Gray-scale ultrasonography is often used to screen for involvement of the liver and spleen in canine lymphoma patients but the utility of sonography for staging lymphoma has not been evaluated quantitatively. We performed abdominal sonography in 28 dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of lymphoma. Needle aspirates were obtained for cytology from three separate sites in the liver and three sites in the spleen and the sonographic appearance was noted at each site. Our hypothesis was that in dogs newly diagnosed with lymphoma, abnormal appearance of the liver or spleen on ultrasound examination is an indication that lymphoma is present in that organ. Cytologic evaluation was used as the gold standard. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of hepatic and splenic abnormalities seen on ultrasound for diagnosis of lymphoma were 72.7%, 80.6%, 77.4%, 76.3%, and 76.8% for the liver, respectively, and 100%, 23.3%, 64.6%, 100%, and 68.1% for the spleen, respectively. Based on these results, we recommend that aspirates be performed for detection of lymphoma in the spleen of dogs only when the spleen appears abnormal ultrasonographically and that cytology of the liver be performed, regardless of ultrasonographic appearance, to determine the presence or absence of lymphoma.