The aim of this study was to evaluate the splenic parenchyma of dogs with subclinical ehrlichiosis using Doppler and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography and provide reference values for this organ in affected animals. Seventeen dogs naturally infected with E. canis were selected for this study. Splenic parenchyma echotexture and echogenicity, size and borders were determined by ultrasound scan. The vascular indices of the splenic artery were determined by Doppler. SonoVue, at 0.1mL per animal, was used in microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasonography to determine wash in, wash out and peak enhancement time in the splenic tissue. B-mode ultrasonography revealed splenomegaly with rounded borders, heterogeneous echotexture and mixed echogenicity. The vascular indices of the splenic artery were: systolic velocity of 22.59±8.07cm/s, diastolic velocity of 5.25±4.66cm/s and resistance index of 0.71±0.14; values not yet reported in Veterinary Medicine. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography recorded wash in time of 5.31±0.7s, peak enhancement time of 18.56±2.90s and wash out time of 94.56±35.21s. The combination of conventional ultrasonography of the spleen and hemodynamic evaluation by Doppler and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography is important for the diagnosis of canine ehrlichiosis and could help monitor the clinical evolution of subclinical cases.
canine; ehrlichiosis; ultrasound