THE nature of the pig, which characteristically will squeal and run away if frightened, may suggest that an effective clinical examination is difficult, if not impossible. However, a patient and calm approach, and use of appropriate restraint techniques, will usually overcome these defence mechanisms and allow a meaningful clinical examination to be carried out. This article describes the observations and physical examination that may be performed as part of the clinical assessment of an individual sick or injured pig. Illustrations and notes of specific conditions, abnormalities and findings that may be encountered are included, with the intention of providing a clinical checklist for the inexperienced practitioner. A previous In Practice article described other elements of the investigation of clinical problems on pig farms (Green 1999).
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