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close this bookRestraining Animals and Simple Treatments (IIRR, 1996, 53 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentRestraining animals
View the documentPhysical examination
View the documentParaveterinary kit
View the documentDosages
View the documentCommon units of measurement
View the documentReading drug labels
View the documentEstimating live weight
View the documentAdministering medicine
View the documentEmergency procedures
View the documentWhen to call a veterinarian
View the documentGlossary

Physical examination

Physical examinations can help you learn what's wrong with you animal. Start with the simple things. Look for the following:

- unusual behavior;
- unusual appearance of skin and hair;
- unusual odor, discharges;
- difficulty in walking;
- swelling of joints;
- feces staining the rear;
- high temperature.

Caution: Do not give any medication before taking the temperature of the animal unless you are sure that the animal is sick.

How to take the temperature of an animal

The temperature of the animal is taken at the rectum. Take the animal's temperature before administering any medication.


Basic parts of thermometer

1. Shake the thermometer to bring the mercury level below the normal temperature of the animal.

2. For cattle, buffaloes, goats and pigs, hold the tail and insert the thermometer, one to two inches into the rectum, with the mercury bulb first.

Caution: Never pull the tail while taking the temperature.

3. Leave the thermometer in position for three minutes. When the bulb with mercury is warmed, the mercury rises.

4. Read after three minutes.
5. After reading, shake the thermometer again so the mercury is shaken back into the bulb.
6. Clean and return the thermometer to its case.

If your reading is two or more degrees centigrade higher than the normal temperature, then your animal is sick. Start medicating the animal with the use of either herbal or western medicine. The temperature should decline within 24 hours. If it continues to rise, medication is not working; hence, there is a need to change the kind of medicine used.

A below-normal temperature indicates shock or a dying animal. A rise of several degrees during the day and return to normal at night may indicate chronic infections.

A disease is acute when it is severe but of short duration. There is a rise in temperature for several days.

Normal body temperature of some animals


Normal Temperature

Range (°C)




Water buffaloes