Article Text

Ultrasonographic findings in cows with cholestasis
  1. U Braun,
  2. A Pospischil,
  3. N Pusterla and
  4. C Winder
  1. Clinic of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Zurich, Switzerland.


Four cows with cholestasis, whose general condition was moderately to severely disturbed, were examined. Two of them had signs of colic, and one had severe pruritus. All of them had jaundice and three had dermatitis solaris. Bilirubinuria occurred in three of the cows and they all had increased concentrations of serum bilirubin and serum bile acids and increased activities of hepatic enzymes. An ultrasonographic examination of the liver and gallbladder revealed that in one cow only the extrahepatic bile ducts were dilated, in another only the intrahepatic bile ducts were dilated and in the other two both the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts were dilated. In three of the cows the gallbladder was severely dilated and the wall was thickened. Ultrasonographically, the bile appeared either anechoic or echogenic. Surgical or post mortem examinations revealed that the cholestasis in one cow was attributable to obstruction of the common hepatic duct in the area of the hepatic hilus, in two it was caused by obstruction of the common bile duct near the duodenal papilla, and in the fourth cow, the common bile duct was compressed by adhesions, resulting from peritonitis, which involved the liver, gallbladder and abdominal wall.

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