There it was in the consultation notes.
Hmm... he'd been listening to my dog's gut through his stethoscope and I seem to recall I heard the Italian teacher at school, when she wanted a child to listen to her, say something like: "ascolta!'
So, it must mean listening.
Over to the Online Etymology Dictionary and there it was:
"act of listening," 1630s, from L. auscultationem (nom. auscultatio), from auscultatus (see auscultate). Medical sense is from 1821.I'll have to think of a reason to use it soon. Not that I want to go back to the vet.