Ready, teddy, go!

by ZSL on

Here’s our ‘How-To’ guide of everything you need to know to set up your own Home Hospital and perform your very own vet check on all your cuddly soft-toy chums. 

Do you have a cuddly friend like Stripey the Tiger? 

Vets in Action
Do you want to perform a Health Check just like Vet Ben? Check out the video below, he'll talk you through it. But first things first!

You will need:

  • A Patient - Any one of your much-loved soft toy friends could benefit from a vet health check so you just need to choose who!
  • Vet Nurse Assistant - All good Vets have a fabulous Vet Nurse by their side to assist with all the checks – a parent or carer, or any other adult, would make the perfect Vet Nurse Assistant.
  • Torch - This could be a normal household torch or the flashlight on your Vet Nurse Assistant’s mobile phone.
  • Thermometer - The same type you may have used to check your temperature in the past if you were poorly.
  • Mask & Hand Sanitiser - All good Hospital workers wear masks and ‘scrub up’ to keep their patients protected from germs – Vets are just the same!
  • Note Card & Pen - You will want to make a full Vet report for you furry friend so you can document their good health!

Start by putting on your mask and making sure your hands are SUPER clean with hand sanitiser. You could even wear disposable gloves if you have any!

The best place to start the health check is on the face of your cuddly toy – this is where there are lots of vital sensory organs, such as the eyes and ears, and we want to make sure there is no dirt or possible infection here.

Take your torch to check the eyes but DO NOT shine the torch directly into the eyes of your patient – this could really hurt them! Instead, shine the torch just under the eye so that it lights up the entire eye area and you can have a good look to see if there is any dirt, cloudiness or redness. You are looking for bright, shiny eyes. Don’t forget to look at both and make sure you note down how they look!

Missed vets at home
Now use your torch to look into the ears of your patient. This is to make sure that there are no items stuck in the ears and nothing yukky is coming out of them. A little bit of dirt in the ear is quite common, especially if your pal has been playing outside!

Finally, use the torch to check inside the mouth and down the throat of your patient. Be really careful if they have sharp teeth! You want to make sure the gums are nice and pink, teeth look clean and there are no items stuck in the throat, blocking the airways. You might find that your cuddly patient is a little bit shy about opening their mouth; no worries - you can always check back later.

Now you have checked the face, you need to check over the body. Using both hands (maybe sanitise again!) use your fingers and thumbs to feel over your patient’s body. You are looking to check that all the bones are in place and unbroken as well as checking there are no wounds that need attention. Don’t forget to check all the way down the tail, if your patent has one, and make sure you keep making those notes!

You’re nearly finished now but there is one more thing to do - take the temperature of your cuddly buddy. Now it’s not always very glamourous being a vet, do you know where we have to take the temperature from? No giggling – we have to take the temperature from the bottom! This is because the temperature is more constant there so be gentle and check that your patient isn’t running a high temperature or too cold – remember to note it down! 

Now you are done! Make sure you have made all the notes that you need on your health check list, well done for being an official ZSL London Zoo Vet in Action! It is time now to give your cuddly friend a really big cuddle for being so brave!


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