An 18-year-old 510-kg (1,122-lb) Paint mare was referred to the cardiology service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Padua. The mare had a 3-month history of signs of depression, exercise intolerance, anorexia, tachycardia, fever, tachypnea, and weight loss. In addition, a heart murmur had been recently detected.
Upon evaluation, the mare was in poor body condition (body condition score, 3/9) and had ventral edema, pale mucous membranes, and capillary refill time of 2 seconds. The horse was tachycardic (heart rate, 75 beats/min) with a respiratory rate of 40 breaths/min. Cardiac auscultation revealed a 5/6
An 8-kg (17.6-lb) 2-year-old female mixed-breed dog was examined after a single episode of collapse during exercise. On physical examination, the dog had a regular cardiac rhythm with a heart rate of 104 beats/min (reference range, 70 to 180 beats/min). On palpation, the femoral arterial pulse was weak. A grade V/VI systolic murmur, best heard at the left heart base, was audible. Electrocardiography revealed sinus rhythm with right atrial enlargement and right-axis deviation with a mean electrical axis of the QRS complex of 120° in the frontal plane. Results of a CBC, serum biochemical analysis, and urinalysis were within
Objective—To describe the pulsed-wave Doppler
tracing of the equine lateral palmar digital artery and
its modification in relation to standardized changes in
Animals—17 healthy Saddlebred horses.
Procedure—Pulsed-wave Doppler examinations of
left and right lateral palmar digital arteries of the horses
were performed. The baseline examination was
performed on each forelimb while horses were standing
squarely with the body weight equally distributed
among the 4 limbs (BED position). For each forelimb,
the examination was repeated during 3 standardized
modifications of the horse's posture (non–weightbearing
[NWB] position, full weight-bearing [FWB]
position, and a position involving hyperextension of
the distal interphalangeal joint [HE position]). In each
position, mean values of systolic peak velocity, first
and second diastolic peak velocity, end-diastolic
velocity, mean velocity, and resistive index were calculated.
Data obtained in each different posture were
Results—No significant differences in blood flow variables
were detected between the left and right forelimbs.
However, significant differences were detected
in values of first diastolic velocity, second diastolic
velocity, mean velocity, and resistive index between
the NWB position and FWB position. Also, end-diastolic
velocity in the NWB position was significantly different
from that recorded in the HE position.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The pulsedwave
Doppler tracing of the equine lateral palmar digital
artery was modified considerably with changes in
posture. This suggests that the use of a precisely standardized
posture for horses is required to obtain repeatable
data. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1211–1215)
A 12-year-old 50-kg (110-lb) castrated male Old English Sheepdog was referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Padua for evaluation of a cardiac murmur. On physical examination, an irregular cardiac rhythm and a systolic murmur (most clearly ausculted over the mitral valve area) were found. Electrocardiography revealed atrial fibrillation (AF) with a ventricular rate of 100 beats/min. Echocardiographic and echo-Doppler examinations revealed mitral valve leaflet thickening, mild-to-moderate mitral and tricuspid valve regurgitation, left atrial dilatation, and moderate left ventricular dilatation. Treatment with pimobendan was initiated, and the dog's clinical condition was stable during the following 6
Objective—To assess the feasibility and reproducibility of longitudinal tissue Doppler ultrasonographic imaging with regard to determination of velocity, strain, and strain rate (SR) of the left atrium (LA) and use those data to characterize LA synchrony (LAS) for a group of healthy dogs.
Animals—15 healthy dogs.
Procedures—For each dog, apical 4- and 2-chamber echocardiographic views were obtained. Peak velocity, strain, and SR and time to peak value during systole, early diastole, and late diastole were measured for each of the 4 LA walls. To characterize LAS, mean and SD maximal late diastolic time difference (LAD) among the 4 walls were calculated on the basis of time to peak for velocity, strain, and SR; for each, the 95% confidence interval (mean ± 2SD) was calculated. Within-day and between-day intraobserver variability was calculated.
Results—For all dogs, tissue velocity and SR had peak positive values during systole and 2 negative peaks during early and late diastole. Atrial strain had a peak positive value during systole, positive values during early diastole, and a negative peak value during late diastole. Reproducibility was acceptable for most variables. Diastolic strain and SR had the highest variability, but times to peak values were always reproducible. For velocity, strain, and SR, the 95% confidence interval for the maximal LAD was < 50 milliseconds and that for the SD of the LAD was < 23 milliseconds.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Longitudinal tissue Doppler imaging of LA deformation was feasible in healthy dogs, and its application may be useful for understanding atrial pathophysiologic changes associated with various cardiac diseases in dogs.
Objective—To assess the applicability of high-frequency
diagnostic ultrasonography for evaluation and
accurate measurement of the skin thickness of clinically
Animals—26 healthy dogs (12 sexually intact males,
13 sexually intact females, and 1 spayed female) of
various breeds and ages.
Procedure—Ultrasonographic examination of the
skin and histomorphometric analysis of skin biopsy
specimens obtained from the same site were performed.
A 13-MHz linear-array transducer was used to
obtain a series of ultrasonographic images of the skin
in the flank region; images were analyzed and measured
by use of imaging software. Cutaneous biopsy
specimens were placed in fixative and then stained
with H&E and Masson trichrome stains.
Histomorphometric analysis was performed by use of
an image analyzer. Thickness of the epidermis and
dermis of each specimen was evaluated by use of a
semiautomatic procedure of quantification. Data
obtained from ultrasonographic and histologic measurements
were compared by use of the Pearson correlation
Results—The ultrasonographic pattern of canine skin
was consistently characterized by 3 distinct, defined
echogenic layers corresponding to the epidermal
entry echo, epidermis and dermis, and subcutaneous
tissues. A positive correlation was found between
ultrasonographic and histologic measurements of
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Comparison
between ultrasonographic and histologic appearance
of the skin revealed that layering of canine skin (ie,
epidermis and dermis) and the subcutaneous tissues
may be recognized and measured by use of high-frequency
ultrasonography. Thus, diagnostic ultrasonography
may be a useful tool for the noninvasive evaluation
of cutaneous disorders in dogs. (Am J Vet Res
Objective—To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of radiographically derived measurements of vertebral heart score (VHS) and sphericity index (SI) in the detection of pericardial effusion (PE) in dogs.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—51 dogs with PE associated with various cardiac disorders, 50 dogs with left- or right-sided cardiac disorders without PE, 50 dogs with bilateral cardiac disorders without PE, and 50 healthy dogs.
Procedures—Measurements of VHS on lateral (lateral VHS) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal VHS) radiographs, SI on lateral (lateral SI) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal SI) radiographs, and global SI (mean of lateral SI and ventrodorsal SI) were obtained. Receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the radiographic indexes at differentiating dogs with PE from those with other cardiac disorders without PE.
Results—Measurements of lateral and ventrodorsal VHS were significantly higher in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Measurements of lateral, ventrodorsal, and global SI were significantly lower in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Cutoff values of > 11.9, > 12.3, and ≤ 1.17 for lateral VHS, ventrodorsal VHS, and global SI, respectively, were the most accurate radiographic indexes for identifying dogs with PE.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac silhouettes of dogs with PE were larger and more rounded, compared with those of dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE. Objective radiographic indexes of cardiac size and roundness were only moderately accurate at distinguishing dogs with PE from dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE.
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.