Examination of inguinal, genital & anal regions
As with all areas of the body, examine the inguinal, genital and anal region thoroughly, observing and recording any abnormalities:
Examine the whole area for external wounds, swellings, abnormal lumps etc. Palpate the inguinal lymph nodes and compare size and texture of the right with the left. Note any swellings in the groin which might indicate an inguinal hernia. Such hernias can be congenital, or a result of trauma to the abdomen.
The anus and peri-anal region should be examined for bleeding, prolapses of the rectum through the anus, hernias, discharges, masses, evidence of diarrhoea, tears in the anal ring, etc. The anal glands can be palpated (and expressed if necessary) with a gloved hand by inserting a lubricated forefinger through the anal ring and gently squeezing the gland between that finger and a thumb pressed on the outside of the ring.
If trauma to the rectum is suspected a digital examination with a gloved, lubricated finger is indicated to investigate the extent of any damage.
In males examine the testes by palpation (compare left with right) and check for symmetry and size. Note whether both testes are present in the scrotal sac. Undescended (or “cryptorchid”) testes may be linked to inbreeding as in the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) population before it was out-bred by the introduction of unrelated cats (Roelke et al,1993). NB – in juveniles the testes do not necessarily descend into the scrotum simultaneously.
The prepuce should be examined and the penis extruded for examination by applying gentle pressure each side of the prepuce. Note the presence of penile spines and of any discharges or trauma.
In females examine the vulva for signs of inflammation, trauma, discharge, structural defects, etc. If possible the vagina can be examined internally by using a speculum with light source inserted into the vestibule.