GASTROINTESTINAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY OF THE DOG: A REVIEW OF 265 CASES (1996–1998)
The findings of ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of 265 dogs with GI disorders were analysed retrospectively. The sonographic changes associated with various inflammatory and neoplastic conditions and mechanical obstruction of the GI system were recorded and discussed.
Sonographic alterations of the pancreas and the tissues adjacent to the GI tract were also included in the study. Ultrasonographic alterations of the GI tract were classified into three main categories: thickening of the GI wall, changes in peristalsis and dilation of the lumen. Localised
thickening of the GI wall with disruption of its structure was caused by both neoplastic diseases and by inflammatory disorders. However, diffuse thickening with retained wall structure was generally associated with inflammatory diseases. The criteria previously established for the ultrasonographic
diagnosis of intestinal obstruction were successfully applied to a large number of GI disorders. Pancreatitis was most often associated with hyperechoic mesentery and hypoechoic pancreas mass, but similar alterations were encountered in some cases of gastric or duodenal ulceration. Except
in cases of invaginations and intestinal obstructions, the observed ultrasonographic changes were not specific enough for a definitive diagnosis. Nevertheless, ultrasonography proved to be a valuable technique in the diagnostic process of GI disorders of the dog.