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GASTROINTESTINAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY IN NORMAL ADULT PONIES

Authors


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kira Epstein, Department of Large Animal Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30606. E-mail: kirae@uga.edu

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics based on ultrasonographic examination of the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and peritoneal fluid in normal adult ponies. Abdominal ultrasonographic examination was performed in nine unsedated standing ponies. The duodenum was examined at three sites and the jejunum in 12 regions. Wall thickness, contractility, distention, and luminal contents were recorded. Stomach wall thickness and location, cecal wall thickness, and peritoneal fluid location and character were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed. Wall thicknesses (in cm) were 0.431±0.069 for the stomach, 0.188±0.033 for the duodenum (at all sites), 0.195±0.031 for the jejunum (at all regions), and 0.179±0.031 for the cecum. Duodenal contractions per minute were 3.78±1.10. The stomach spanned 5.14±0.9 intercostal spaces, with the 8th intercostal space being the most cranial and the 15th intercostal space being the most caudal space through which the stomach was identified. It was possible to identify the jejunum in all ponies dorsal to the left dorsal colon and from the ventral abdominal wall. Peritoneal fluid was identified in six ponies. Peritoneal fluid was usually seen transiently and most commonly in the ven]tral aspect of the abdominal cavity or around the duodenum. Overall, the ponies' abdominal ultrasonographic examinations revealed wall thicknesses that were less than the published normal ranges for horses. It appears that ponies may have increased duodenal contractility than horses and that the conformation of ponies may change the locations for imaging the stomach.

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