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Evaluation of a focused assessment with sonography for trauma protocol to detect free abdominal fluid in dogs involved in motor vehicle accidents

Søren R. Boysen DVM1,2, Elizabeth A. Rozanski DVM, DACVECC, DACVIM3, Amy S. Tidwell DVM, DACVR4, Jen L. Holm DVM5, Scott P. Shaw DVM6, and John E. Rush DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVECC7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Present address is the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada J2S 7C6.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To establish a focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) protocol in dogs, determine whether FAST can be performed by veterinary clinicians without extensive ultrasonographic experience, and assess the frequency of free fluid (as determined via FAST) in the abdominal cavity of dogs following motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—100 client-owned dogs evaluated within 24 hours of an MVA.

Procedure—Dogs were placed in lateral recumbency for the FAST examination. To detect fluid in the abdomen, 2 ultrasonographic views (transverse and longitudinal) were obtained at each of 4 sites (just caudal to the xiphoid process, on the midline over the urinary bladder, and at the left and right flank regions).

Results—In the 100 dogs evaluated via FAST, free abdominal fluid was detected in 45 dogs. In 40 of those 45 dogs, abdominocentesis was performed; hemoperitoneum and uroperitoneum were diagnosed in 38 and 2 dogs, respectively. Compared with dogs that had no free abdominal fluid detected via FAST, dogs that had free abdominal fluid detected via FAST had significantly higher heart rates and serum lactate concentrations and significantly lower PCVs and total solid concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that FAST is a simple and rapid technique that can be performed on dogs in an emergency setting to detect intra-abdominal free fluid and can be performed by veterinary clinicians with minimal previous ultrasonographic experience. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1198–1204)

Abstract

Objective—To establish a focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) protocol in dogs, determine whether FAST can be performed by veterinary clinicians without extensive ultrasonographic experience, and assess the frequency of free fluid (as determined via FAST) in the abdominal cavity of dogs following motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—100 client-owned dogs evaluated within 24 hours of an MVA.

Procedure—Dogs were placed in lateral recumbency for the FAST examination. To detect fluid in the abdomen, 2 ultrasonographic views (transverse and longitudinal) were obtained at each of 4 sites (just caudal to the xiphoid process, on the midline over the urinary bladder, and at the left and right flank regions).

Results—In the 100 dogs evaluated via FAST, free abdominal fluid was detected in 45 dogs. In 40 of those 45 dogs, abdominocentesis was performed; hemoperitoneum and uroperitoneum were diagnosed in 38 and 2 dogs, respectively. Compared with dogs that had no free abdominal fluid detected via FAST, dogs that had free abdominal fluid detected via FAST had significantly higher heart rates and serum lactate concentrations and significantly lower PCVs and total solid concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that FAST is a simple and rapid technique that can be performed on dogs in an emergency setting to detect intra-abdominal free fluid and can be performed by veterinary clinicians with minimal previous ultrasonographic experience. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1198–1204)