Ultrasonography of the umbilical structures in clinically normal calves

Elizabeth Watson From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Mary B. Mahaffey From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Wayne Crowell From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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B. A. Selcer From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Debra D. Morris From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Lucy Seginak From the Departments of Anatomy and Radiology (Watson, Mahaffey, Selcer), Pathology (Crowell), and Large Animal Medicine (Morris), College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Dairy Cattle Center (Seginak), The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Summary

The umbilical stalk, vein, and arteries, urachal region, and urinary bladder of 9 healthy Holstein calves were scanned ultrasonographically at weekly intervals from 1 day to 3 weeks of age. Four additional calves of representative ages, 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks were euthanatized after ultrasonographic evaluation of the umbilical structures. Umbilical structures from these 4 calves were dissected, photographed, and examined histologically to ensure normalcy. These gross specimens were correlated with the ultrasonographic images and compared with serial ultrasonograms of 9 calves. The ultrasonographic scanning technique and the appearance of normal umbilical stalk, arteries, and vein, and urachus in calves were different from those described for foals. The umbilical vein of calves was scanned from the umbilical stalk to the liver along the right abdominal wall. Two veins, which merged within the body wall, were identified within the stalk. Umbilical arteries were not found within the umbilical stalk; they ended abruptly near the apex of the urinary bladder. A urachal remnant was not identified in any of the calves.

A range of normal values for measurement of the umbilical stalk, umbilical arteries, and umbilical vein at 3 sites was determined. The described ultrasonographic appearance and measurements of the normal Holstein calf umbilicus may be used as a reference for evaluation of calves with internal umbilical abnormalities.

Summary

The umbilical stalk, vein, and arteries, urachal region, and urinary bladder of 9 healthy Holstein calves were scanned ultrasonographically at weekly intervals from 1 day to 3 weeks of age. Four additional calves of representative ages, 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks were euthanatized after ultrasonographic evaluation of the umbilical structures. Umbilical structures from these 4 calves were dissected, photographed, and examined histologically to ensure normalcy. These gross specimens were correlated with the ultrasonographic images and compared with serial ultrasonograms of 9 calves. The ultrasonographic scanning technique and the appearance of normal umbilical stalk, arteries, and vein, and urachus in calves were different from those described for foals. The umbilical vein of calves was scanned from the umbilical stalk to the liver along the right abdominal wall. Two veins, which merged within the body wall, were identified within the stalk. Umbilical arteries were not found within the umbilical stalk; they ended abruptly near the apex of the urinary bladder. A urachal remnant was not identified in any of the calves.

A range of normal values for measurement of the umbilical stalk, umbilical arteries, and umbilical vein at 3 sites was determined. The described ultrasonographic appearance and measurements of the normal Holstein calf umbilicus may be used as a reference for evaluation of calves with internal umbilical abnormalities.

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