a koi. The blunt seeker has been inserted into the anterior opening (on left), which leads to the rectum. The posterior depression is the opening into the bladder. (© W.H. Wildgoose.)

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