To determine whether previously described cutoffs for ultrasonographically determined kidney length-to-aorta diameter ratio (KL:Ao) for evaluation of kidney size in adult dogs are applicable to healthy dogs 1 to 18 months of age and to assess interobserver and intraobserver variability for ultrasonographic kidney and aorta measurements in these dogs grouped according to age.
41 university-owned dogs and 41 client- or staff-owned dogs of 3 age groups (approx 1, 6, and 12 to 18 months of age) underwent ultrasonographic examination by 3 observers. Kidney length, kidney width, and diameter of the aorta were measured by each observer 3 times, and KL:Ao and kidney length-to-body weight ratio were calculated for each dog. Measurements and calculated ratios for the 3 age groups were compared by statistical methods; interobserver and intraobserver variability were calculated.
Mean kidney length, kidney width, and aorta diameter were smaller, and calculated KL:Ao and kidney length-to-body weight ratio were larger, for dogs of the 1-month age group than for dogs of the 6-month and 12 to 18–month age groups. There were significant interobserver differences for ultrasonographic measurements in all age groups; these were most frequent in the youngest group of dogs and affected KL:Ao for that group only.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results revealed that 1-month-old dogs have larger kidneys relative to body weight and aorta diameter than do older dogs. Interobserver variability for the youngest group of dogs indicated limited usefulness of these measurements and related ratios for neonatal dogs in clinical practice. The KL:Ao values for dogs ≥ 6 months of age in this study were similar to values previously described for dogs > 12 months of age.