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Objective—To assess the usefulness of high-frequency diagnostic ultrasonography for evaluation of changes of skin thickness in relation to hydration status and fluid distribution at various cutaneous sites in dogs.

Animals—10 clinically normal adult dogs (6 males and 4 females) of various breeds.

Procedures—Ultrasonographic examination of the skin was performed before and after hydration via IV administration of an isotonic crystalloid solution (30 mL/kg/h for 30 minutes). A 13-MHz linear-array transducer was used to obtain series of ultrasonographic images at 4 different cutaneous sites (the frontal, sacral, flank, and metatarsal regions). Weight and various clinicopathologic variables (PCV; serum osmolality; and serum total protein, albumin, and sodium concentrations) were determined before and after the infusion. These variables and ultrasonographic measurements of skin thickness before and after hydration were compared.

Results—Among the 10 dogs, mean preinfusion skin thickness ranged from 2,211 μm (metatarsal region) to 3,249 μm (sacral region). Compared with preinfusion values, weight was significantly increased, whereas PCV; serum osmolality; and serum total protein, albumin, and sodium concentrations were significantly decreased after infusion. After infusion, dermal echogenicity decreased and skin thickness increased significantly by 21%, 14%, 15%, and 13% in the frontal, sacral, flank, and metatarsal regions, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cutaneous site and hydration were correlated with cutaneous characteristics and skin thickness determined by use of high-frequency ultrasonography in dogs. Thus, diagnostic ultrasonography may be a useful tool for the noninvasive evaluation of skin hydration in healthy dogs and in dogs with skin edema.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To noninvasively assess the influence of ingestion of a standard meal on gallbladder volume (GBV) in healthy cats.

Animals—10 healthy adult domestic shorthair cats (4 neutered females, 5 neutered males, and 1 sexually intact male).

Procedures—Nonsedated cats were positioned in dorsal and left lateral recumbency to obtain ultrasonographic measurements of the gallbladder via the subcostal and right intercostal acoustic windows, respectively. Gallbladder volume was calculated from linear measurements by use of an ellipsoid formula (volume [mL] = length [mm] × height [mm] × width [mm] × 0.52). Measurements were recorded after food was withheld for 12 hours (0 minutes) and at 5, 15, 30, 45, 60, and 120 minutes after cats were fed 50 g of a standard commercial diet (protein, 44.3%; fat, 30.3%; and carbohydrate, 15.6% [dry matter percentage]).

Results—Agreement between gallbladder linear measurements or GBV obtained from the subcostal and right intercostal windows was good. Feeding resulted in linear decreases in gallbladder linear measurements and GBV. Via the subcostal and intercostal windows, mean ± SD GBV was 2.47 ± 1.16 mL and 2.36 ± 0.96 mL, respectively, at 0 minutes and 0.88 ± 0.13 mL and 0.94 ± 0.25 mL, respectively, at 120 minutes. Gallbladder width most closely reflected postprandial modification of GBV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that ultrasonographic assessment (via the subcostal or right intercostal acoustic window) of postprandial changes in GBV can be used to evaluate gallbladder contractility in cats. These data may help identify cats with abnormal gallbladder emptying.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research