A basic intake exam provides essential information about an animal that enables you to address his or her immediate needs. Your findings may also protect other animals in your care and even the humans in your shelter.
Below are five things to accomplish during an intake exam.
- Perform a basic but thorough physical exam.
When you evaluate and record the health status of animals as they enter the shelter, you can recognize and distinguish medical problems that occur during their shelter stay from pre-existing conditions.
Use the exam form at right and the slideshow below as a guide for what to cover in a physical exam.
- Accurately describe the animalís gender status and physical appearance.
Good identifying information may help that animal return to his/her owner. You also need to know gender status to keep animals properly housed during their shelter stay.
- Identify signs of infectious disease.
If you can quickly isolate animals with signs of infectious disease, you may prevent disease spreading to other animals in the shelter.
- Recognize medical emergencies, including whether the animal is in pain.
Giving immediate attention to animals in need reduces their suffering and may also prevent a treatable issue from progressing to a more serious stage.
- Document your findings, both normal and abnormal.
Slideshow: Performing an Intake Exam
Click to view the slideshow.
ASV Shelter Guidelines
For more information about intake exams, see Medical Health and Physical Well-being in Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters (.pdf).