• computed tomography;
  • dog;
  • thyroid gland

The computed tomographic (CT) features of the normal thyroid gland were compiled from images acquired in 25 client-owned dogs without thyroid gland disease. The mean pre- and postcontrast attenuation values were 107.5 and 169.0 Hounsfield Units, respectively. After injection of intravenous contrast medium (600 mg iodine/kg), the apparent thyroid gland volume (both lobes combined) increased from a mean value of 1148.0 mm3 to a mean value of 1188.9 mm3. All thyroid lobes were homogeneous on pre- and postcontrast images. In a craniocaudal direction, the gland spanned a region from the 1st to the 8th tracheal ring and the right lobe was often more cranial than the left. On transverse images the lobe shape was ovoid in 72%, and its location was dorsolateral to the trachea in 90% of dogs. Parathyroid glands could not be identified and an isthmus connecting both thyroid lobes was only seen in one dog. Considering the excellent visibility of the normal canine thyroid gland, CT can be beneficial in the differentiation of thyroidal versus nonthyroidal neck masses. CT also yields potential in the staging of thyroid carcinomas.