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Keywords:

  • Lung rockets;
  • Respiratory distress;
  • Thoracic radiography;
  • Ultrasound;
  • Vet BLUE lung examination

Lung ultrasound is superior to lung auscultation and supine chest radiography for many respiratory conditions in human patients. Ultrasound diagnoses are based on easily learned patterns of sonographic findings and artifacts in standardized images. By applying the wet lung (ultrasound lung rockets or B-lines, representing interstitial edema) versus dry lung (A-lines with a glide sign) concept many respiratory conditions can be diagnosed or excluded. The ultrasound probe can be used as a visual stethoscope for the evaluation of human lungs because dry artifacts (A-lines with a glide sign) predominate over wet artifacts (ultrasound lung rockets or B-lines). However, the frequency and number of wet lung ultrasound artifacts in dogs with radiographically normal lungs is unknown. Thus, the primary objective was to determine the baseline frequency and number of ultrasound lung rockets in dogs without clinical signs of respiratory disease and with radiographically normal lung findings using an 8-view novel regionally based lung ultrasound examination called Vet BLUE. Frequency of ultrasound lung rockets were statistically compared based on signalment, body condition score, investigator, and reasons for radiography. Ten left-sided heart failure dogs were similarly enrolled. Overall frequency of ultrasound lung rockets was 11% (95% confidence interval, 6–19%) in dogs without respiratory disease versus 100% (95% confidence interval, 74–100%) in those with left-sided heart failure. The low frequency and number of ultrasound lung rockets observed in dogs without respiratory disease and with radiographically normal lungs suggests that Vet BLUE will be clinically useful for the identification of canine respiratory conditions.