Establishing a diagnosis

Physical examination of cattle


  • Allen J. Roussel



bovine, diagnosis, physical exam


The physical examination may be becoming a lost art. Perhaps every generation of veterinarians has had the same feeling as they see more and more technology enhancing our ability to reach a diagnosis, but at the same time replacing some of the time-tested techniques of the physical examination. 1 am certainly not against technological advances-most of us at academic institutions are drawn there because of the advanced diagnostic equipment available to us. I am chagrined, however, by the growing dependence upon imaging, laboratory evaluation, and other sophisticated techniques to make a diagnosis when often a physical examination and a very simple confirmatory test would reach the same conclusion in less time and for less cost. My goal in this presentation is to review the techniques of physical examination for both the part-time bovine veterinarian, as well as the experienced bovine veterinarian. There is no question that the combination of excellent physical examination and rational use of sophisticated diagnostic equipment will achieve the optimal results.






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