Mastering the orthopedic exam
In a recent dvm360® interview, Dr David Dycus shares pointers on performing a quick, effective, and low-stress orthopedic examination on patients.
According to David Dycus, DVM, MS, CCRP, DACVS-SA, integrating orthopedic exams into wellness exams can offer a multitude of benefits including the early detection or prevention of overlooked conditions. In an interview with dvm360®, Dycus shared insight on what an orthopedic exam entails, plus how to save time and curtail stress when performing them.
“So, the orthopedic exam is one of those things that [veterinary professionals] should not be intimidated by, it is something that, in an otherwise normal dog, can be completed very quickly. The average orthopedic exam should take maybe 4 minutes or less,” Dycus informed dvm360® staff.
"The [orthopedic exam] is also not the time for us to rehearse wrestling skills. It needs to be kind of a mellow, soft-touch approach so we're minimizing as much stress [on the patient] as possible," he continued.
Dycus then disclosed his process for performing comfortable and stress-reduced orthopedic exams on patients.
"I like to typically get on the floor with the dogs—I don't like exam tables. I like to have [the patient] standing where they are the most comfortable, and I start [the exam] and do it the same way every time," explained Dycus.
"The affected leg I always do last. I always start at the toes and work my way up to the shoulder or the hip—whether it's the front limb or the hind limb—and I'm going very nice and slow. I am not trying to force manipulations; it should always be fluid," he continued.
Watch the full interview below for more insight on performing an orthopedic exam.