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Best Veterinary Stethoscope for Tech Vets & Students

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The path to becoming a vet technician or doctor is not as wide as many people think. You will face many challenges and frustrations from the very first day in vet school. Some of these challenges are normal and are faced by all students in medical school. However, others are unique to veterinary medicine.

Choosing a stethoscope is one of the challenges you will face. Although it’s a simple equipment, vet students are often overwhelmed with choosing the best veterinary stethoscope.

The dilemma is usually regarding the type and style of head to choose, the ideal length and price of an ideal vet stethoscope.

It is this challenge of getting the best stethoscope for vet students that inspired this article. Below, you will find an overview of the best stethoscopes for animals that will be within your budget.

Best Stethoscopes for Vet Students

#1.3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope 3131BE – Best stethoscope for small and large animals

#2. 3M Littmann Master Classic II Veterinary Stethoscope 1392 – Best stethoscope for large animals offering excellent acoustics

#3. Ultrascope Stethoscope – Best affordable stethoscope for large animals

#4. Prestige Medical Veterinary Clinical I – Best stethoscope for vet tech students

#5. MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope – Cheap stethoscope for veterinary students

Best Veterinary Stethoscope Review

3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope 3131BE

3m littmann cardiology iiiWhen it comes to acoustics, many vet techs swear by the Littmann Cardiology line. There is no doubt that Littmann is the leading stethoscope brand on the market. The Cardiology III features a dual head chest piece for pediatric and adult patients. Therefore, you can use the stethoscope for diagnosing both small and large animals.

You can adjust the tunable diaphragm on the head to hear high and low-frequency sounds. Simply press the head to a level you want. The Littmann cardiology animal stethoscope has a double lumen tubing that greatly reduces ambient noise.

The main drawback of the double sided Littmann stethoscope is that it’s quite expensive (see the current price on Amazon). If you have a small budget, you may want to check the other top stethoscopes on this list.

Features

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Tubing: 22 or 27-inch dual lumen
  • Weight:2oz
  • Chest-piece: Stainless Steel, dual head

Pros

  • The longer tubing makes the stethoscope handy when you are working with large animals
  • The dual head means you can use it to examine both small and large animals
  • Has excellent acoustics

Cons

  • One of the most expensive stethoscopes on the market
  • Has a shorter warranty compared to veterinary stethoscopes from other brands
  • Its replacement parts are quite costly

Verdict: Best Stethoscope for Small and Large Animals

See the 3M Littmann Veterinary Stethoscope on Amazon

3M Littmann Master Classic II Veterinary Stethoscope 1392

3m littmann master cardiology iiThe acoustics of the Master Classic II is not as strong as of the Cardiology III. However, they are still excellent. The Master Classic II is the best stethoscope for vets with hearing loss. Its vet version features a 32” tubing that makes it easier to work with very large animals.

The Littmann veterinary Master Classic II ‘scope has a single-sided head and its diaphragm is tunable like is the case with the Cardiology III. The Classic II provides excellent acoustics like the Cardiology III but at about half the price.

If you need to examine very small animals, the Master Classic II would not be ideal since it only has a single-headed chest piece. On the same note, the extra-long tubing may prove to be inefficient when you are working in noisy environments. Finally, like is the case with most Littmann stethoscopes, the price of the Master Classic II is quite high compared to that of other vet stethoscope brands on the market.

Features

  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Tubing: 32 inches
  • Weight:2oz
  • Chest-piece: Single head, alloy

Pros

  • Competitive acoustic quality
  • Has a tunable diaphragm
  • Long tubing measuring 32 inches

Cons

  • Few years warranty of just 3 years
  • Has a single-headed chest piece and hence is not the ideal stethoscope for small animals

Verdict: Best Stethoscope for Large Animals offering Best Acoustics

See 3M Littmann Master Classic II Veterinary Stethoscope 1392 on Amazon

Ultrascope Stethoscope

ultrascope adult stethoscopeIf you are looking for a mid-range vet stethoscope with good noise-reduction capability, you should get the Ultrascope. The ‘scope has a single side chest piece and a tunable diaphragm. Its acrylic head can also be customized to any design.

If you work with smaller animals, using this stethoscope may not be ideal. However, there are particular models that allow you to interchange the heads and longer tubings, such as the Duo Interchangeable Stethoscope.

Features

  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty and replacement on parts
  • Tubing: 30 inches
  • Weight:8oz
  • Chest piece: Shatterproof acrylic, single head

Pros

  • Lightweight, therefore more comfortable for wearing over a long time
  • Mid-range price
  • Easy to customize
  • Excellent noise reduction, and therefore good for use in noisy environments

Cons

  • Has a single-sided head and therefore may not be the best for dealing with small animals

Verdict: Best Affordable Stethoscope for Large Animals

See Ultrascope Veterinary Stethoscope on Amazon

Prestige Medical Veterinary Clinical I

prestige medical veterinary stethoscopeOne low range vet tech stethoscope you can buy is the Veterinary Clinical I. This ‘scope has a stainless steel dual head and a 33’ tubing. With a price of about 1/3 of the other veterinary stethoscopes on this list, this is the ideal stethoscope for veterinary students that we recommend.

However, there are a couple of downsides of the ‘scope that you should know about. To begin, it has a single lumen tubing that allows interference from outside sounds. Apart from this, its diaphragms are not tunable.

Features

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Tubing: 33 inches

Weight; 5.9oz

Chest-piece: Stainless Steel, double head

Pros

  • Dual head and therefore can be used for both small and large animals
  • Long tubing of 33 inches
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Lower acoustic quality
  • Less noise reduction capability

Verdict: Best Stethoscope for Vet Tech Students

See Prestige Veterinary Clinical Stethoscope on Amazon

MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope

mdf acoustic deluxe stethoscopeA quality low priced stethoscope for vet students is the MDF MD One. This ‘scope features a stainless steel head, earpieces and a tunable diaphragm. Measuring 29.5 inches and weighing 8oz, the scope is the shortest and heaviest among all the veterinary stethoscopes on our list.

Features

  • Warranty: Lifetime and free replacement parts
  • Tubing:5 inches
  • Weight:
  • Chest-piece: stainless steel, double head

Pros

  • Dual head, which makes it excellent for examining both small and large animals
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Lower acoustic quality
  • Heavier weight and hence can be uncomfortable when worn for a long time
  • Shorter tubing

Verdict: Affordable Stethoscope for Veterinary Students

See MDF ONE Stainless  Steel Stethoscope Price

Best Stethoscope for Vets

What are the three most important things to look for in a large animal stethoscope?

When shopping for a stethoscope, go for a device that will deliver, looks good and that is easy to carry around.

Here are some things to look for in a stethoscope:

  • Choose a stethoscope with secure ear tips. The tips should conform perfectly to your ears and enable you to listen only to the sounds you want to hear.
  • The stethoscope should be light in weight and not hurt your ears
  • The stethoscope should not intimidate the animals, some of which may be aggressive.
  • Get a stethoscope that you can wholly depend on.

What are the most important considerations to make when shopping for a stethoscope?

Choosing a Vet Tech Stethoscope

Using a vet tech stethoscope on animals is nearly the same as using it on humans. The major organs you will be listening to are the greater gastro-intestinal system, the heart sounds and the lungs.

Since you are dealing with animals; small or big, heavy or light, make sure the stethoscope is highly functioning. Consider the following:

The Head (Chest Piece)

This is the part of the stethoscope that attaches to the tubing. The part has the diaphragm, a rim and sometimes a bell. The chest is the main part involved in transmitting sounds from the pulmonary system, the lungs and the heart when pressure is applied on to it.

If you will be mainly dealing with small animals, choose a stethoscope with a small diaphragm. This steth is ideal as it is more flexible to any auscultation method.

All in all, choose a stethoscope that offers a comfortable grip and that you can easily manipulate.

Diaphragm

This is the part often incorporated into the chest piece. A stethoscope head could have a diaphragm on one or both ends. The ideal size of the diaphragm for animals varies from narrow ones of about 25+ mm to wider ones of about 45+ mm. A 35 mm diaphragm is recommended for humans. This should be a good pointer to the size you should pick.

The diaphragm is specialized for picking high pitched frequency sounds.

The Ear Piece

This is the part of the stethoscope that goes directly into your ears. If you are randomly buying a stethoscope, test the earpiece on your ears to determine the comfort. There are soft earpiece tips and rigid ones depending on the materials used to make them.

You can get custom made earpieces if you have an irregular ear shape. You can also purchase accessories that will give you additional ear piece options. For example, you can go for ones that will block out background noise.

Tube

The tubing is the part that connects the earpiece to the chest piece. Consider the materials used to make the tube and their length. Since there are patients who are latex sensitive or sensitive to some plastics, purchase a latex-free stethoscope model.

How the tubing is designed in also important. A double tubing or bi-lumen tube is ideal than a single tubing one. The double tubing tube curbs ambient noise distraction. The tube also prevents distraction from the noise made as it rubs against other materials.

Types of Stethoscope Heads

There are three major types of stethoscope heads: a one-sided head, a double-sided head and a triple-sided head. Normally, the type of head is not that really important as long as it’s highly functional and has non-chill rims that won’t startle your patients.

The Single Head

A one-sided stethoscope will have both the diaphragm and the bell on the same side.

The Dual Head

A double-sided stethoscope may have the bell on one side and the diaphragm on the other. Some newer models have a diaphragm on both sides.

The Triple Head

This is a high end stethoscope with a much wider range of sound frequency than the others have. Stethoscopes with triple heads are considerably expensive.

A triple head will have two diaphragms and a bell. One of the diaphragms is always specialized to hear even the tiniest heart murmurs and can enhance every sound from the heart. This is, therefore, an excellent stethoscope for those that will be cardiology specialists.

Choosing a Stethoscope Based on Use

Each physician has unique needs and requirements for their stethoscope. Therefore, you should consider the location and type of animals you will be dealing with (big or small).

Location

Consider the environment where the animals are mostly located. Outdoor environments can be noisy and will, therefore, require stethoscopes that more sensitive to sounds as opposed to quiet environment.

Animal Size

While it is easy using a small chest piece stethoscope on small animals and birds, the same cannot be said on using it on large animals. This is because the steth will cover a relatively small area.

Ensure that the size of the stethoscope you choose will cover adequate skin area to allow for maximum and accurate sound transmission.

Breed and Species

Consider your safety while examining the animals. If you will be working with wild, aggressive or feral animals, it is advisable to buy a stethoscope with long tubing. This will ensure there is space between you and the animal.

Choosing the Best Stethoscope for Veterinarians

A good stethoscope for veterinary use is one you can highly rely on and use it in real practice after vet school. Here are tips for getting the best vet stethoscope.

Type

The veterinary specialties that you will be going into and your budget are the main things that will determine the type of stethoscope to buy. Small stethoscopes like the Littmann infant steth are perfect for vets that specialize in small animal care.

If you are not certain of the area you will delve into, go for a medium sized stethoscope.

Budget

Purchasing the best stethoscope for vet students is a huge investment. However, you don’t need to get into debt to afford a good quality stethoscope. If you don’t have enough money but want a quality stethoscope, look for a used one. Most student online boards have student alumnus that are selling their steths. Just make sure the steth you want to buy is still in good shape and all the parts are functioning well.

Overall, if you have between 100$ and 300$, you can get a good stethoscope for vet tech at Amazon.

  See Recommended Veterinary Stethoscopes on Amazon

 

Vet Tech Stethoscope Parts

Before buying a used stethoscope, inspect it. Does it have all the parts? Are the rims non-chill? Does it have any scratches or cracks? Does it have any sharp pieces or edges that could pose a danger to you or the animals? Can the pieces fall off easily?

Also, make sure the model you want to buy is still being manufactured. This is important in case you will need to get replacement pieces when the need arises.

Diaphragm and Bell

When testing potential stethoscopes to buy, ensure that the diaphragm and the bell are of good quality. The diaphragm should be capable of fine-tuning high pitched sounds and the bell capable of enhancing low sounds.

Quality and Dependability

The quality of the stethoscope you choose can either improve and support your skills or frustrate you.

If you haven’t mastered basic auscultation procedures, you can’t give a correct diagnosis no matter how good your stethoscope is. However, a quality stethoscope can go a long way in improving your skills.

Weight

There is nothing as frustrating as going through your career (or at least some part of it) with a stethoscope that hurts your neck and is cumbersome to move around with. Therefore, choose a stethoscope that will not be too heavy for your lab coat pockets. The steth should also not be annoyingly heavy on your neck.

Durability

As a veterinary student, a prospective vet tech or vet doctor, you will never be in a position to choose the type and size of your patients.

The animals you will have to examine may be aggressive or too cuddly. In these circumstances, you might drop your stethoscope or the animal might sleep on it or grab it.

If your stethoscope is not made of long-lasting materials, it will be prone to tears, cracks, breaks and scratches. This may mean constant replacement of some parts or even a whole steth altogether.

Veterinary Stethoscope Reviews Conclusion

After going through this veterinary stethoscope review, you should now be in a better position to choose your ideal stethoscope. Again, here is the list of the best stethoscope vet tech you can buy:

#1.3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope 3131BE – Best stethoscope for small and large animals

#2. 3M Littmann Master Classic II Veterinary Stethoscope 1392 – Best stethoscope for large animals offering excellent acoustics

#3. Ultrascope Stethoscope – Best affordable stethoscope for large animals

#4. Prestige Medical Veterinary Clinical I – Best stethoscope for vet tech students

#5. MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope – Cheap stethoscope for veterinary students

Read Veterinary Stethoscope Reviews on Amazon[/

 

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