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To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.


10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.


Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.


Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.


Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effects of obesity on pulmonary function in healthy adult dogs.

Animals—36 Retrievers without cardiopulmonary disease.

Procedures—Dogs were assigned to 1 of 3 groups on the basis of body condition score (1 through 9): nonobese (score, 4.5 to 5.5), moderately obese (score, 6.0 to 6.5), and markedly obese (score, 7.0 to 9.0). Pulmonary function tests performed in conscious dogs included spirometry and measurement of inspiratory and expiratory airway resistance (Raw) and specific Raw (sRaw) during normal breathing and during hyperpnea via head-out whole-body plethysmography. Functional residual capacity (FRC; measured by use of helium dilution), diffusion capacity of lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO), and arterial blood gas variables (PaO2, PaCO2, and alveolar-arterial gradient) were assessed.

Results—During normal breathing, body condition score did not influence airway function, DLCO, or arterial blood gas variables. During hyperpnea, expiratory sRaw was significantly greater in markedly obese dogs than nonobese dogs and Raw was significantly greater in markedly obese dogs, compared with nonobese and moderately obese dogs. Although not significantly different, markedly obese dogs had a somewhat lower FRC, compared with other dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs, obesity appeared to cause airflow limitation during the expiratory phase of breathing, but this was only evident during hyperpnea. This suggests that flow limitation is dynamic and likely occurs in the distal (rather than proximal) portions of the airways. Further studies are warranted to localize the flow-limited segment and understand whether obesity is linked to exercise intolerance via airway dys-function in dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research