Objective- The aim of this study was to determine the normal ultrasonographic and morphologic appearance of mammary gland and teat in Caspian mares during lactation and dry period.
Design- Experimental study.
Animals- Seven mature Caspian mares
Procedures- Using a 6.5-8.5 MHz linear transducer the ultrasonographic appearance of lactating and dry mammary glands was determined in 7 mature Caspian mares aged from 5 to 12 years. In macroscopic study, parameters of length and width of teat, length and thickness of udder were evaluated by a caliper. During the ultrasonography, the ultrasound probe was placed in horizontal and sagittal position related to the examined subject. Two methods of examination were used – direct (transcutaneous ultrasonography) and immersion of the examined organ in water (“water bath” method).
Results- The teat was best scanned in sagittal position, whereas the mammary parenchyma – in horizontal probe position. The application of the “water bath” method was more effective when examining the mammary papilla, and the transcutaneous method – when examining the structures in the other areas of the mammary gland. Mean teat measurements by ultrasonography including teat canal length, teat cistern diameter, teat wall thickness and middle cistern wall thickness were 8.87, 10.37, 1.75 and 6.44 mm respectively. No significant differences were found between the mentioned parameters of fore and hind glands in one udder.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance- There were differences in the visualizations of the separate structures of the udder, depending on the presence or absence of the milk. According to the results of present study it is recommended to perform ultrasonography of mare’s mammary gland during lactation period.