An artefact was observed on postcontrast magnetic resonance imaging (mri) of the urinary bladder of several small animals; it took the form of a dark layer in the dependent (dorsal) part of the bladder, with a thin hyperintense layer on top of it, and a hypointense signal in the rest of the non-dependent (ventral) part. The mri database was searched for animals with T1-weighted images of the urinary bladder after the injection of gadolinium. Eighteen dogs and three cats were included in the study. The artefact was observed in 16 of the animals on the postcontrast images but not on the T1-weighted and T2-weighted precontrast images. A phantom experiment showed that the signal intensity observed on T1-weighted images decreased rapidly as the concentration of gadolinium increased from 6·25 mmol/l to 25 mmol/l. It is hypothesised that the early excretion of concentrated gadolinium into the bladder causes the pseudolayering artefact observed, which has also been reported in human patients.