Identification of Gastric Foreign Bodies via Ultrasonography in Bottlenose Dolphins
IAAAM 2016
Karissa Sciacca
College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA


Ingestion of foreign bodies is a common problem in many fields of veterinary medicine, and it is most frequently diagnosed with radiography. However, in some animals, such as dolphins, radiography is not a realistic approach and instead clinicians rely on the observation of clinical signs for diagnosis. Once clinical signs are evident, though, there is often already damage to the gastric mucosal surface and the dolphin's health is compromised. A proposed method for identification of gastric foreign bodies in dolphins is via ultrasonography. It is a non-invasive technique that can be used routinely to monitor for the presence of abnormal stomach contents even in the absence of clinical signs. With early detection, treatment can be initiated before an animal's health becomes compromised. The goal is to create a guide of images demonstrating the defining characteristics of several foreign bodies, which can be used as a reference for future diagnoses.

Literature Cited

1.  Dierauf LA, Gulland FMD. The CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC; 2001:593–618.

2.  Saviano P. Handbook of Ultrasonography in Dolphins: Abdomen, Thorax, and Eye. Modena, Italy; 2013:Chapter 7.


Speaker Information
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Karissa Sciacca
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY, USA

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