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Summary

The purpose of the study reported here was to get detailed information about the normal size and texture of the liver in sheep by means of ultrasonographic examinations. Structure, location, and shape of the liver, gallbladder, portal vein, and caudal vena cava were examined ultrasonographically in 100 sheep. Furthermore, 10 sheep were scanned 10 times within 2 weeks to determine reproducibility of findings. Examinations were performed on the right side of the abdomen in the seventh through twelfth intercostal spaces. In each intercostal space, the dimensions of the liver, and, if visible, the location and diameter of the caudal vena cava and portal vein were determined. The angle of the liver, and location and size of the gallbladder also were determined. Ultrasonographic measurements of liver size and location in healthy sheep can be used as references for changes in liver size attributable to illness.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

The reticulum and adjacent organs were examined ultrasonographically in 51 cows by use of a 3.5- MHz linear transducer applied to the ventral aspect of the thorax over the sixth and seventh intercostal spaces. Examination included assessment of the contour of the reticulum, of reticular contractions, and of the organs adjacent to the reticulum.

The normal reticulum appeared as a half-moon shaped structure with a smooth contour; it contracted at regular intervals and was situated immediately adjacent to the diaphragm and ventral portion of the abdominal wall when relaxed. Contents of the reticulum could not normally be imaged because of its partly gaseous composition. The ruminoreticular groove, craniodorsal blind sac of the rumen, and the ventral sac of the rumen were observed caudally. The distal aspect of the spleen and parts of the omasum, abomasum, and liver could be imaged.

Reticular motility was characterized by a biphasic contraction pattern. Four biphasic reticular contractions usually were observed during a 4-minute period. During the first (incomplete) contraction, the reticulum contracted by a mean of 7.2 ± 2.30 cm. There was then low-grade, incomplete relaxation of the reticulum, followed immediately by the second reticular contraction, during which the reticulum usually disappeared from the 17.5-cm-deep screen. The reticulum then reappeared in its normal position. The first reticular contraction lasted a mean of 2.6 ± 0.33 seconds and the second contraction lasted 3.9 ± 0.55 seconds. The mean interval between 2 biphasic contractions was 44.9 ± 10.53 seconds. The speed of the first reticular contraction was 5.4 ± 1.32 cm/s. Ultrasonography was useful for assessing the contour and motility of the reticulum.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
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Summary

Influence of age, breed, and stage of pregnancy on hepatic ultrasonographic findings of cows was determined. In addition, the relation between body weight, height at the withers, milk production, and the measurements determined via ultrasonography was investigated.

The liver of 186 cows was examined ultrasonographically. The cows comprised Swiss Braunvieh, Simmental, and Holstein breeds, and age ranged from 2.5 to 11.5 years. The ultrasonographic findings of the liver, gallbladder, caudal vena cava, and portal vein were described, and the position, size, thickness, and distal angle of the liver were determined. In addition, the position and diameter of the caudal vena cava and portal vein were determined. There was no significant difference between any of the variables determined and breed or age. Therefore, measurements for the 3 breeds and for the various ages were summarized into 1 group. There were significant correlations between body weight, milk production, and size and thickness of the liver.

In 3 pregnant cows, the liver was examined ultrasonographically 8 times during the course of pregnancy. Positive correlation was detected between stage of pregnancy and diameter of the caudal vena cava. There was a negative correlation between stage of pregnancy and diameter of the portal vein.

In 23 cows, the ultrasonographically determined measurements of the liver were compared with those determined at slaughter. Weight of the liver correlated well to thickness of the liver determined via ultrasonography.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

A method was developed for percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis in cattle. The procedure was performed on the right side in the 9th, 10th, or 11th intercostal space of 30 cows. Of the 30 cows, 20 were slaughtered 24 hours after cholecystocentesis and the remaining 10 cows were slaughtered after a 10-day observation period. Changes in the peritoneum and gallbladder wall, observed at slaughter, were minimal. During the 10-day observation period, general behavior, attitude, and ap-petite of the 10 cows were normal. A transient, slight increase in rectal temperature was observed in 6 cows at 4, 5, or 8 days after cholecystocentesis. Total and differential wbc counts and total protein and fibrinogen concentrations, determined daily, were all within normal ranges. Bile samples from 20 cows were examined microscopically and biochemically. Fasciola hepatica and Dicrocoelium dendriticum eggs were observed in bile from 7 and 12 cows, respectively. Fecal examination revealed F hepatica eggs in 4 cows; D dendriticum eggs were not identified in any of the fecal samples. In 1 cow, F hepatica eggs were observed in the feces, but not in the bile. Bile acids concentration in bile varied from 12.5 to 68.5 mmol/ L (mean ± SD, 45.3 ± 3.05 mmol/L) and in serum from 3.8 to 281.0 μmol/L (41.6 ± 17.24 μmol/L). Negative correlation was obtained between bile acids concentration in bile and that in serum (r = −0.60, P < 0.01). It was concluded that percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis in cows is a safe procedure and that microscopic and biochemical examinations of obtained bile can be useful diagnostic aids.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
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Abstract

Objective—To determine blood flow patterns in the common carotid artery and external jugular vein in cows before and after sedation achieved by administration of xylazine hydrochloride.

Animals—30 clinically normal Swiss Braunvieh cows.

Procedure—A 5.0-MHz sector transducer was used to examine the common carotid artery and external jugular vein before and after cows were sedated by administration of xylazine. Several variables were calculated, including diameter of the blood vessels, blood flow velocity, and flow-time volume.

Results—The common carotid artery before sedation had a maximum systolic velocity of 89 ± 8.5 cm/s, maximum diastolic velocity of 36 ± 6.0 cm/s, mean velocity of 35 ± 5.4 cm/s, and flow-time volume of 28.2 ± 3.48 cm3/s. In all cows, sedation achieved by administration of xylazine resulted in a significant decrease in velocity of arterial blood flow and flowtime volume. The external jugular vein before sedation had a maximum velocity of 65 ± 8.3 cm/s, maximum velocity of retrograde venous blood flow of 20 ± 6.6 cm/s, and flow-time volume of 29.7 ± 5.42 cm3/s. These values decreased significantly after cows were sedated by administration of xylazine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Doppler ultrasonography is particularly suitable for evaluation of blood flow patterns in the common carotid artery and external jugular vein of healthy cows. The results reported here provide a basis for use in examination of cows with cardiac and blood vessel disease. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:962–965)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the localization, visible extent (ie, measurement of selected dimensions), and appearance of the liver, caudal vena cava, portal vein, and gallbladder during ultrasonography in healthy goats.

Animals—27 female Saanen goats.

Procedures—A 5.0-MHz linear transducer was used to ultrasonographically examine the localization, visible extent of various dimensions, and appearance of the liver, caudal vena cava, portal vein, and gallbladder from the right side of each goat.

Results—Images of the liver were obtained in all goats. The dorsal margin of the liver extended in a cranioventral to caudodorsal direction parallel to the caudal margin of the lungs. The greatest visible extent of the liver was evident at the seventh and eighth intercostal spaces (mean value, 15.9 cm), and width was evident at the 10th intercostal space (mean value, 5.2 cm). The caudal vena cava had a triangular shape on cross section; the maximum width in cross section, circumference, and surface area ranged from 1.2 to 1.8 cm, 4.8 to 5.2 cm, and 0.8 to 1.1 cm2, respectively. The portal vein was round on cross section (diameter, 0.8 to 1.7 cm) with stellate ramifications into the liver parenchyma. The gallbladder was pear-shaped and variable in size; it extended beyond the ventral margin of the liver to a variable degree depending on the amount of bile.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provided information regarding the ultrasonographic appearance of the liver, caudal vena cava, portal vein, and gallbladder in healthy goats; these data may be useful during examination of goats with suspected liver disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate by use of radiography the efficacy of oral administration of magnets in the treatment of traumatic reticuloperitonitis in cows.

Animals—90 cows referred because of indigestion.

Procedure—Radiography of the reticulum was performed. In all cows, radiographic findings revealed a metal foreign body in the reticulum. A magnet was administered orally, and the reticulum was again radiographed to assess the position of the magnet and to determine whether the foreign body was attached to the magnet.

Results—The magnet was observed in the reticulum in 75 cows and in the cranial aspect of the dorsal sac of the rumen in 9 cows; in 6 cows, the magnet was not observed. The foreign body was fully attached to the magnet in 49 cows. In 6 cows, the foreign body was in contact with the magnet but still penetrated the reticulum. In 24 cows, the foreign body did not contact the magnet, and in 11 cows, it was not clear whether the foreign body was attached to the magnet. A foreign body at an angle to the ventral aspect of the reticulum of > 30° was less likely to become attached to a magnet, compared with a foreign body situated horizontally on the ventral aspect of the reticulum. A foreign body with no contact to the ventral aspect of the reticulum or a perforating foreign body was also less likely to become attached to a magnet.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Position of the foreign body within the reticulum greatly influences the efficacy of treatment with a magnet. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:115–120)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To describe the ultrasonographic appearance of the lungs, pleura, and mediastinum of cattle.

Design

Transcutaneous ultrasonography of the lungs and pleura was performed on the right and left sides of the thorax. The mediastinum was examined transesophageally.

Animals

50 healthy cows.

Procedure

The thoracic wall, pleura, and pulmonary surface were visualized on both sides of the thorax via transcutaneous ultrasonography. The cranial mediastinal lymph node, right azygos vein, aorta, and caudal vena cava were visualized via transesophageal ultrasonography.

Results

The layers of the thoracic wall appeared as narrow bands that varied in echogenicity. They were followed medially by an echogenic line that represented the costal and pulmonary pleurae. Reverberation artifacts were seen medial to the pleura. The pulmonary parenchyma could not be visualized ultrasonographically because of its air content. The cranial mediastinal lymph node appeared circular to oval. The right azygos vein was situated immediately adjacent to the cranial mediastinal lymph node. The aorta appeared circular to oval on cross-sectional view with an echogenic wall and an anechoic lumen. The caudal vena cava appeared as a tubular structure with an anechoic content and an echogenic wall.

Conclusion

Ultrasonography of the lungs, pleura, and mediastinum in healthy cows provides information that can be used as a reference when examining cattle with suspected disease of the thorax. (Am J Vet Res 1996; 57:432–438)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

The position, dimensions, and structure of the thyroid gland, the portion of the esophagus in the neck, the cervical lymph nodes, and the major blood vessels of the neck were determined via ultrasonography in cattle. The left and right ventral neck regions of 30 healthy Swiss Braunvieh cows were examined ultrasonographically, using 3.5- and 5.0-MHz linear transducers and a 3.5-MHz convex transducer.

The external jugular vein was situated directly beneath the skin in the upper and middle parts of the neck and 2.7 to 6.6 cm from the body surface in the lower part of the neck. In contrast, the common carotid artery was located further from the body surface along the entire ventral neck region; depending on the measuring point, this distance varied from 2.6 to 10.9 cm. The external jugular vein narrowed from caudad to craniad. The diameter of the common carotid artery remained fairly constant along its course in the ventral part of the neck and varied from 0.9 to 1.4 cm.

The thyroid gland was identified via ultrasonography caudodorsal to the larynx. It appeared as an echogenic spindle-shaped structure with finely granular echogenic pattern.

The esophagus appeared as a band-shaped structure in longitudinal section, and it could be followed to the thoracic inlet. Its width increased from craniad to caudad, and mean ± SD diameter was 2.9 ± 0.23 cm.

The medulla, hilus, cortex, and capsule of the cervical lymph nodes could be clearly differentiated via ultrasonography. Mean length and width of the left cervical lymph node were 3.0 ± 0.45 and 1.8 ± 0.23 cm, respectively.

To determine reproducibility and reliability of the results, 10 cows were examined by ultrasonography 10 times within 2 weeks. The interassay coefficients of variation determined from these examinations varied from 3.0 to 12.3%; most of the coefficients of variation ranged from 5 to 10%. The smallest coefficients of variation were determined for diameter of the common carotid artery, and the largest were for diameter of the external jugular vein.

Description of the ultrasonographic appearance of the structures of the ventral neck region in healthy cattle represents the basis for use of diagnostic ultrasonography in cattle with suspected diseases involving this area. The technique is noninvasive and can be performed on cattle in standing position.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

We determined the position, dimensions, and structure of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra of 62 female sheep by use of ultrasonography. A 5.0-MHz convex transducer was placed over the right flank to examine the kidneys, and a 5.0 MHz-linear transducer was used to examine the bladder and urethra transrectally. All examinations were performed on sheep in standing position. The left kidney was 7.1 to 8.9 cm long, 3.4 to 5.5 cm wide, and 3.3 to 4.7 cm deep. Diameter of the parenchyma and renal sinus of the left kidney ranged between 1.1 and 1.9 cm and 1.1 and 2.0 cm, respectively. Circumference of the medullary pyramids varied between 2.1 and 3.3 cm. Similar ultrasonographic measurements were obtained for the right kidney.

The diameter of the bladder varied between 0.3 and 6.9 cm in 96.8% of the sheep. The diameter of the bladder could not be determined in 32% of the sheep because it was > 10 cm, and, therefore, was beyond the penetration depth of the scanner.

The only part of the urethra that could be ultrasonographically visualized was the internal urethral orifice. It had diameter between 0.1 and 0.2 cm. The ureters could not be ultrasonographically visualized in any of the sheep examined.

The urinary tract of 8 sheep was examined 10 times within 2 weeks to examine whether measurements were reproducible. The interassay variation coefficient determined ranged from 3.1 to 31.8%, although for most variables, it ranged between 5 and 11%. Measurements for the length and width of the kidneys had the smallest interassay variation coefficient, whereas values obtained for diameter of the bladder and urethra, as well as thickness of the bladder, had the largest.

It was concluded that the ultrasonographic findings described in this study can be used as references for diagnosis of morphologic changes in the kidneys, bladder, and urethra of sheep.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research