Veterinary Stethoscopes

A Stethoscope is possibly the most important tool for the small animal vet.

The quality of sound you get from a stethoscope depends on the tubing and the head, thick tubing eliminates outside noise thereby giving a better quality sound, likewise the shorter the tubing the less distance the sound needs to travel therefore the less outside noise it picks up on the way. 

Light thin tubed stethoscopes are usually cheaper and good for taking heart rates and surviving the back of the ute, however to pick up murmurs and subtle sounds invest in a high quality thick tubed stethoscope.

Here are my recommendations for different purposes:


Your first stethoscope

You will buy your first stethoscope during your first few years of vet school, unfortunately they don’t not come cheap so this will seem like a big investment as a poor student.

My recommendation is to choose a well priced but still high quality stethoscope. These Littmann stethoscopes are a good name, however remaining under $100 is a bonus when you are living on a budget. If you are planning on doing large animal work I suggest trying to find a 32″ tubing, Littman use to make a 32″ tubing stethoscope however this has recently gone off the market.

The limitation of this stethoscope is when it comes to paediatrics and exotics, the long tubing and single sided head can make hearing subtle sounds difficult.


For paediatrics, exotics and heart enthusiasts




If you need to hear the finer details this stethoscope is a must have.With shorter tubing and a dual head picking up murmurs and crackles is much easier.The head twists to allow you to switch from a labradors heart (diaphragm) to a chihuahua puppy (bell).


For a personal touch


If you want a high quality stethoscope but don’t want the generic navy blue/black Littmann also do a range of colours, above are just a couple of examples


Cheaper options 


Much cheaper then the Littmann range, sprague stethoscopes come with good reviews from the human and veterinary community. This stethoscope has double tubing for improved sound, a double head to allow an easy transistion between larger and smaller patients and a selection of ear pieces for personal comfort. It also comes in a range of bright colours so you never lose sight of it!


Spare Parts 

This section is self explanatory really, I like to have a handful of spare ear pieces on hand in case my stethoscope is nibbled on, and a name tag is always a good idea!

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  1. Stevie Zeimantz

    You are my inspiration , I own few blogs and sometimes run out from to post .

  2. Eren

    Go for the cheaper moedls. I agree with the poster above, stethoscopes get stolen, whether your name is them or not. I’ve gone through at least 6 in 26 years. Of course you can misplace them as well, or someone picks yours up thinking it’s theirs.I would wait til you get a position, if you end up on a cardiology unit, then buy the $$$ one.Good luck with school and your boards. Even while you are in school read a page or two of board questions every night, you will learn and get a good feel for the questions. And, just don’t memorize, THINK WHY!!!Good luck to the other student as well! We need more good nurses!

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