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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the applicability of high-frequency diagnostic ultrasonography for evaluation and accurate measurement of the skin thickness of clinically normal dogs.

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 test.

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 skin thickness.

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 2004;65:1625–1630)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To describe the pulsed-wave Doppler tracing of the equine lateral palmar digital artery and its modification in relation to standardized changes in posture.

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 compared statistically.

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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

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

Abstract

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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the ECG findings in 3 different canine brachycephalic breeds: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Pug, and the English Bulldog (EB).

ANIMALS

135 healthy dogs (50 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 50 Pugs, and 35 EBs).

PROCEDURES

Medical records were retrospectively reviewed to identify healthy dogs ≥ 1 year old that had undergone an ECG. The Mann-Whitney U test or the Student t test were used to compare continuous variables between male and female dogs, whereas the χ2 test was used for categorical variables. Spearman correlation coefficients between ECG measurements and age and body weight were also calculated in the case of continuous variables, whereas the Kruskal-Wallis test was used for categorical ones.

RESULTS

Electrocardiographic parameters of healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels overall fitted with traditional reference intervals cited in textbooks; in contrast, 28% of Pugs and 20% of EBs showed a shift of the QRS-complex mean electrical axis (QRS-MEA). In Pugs and EBs, the mean/median QRS-MEA value was 56° (from 0° to 100°) and 59° (from 20° to 100°), respectively. All axis shifts were left shifts (in Pugs, from 0° to 34°; in EBs, 20° to 39°). Only a few meaningful differences were found when comparing ECG variables between males and females. Similarly, only 1 statistically significant correlation was found between ECG parameters and age and body weight.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Healthy Pugs and EBs present a trend to a left shift of the QRS-MEA. This should be considered when interpreting ECG tracings in these breeds.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association