Auscultation of the heart and lungs
Auscultation of the heart is used to detect abnormalities such as:
- Cardiac arrhythmias—irregular heartbeat, tachycardia, or bradycardia
- Heart murmurs—consider intensity
- Extra heart sounds—gallops, clicks
Areas of auscultation in the heart should include the mitral, pulmonic, and aortic valves on the left thoracic wall and the tricuspid valves on the right thorax. A heart murmur often is the first detectable sign of heart disease. If a heart murmur is detected, thoracic radiographs (including calculation of a Vertebral Heart Score) should be done to determine if the dog’s heart is enlarged.
Auscultation of the lungs is used to detect the presence of normal bronchovesicular sounds or abnormal lung sounds, such as crackles and wheezes.