Friday, October 12, 2012

Why are we out of lube and latex gloves?

Lately I've been spending an awful lot of time at the rear end of my patients. I've removed loads of hard feces from cats, and, yesterday, pieces of a dish towel that was nearly all the way through a young mastiff. During vet school, some clinicians really harped on the benefits of rectal exams, so I make a point of doing them routinely. I've found intestinal foreign bodies, cancer, infections, detected fresh blood or digested blood in feces, assessed dehydration, and even checked the urethra for bladder stones. It is one the cheapest and most effective diagnostic tools and treatments we have, although not the most pleasant for doctor or patient.