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How can vets make a diagnosis? 3

-pattern recognition
-minimum database
-logical approach to clinical problem solving


Pattern recognition is effective in perhaps 70% diagnoses, when does it work best?

-unique clinical pattern
-only a few possibilities (easily remembered, easily ruled in/out by routine tests)
-vet has extensive experience, is well read and up to date, reviews all diagnoses critically and has extensive memory


Pattern recognition - advantages

Quick, cost effective, vet looks good and is happy (all when correct)


Pattern recognition - disadvantages -6

-can only be a limited number of diagnostic options, potential to reinforce incorrect diagnoses,, very dependent on experience, knowledge and memory, risk of tunnel vision, risk of confirmation bias, no clear alternate diagnostic approach if wrong


Significant pathology can occur in which organs without biochemical or haematological changes? 7

GI, neuromuscular, cardiorespiatory, spleen, brain, liver (esp cats), pancreas (esp cats)


What is problem based clinical reasoning based on?

Pathophysiologic principles and understanding


What is the process for problem based clinical reasoning?

-Define the problem (always)
-Refine the system and how it may be involved (always)
-Define the location within the system (sometimes)
-Define the lesion (always, always last)


What is important when defining the problem?

Is there another clinical sign that this problem could be confused with? (e.g. vomiting and regurgitation)


Examples of defining the problem - 6

-vomiting or regurgitation
-diarrhoea or discharge from the genital tract or anal sacs?
-straining to defacecate - constipation or colitis?
-fit - seizures or fainting?
-red uring - blood, haemoglobin or myoglobin
-abdominal pain or back pain?


How might diagnostic tests differ for vomiting and regurgitation?

VOMITING: biochemistry, haematology, urinalysis, abdominal imaging, endoscopy, exploratory laparotomy
REGURGITATION: oesophageal imaging (plain rads, contrast, fluoroscopy), endoscopy. As those above for vomiting tell us nothing about an oesophageal lesion. Dangerous. Waste of money.


How to refine the system? 2

-Structural (primary - pathology is in that system) vs. functional (secondary - pathology outside of the system is affecting the way the system is workingbut there is no actual pathology in the system and/or the pathology has been caused by another body system)
-Local vs. systemic


Define and refine cough

Cardiac or respiratory disease?


Define and refine pale mucous membranes

aneamia or poor peripheral perfusion


Define and refine jaundice

Haemopoietic (low PCV) or hepatobiliary?


How does diagnostic approach between structural and functional problems?

STRUCTURAL: often involves imaging, biopsy and blood work can be completely normal
FUNCTIONAL: often involves blood work as well as other diagnostic tools


What would haematology and biochemistry inform you of in a primary GI disease?

clinical status of patient but not cause of vomiting


What does DINT stand for? 8

Define the lesion:


Advantages - clinical problem solving - 7

-provides a structure
-more organised
-reduces need to remember long lists of differentials
-helps prevent getting trapped by a perceived 'obvious' diagnosis
-reduces risk of tunnel vision
-provides memory triggers to ensure an appropriate history and thorough PE is taken
-assists communication with owners about appropriate diagnostic procedures or treatment trials required


How to approach clinical scenarios

-Create a problem list with the most important problems at the top
-identify specific problems and those which are 'background noise'
-define and if needed refine the specific problem/s
-for each specific problem identify the body system that must be involved and consider how it may be involved.
-then answer key question related to defining/refining the problem
-follow on with activities provided to develop core knowledge about the topic that week (DDx, diagnostic tools, disease pathophysiology, treatment and prevention)


How do you define the problem 'vomiting and diarrhoea'?

Is vomiting confirmed? Is diarrhoea confirmed?

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