Degree of salivation:
1 = Decrease—oral dryness
2 = Typical—limited to moderate perioral wetness, but lips and chin are dry
3 = Increase—extensive wetness around the mouth and lips
Muscle tone: An assessment of muscle tone at the time of the hand-held observations.
1 = Decrease—clearly less muscle tone than typical
2 = Typical—animal is neither very relaxed nor very tense
3 = Increase—clearly more muscle tone than typical
Extensor-thrust response: Extent of reflex response to brisk pushes (by finger) on the plantar surface of the hind feet.
1 = Decrease—clearly less response than typical
2 = Typical—clearly detectable extensor-thrust response
3 = Increase—clearly more response than typical
Reactivity to stimuli: The degree to which an animal struggles to get free from hand-held restraint is ranked.
1 = Decrease—very slight or no struggling
2 = Typical—mild to moderate struggling, animal may vocalize
3 = Increase—aggressive escape behavior, may try to bite observer and usually vocalizes
Categorical observations—these are described in step 1
Open-Field Observations—Ranked observations made by placing the animal on a level surface.
Responsiveness to touch: The ventral aspect of the tail is lightly stroked using a finger. Typically, the animal will lift its tail and wrap it around the finger when lightly touched.
1 = Decrease—does not lift tail, but may briefly hold tail in the air when manually lifted; no response to touch
2 = Typical—lifts tail when touched
3 = Increase—lifts tail and acts startled, may turn toward finger in an attack response
Gait evaluation: Open-field observations are used for gait evaluation. If the animal remains motionless in the open field, it may be forced to walk on its forelegs while the hindlegs are held off the floor.
1 = Unable to walk
2 = Clear knuckling, stumbling and poor coordination, may include falling and/or dragging of one or more limbs
3 = Typical—smooth and coordinated gait