The main goal of this study was to design and propose specific abdominal zones that would contain the gastrointestinal organs in healthy cattle when scanned with trans-abdominal ultrasound. The second goal was to measure the intestinal wall thicknesses of the cranial duodenum, jejunum and colon and to compare healthy cattle intestinal wall thicknesses with pathological cases. All of the six healthy cattle had organs located in the zones proposed. Three of the four pathological cases had organs outside of the zones proposed. The six healthy cattle had an average cranial duodenum wall thickness of 2.45 mm, an average jejunum wall thickness of 1.90 mm and an average colon wall thickness of 3.02 mm. Of the pathological cases, three out of four had intestinal walls that were thicker than that of the average values for the healthy cattle. The thickest intestinal walls were found in the paratuberculosis positive cow. This cow had a cranial duodenum wall thickness of 9.5 mm, a jejunum wall thickness of 4.9 mm and a colon wall thickness of 10.0 mm. In conclusion, trans-abdominal ultrasonography has the potential to be an ideal diagnostic tool for the investigation of the bovine gastrointestinal tract and gastrointestinal disorders such as abscesses, peritonitis and displacement of the abomasum. Trans-abdominal ultrasound also has the potential to be a non-painful, non-invasive tool for the diagnosis of proliferative intestinal inflammations in cattle.
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