• horse;
  • rectal;
  • ureters;
  • urinary tract;
  • ultrasound

The purpose of this study was to describe the normal ultrasonographic appearance of the caudal portion of the equine ureters, pelvic urethra, and urinary bladder and to assess ureteral contractility. Fifteen horses with no evidence of urinary tract disease (five females, five intact males and five geldings) were studied. The lower urinary tract was evaluated ultrasonographically using a transrectal approach. The normal ultrasonographic appearance and anatomic location of structures of the lower urinary tract were evaluated and anatomic relationships described. Both ureters were identified dorsal to the bladder and at their openings into the bladder. Their relationship and different appearance from the male deferent ducts/ampullae and vesicular glands was noted. Ultrasonographic measurements of the diameter of the ureters and urethra were obtained and the ureteral, urethral, and urinary bladder wall thickness recorded. The normal parameters established in this study will be useful during sonographic examination of horses with suspected urinary tract disease. Transrectal ultrasonographic examination is valuable in assessing the presence and frequency of ureteral contractions as well as in detecting structural abnormalities of the lower urinary tract. The use of high-frequency transrectal ultrasound transducers allows for excellent visualization of the structures of the equine lower urinary tract.