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IN medicine, detecting disease before the onset of clinical signs could lead to improved management for some conditions (Del Mar and others 2006) and clinical examination may play a role in this early detection. Clinical examination was found to detect underlying disease during a case series of canine geriatric screening appointments (Davies 2012). Some studies have suggested concurrent disease is common in patients of all ages (Banyard and others 1998, Robinson and others 2014a) so the clinical examination may have a wider role in the early detection of disease. Clinical examination may also have an important role in the management of some ongoing conditions allowing the response to treatment to be monitored. Understanding the current clinical examination practices, including weighing of the patient, is the first step in determining the role of these procedures in the consultation. The aim of this study was to describe clinical examination and weighing of patients during first opinion small animal consultations.
Data collection took place over 16 weeks (two weeks each at eight practices) as part of data gathered for a larger project (Robinson and others 2014a). A previously developed data collection tool (Robinson and others 2014a) was used to record consultation data by direct observation. Consultations were categorised into: First (patient not examined for the presenting problem in the past year); Review (patient examined for the presenting problem in the past year); Preventive medicine (presenting …
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