Diagnostics step by step: What you need to know about your animal
Working with animals seems harder than working with people. A person can say what ails them, can describe the type of pain and so on. This is not possible with animals, but it is easy to detect noticeable symptoms in them which are important for selecting the right type of preparation. This can be realised relatively simply, even by means of an amateur examination of the animal which will reveal incongruities in comparison with the animal’s previous state of health.
Sometimes it suffices just to find one indicator and to concentrate on the symptoms which are usually associated with it. Firstly, it is necessary to know what the breeder should concentrate on when inspecting the animal. The owner or breeder must know the animal well in order to be aware of what is standard and normal behaviour in the animal and in order to be aware of the standard, according to which any discrepancies can be gauged.
Firstly, it is necessary to assess the animal’s behaviour. You should take note of where the animal spends its time, if it adheres to its usual daily routine and how it reacts to its environs, including its owner. It is necessary to assess its appetite and any changes in appetite, the way it stands (if it is hunched up) and the way it walks (for example, if it limps), if it is lethargic and so on.
The quality of the fur and the skin
A further inspection concerns the quality of the fur or the skin, i.e. whether it is standing on end, without any shine, whether it gives the impression of being dirty, whether it is too greasy and whether there are any visible dermal changes. This is followed by an inspection of the mucosa to see if there is any discharge, they are red or they are clearly white.
We must not leave out the eyes – assess their shine and whether there is a grey haze in the eye; red eye whites are also a sign.
The surface of the body
Notice the surface of the body and use the sense of touch – is there any swelling, protuberances or, on the contrary, sunken areas. Touch the animal to check for foreign bodies in the muscle tissue, in the mammary glands and under the skin. Their consistency is important. This may be wooden, pasty, gelatinous or watery (like a plastic bag full of water). Foreign bodies under the skin or in the muscle tissue may also be lymph glands. As such, symmetry is important for the layman. If the bodies are in the same places on the right and left sides of the body, they can only be lymph nodes.
If they are asymmetrical, this will involve an affliction. Every breach of symmetry is suspicious. Check the fur in the same way. Symmetrical fur loss is usually associated with internal organs, while asymmetrical fur loss is usually associated with parasites or infections.
A highly useful method of investigation for our purposes, but which is not often used, involves the detection of the heat radiated from certain areas of the body. First try slowly passing your hand over the animal’s body at a distance of about 2–3 centimetres. If there is any inflammation, you will feel heat radiated above the affected part of the body. In the case of a degenerative affliction, you will feel cool areas. After this distance test, you can place your hand on the animal’s body and ascertain the hot or cold areas in contact with the fur or the skin. It is not really possible the other way round. In other words, always first carry out the contactless test, as the information from this is more important for our purposes, because it enables the detection of heat from the depths of the body, while the temperature change on the surface is only slight. Only then, can you ascertain the contact temperature which is more likely to indicate a surface affliction.
What to do, if…
If you ascertain the symptoms of an affliction in the animal, the length of the duration of these discrepancies is a very important clue. If the difficulties persist longer than one month, it is not possible to directly administer regenerative preparations, i.e. Regavet for liver disorders, Renovet for kidney disorders or Korovet for vascular or cardiac disorders, for example. It is always necessary to prepare the regeneration using a preparation which is one position further on in the Pentagram in the clockwise direction. After the initial preparation which may be reduced, for example, to one third of the regular regeneration period, it is necessary to have at least a 3-day break and then to continue with the regeneration preparation which is characteristic for the ascertained problem. If you fail to do so, this may lead to a dramatic worsening of the symptoms.
Never administer the concentrates to pregnant mammals. This could lead to damage occurring to the foetus as a result of the preferential development of the organs which are characteristic for the concentrate over those organs which are currently developing in the foetus. They can only be used in acute cases and for a maximum period of three days. It is practically impossible to impinge on the development of the foetus during this period.