Auscult the Heart

The heart is most easily auscultated on the left side at the 4th to 5th intercostal space.  Murmurs are rare and when present, may be associated with congenital heart disease, endocarditis (especially if animal is febrile), and intrathoracic masses.  Mediastinal masses are most commonly abscesses or thymomas.  They can displace the heart resulting in a muffling of the heart sounds, a shift in location of the heart, or a prominent murmur.  Congestive heart failure in the small ruminant is very rare.  Signs of CHF are typically associated with masses.

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Copyright 1999-2001
New Bolton Center Field Service Department
Students:  Keith Javic - Class of 2003, C. Nikki Conroy - Class of 2003