PORTABLE ultrasound machines provide an inexpensive, non-invasive tool with which to examine the pleural surfaces and superficial lung parenchyma of ruminants on farm. Ultrasonographic examination of the chest need take no more than five minutes, including preparation time, and is therefore much cheaper than many clinical biochemical tests/profiles and more disease/organ specific, generating immediate results. This article describes the practicalities of a thoracic ultrasound examination and how it might be used to diagnose the most commonly encountered conditions in first-opinion farm animal practice.
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