Using a Stethoscope

The heart is best heard on the left side, behind the point of the elbow. Because the heart is often difficult to hear, move the stethoscope to different areas while placing mild pressure on the stethoscope head.


A dog’s lungs lie below the rib cage and do not extend beyond the last rib. To listen to the lungs, choose a location that is between the ribs. It is best to listen to multiple areas in many different rib spaces. Also, listen to the trachea in the neck region.

Note: It should be considered abnormal if the sounds of fluid, crackles, or wheezes are heard.


Listen to both sides of the dog. With practice, normal and abnormal lung sounds can be identified. See page A560 for normal respiratory rates.

Note: Signs of respiratory problems include nasal discharge, coughing, rapid breathing, and sneezing.


Videos Available in Full Book