# 1111 measure the vital signs of the dog vital signs

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1.1.1.1. Measure the vital signs of the dog. Vital signs are most representative of the dog's health if measured while the dog is at rest and not stressed. The core vital signs should be measured at every physical examination or when evaluating a dog because of illness or injury and should include body temperature, pulse rate and character, respiratory rate and character, mucous membrane color, capillary refill time (CRT), skin elasticity, level of consciousness, body weight, and body condition score (BCS). 1.1.1.1.1. Determine the dog's body temperature using the rectal temperature measurement method. 1.1.1.1.2. Lubricate the thermometer by squeezing a small amount of sterile lubricant onto a gauze sponge and rolling the thermometer tip in the lubricant. 1.1.1.1.3. Lift the tail gently and insert the thermometer 1 to 2 inches into the dog's rectum. 1.1.1.1.4. Support the abdomen and do not allow the dog to sit. 1.1.1.1.5. Hold the thermometer in place until it beeps or flashes. 1.1.1.1.6. Remove the thermometer and wipe it with a gauze sponge soaked with alcohol. 1.1.1.1.7. Read the thermometer. The normal rectal temperature of a dog is 100.5°F to 102.5°F. The dog's temperature may be increased due to high environmental temperatures, stress, or exercise, or because of illness or injury. 1.1.2. Determine the dog's pulse rate and character. 1.1.2.1. Locate the femoral artery by placing the flat of your hand in the groin area and then gently press in on the middle of the inner thigh with the index and middle fingers until you feel pulsations. 1.1.2.2. Count the number of pulsations for 60 seconds or count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 to determine pulses per minute.
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