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48348Re: [FH] Re: Stethoscope?

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  • Jim Sinclair
    Jul 5, 2013
      On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM, Sharon <sharong9@...> wrote:
      > I'm not sure that to a person with no medical training the quality of a
      > Stethoscope is going to make a tremendous amount of difference.

      Those are my thoughts too. As I wrote to someone off-list yesterday, I
      could buy the world's best stethoscope and be able to hear all sorts
      of subtle sounds with it, but if I don't understand what I'm hearing,
      it won't do me or my cats any good.

      > It takes
      > training to be able to hear the different sounds that one would need to
      > identify different heart and lung sounds.

      I got my old stethoscope primarily to make it easier to count Clipsy's
      heart rate, not to try to identify or diagnose anything. I remember
      the first time I listened to her heart with it. It was so fast! I felt
      terrible that my poor kitty's heart was racing like that--until I
      listened to a different, healthy cat's heart and found out it was just
      as fast. Yes, their heart rate really is faster than a human's!

      I now have two cats diagnosed with airway disease, one of whom
      (Rhapsody) also has mild heart disease, and I'd really like to be able
      to listen for wheezing or gurgling. Especially as Rhapsody also has
      some neurological dysfunction and often has his mouth hanging open. A
      stethoscope can help me distinguish between an open mouth due to poor
      oral muscle tone vs. an open mouth due to difficulty breathing. Gaping
      open-mouth panting or gasping is obvious without a stethoscope, but
      mouth just somewhat ajar is harder to evaluate.

      Some things my vet can also teach me to identify. That doesn't make me
      qualified to diagnose any problems, but hopefully it helps me make
      better decisions about when it's necessary to give an inhaler puff,
      call the vet, or go to the ER.

      For that I don't need a *great* stethoscope, I just need a "good enough" one.

      Jim Sinclair jisincla@...
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