A basic intake exam provides essential information about an animal so you can address his or her immediate needs. Your findings may also protect the health of other animals in your care and even the humans in your shelter.
Here are five important things to remember during an intake exam:
Make it basic but thorough
When you evaluate and record the health status of animals as they enter the shelter, you can then distinguish medical problems that develop during their shelter stay from pre-existing conditions. Use the exam form and the slideshow below as a guide.
Accurately describe gender status and physical appearance Record the animal's gender status and physical appearance and assign a method of permanent identification to the animal for his or her shelter stay. Documenting identifying information may help return stray animals to their owners if a lost report has been filed with the shelter. You also need to know gender status and be able to quickly identify animals to keep animals properly housed during the shelter stay.
Identify signs of infectious disease
If animals with signs of infectious disease are quickly isolated, you may prevent spread to other animals in the shelter.
Recognize medical emergencies, including pain
Getting medical care to animals who require immediate attention reduces their suffering and may also prevent a treatable issue from progressing to a more serious stage.
Document all findings
Make sure all information is captured – including normal and abnormal findings – somewhere easily accessible for future reference.