Original Research

The impact of ultrasound during emergency after-hour admissions of horses

A. Viljoen, M.N. Saulez, A. Carstens, B. Gummow
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 81, No 4 | a150 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v81i4.150 | © 2010 A. Viljoen, M.N. Saulez, A. Carstens, B. Gummow | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2010 | Published: 21 May 2010

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A. Viljoen,
M.N. Saulez,
A. Carstens,
B. Gummow,

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Clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound at point-of-care or emergency situations, although common, has not been well documented in veterinary medicine. Medical records of after-hour emergency equine admissions during a 10-year period were reviewed and horses that received ultrasound scans were identified. Data sheets for each ultrasound scan performed during emergency clinical evaluation were collected and reviewed. Data extracted included anatomical region imaged, body system affected, documented ultrasonographic diagnosis and final diagnosis. Six hundred and nine records were available of which 108 horses had an ultrasound diagnostic procedure performed. The most common reason for emergency ultrasonography was to investigate gastrointestinal abnormalities, the largest proportion of these being large intestinal disorders. A complete ultrasound report was documented in 57% of evaluations, of which 79% correlated with a final diagnosis. Incomplete reporting made accurate interpretation of records difficult. Results indicate that the use of ultrasound in the emergency setting may be of diagnostic benefit and impact on patient management. Ultrasound training should be provided to residents in order to gain proficiency, especially with regard to the gastrointestinal system


diagnostic imaging; equine; gastrointestinal; training


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