Auscult the Lungs

Auscultation of the lungs in small ruminants is often not indicative of the extent or severity of respiratory disease.  Normal bronchovesicular sounds are quite harsh in the small ruminant.  The lung field is narrow in comparison the the equine and care should be taken to listen well forward under the elbow since anterior ventral consolidation is common in lower respiratory disease.  The depth of respiration is often overlooked.  Short, shallow breaths often indicate pleural pain and may not be associated with obvious abnormal lung sounds.  Eliciting a cough by tracheal palpation indicates tracheobronchitis.  Rectal temperature, respiratory rate and effort, nasal discharge, and the presence of a cough can be more indicative of lower respiratory tract disease than auscultation findings.  Radiographic examination and transtracheal wash are easily performed in the small ruminant patient.

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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