A 10-yr-old female spayed bobcat (Felis rufus) presented with a 3-day history of lethargy, anorexia, and two episodes of vomiting. An emergency field visit was scheduled to perform abdominal radiography and ultrasonography. The bobcat was assessed to be approximately 5–10% dehydrated, on the basis of decreased skin turgor and tacky mucous membranes. Free peritoneal gas, reduced abdominal serosal detail, and an abnormal-appearing right-sided intestinal segment were identified in the abdominal radiographs. However, the emergency field clinicians were not knowledgeable of these abnormalities, because the radiographs could not be processed in the field. During an initial complete abdominal ultrasound evaluation, a nondependent hyperechoic interface with reverberation artifact suggestive of intestinal or free gas and focal intestinal changes indicative of marked enteritis or peritonitis were identified. Free peritoneal fluid was not present on initial examination. In a focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST) scan, made after subcutaneous fluid administration, a small volume of anechoic free fluid was present in the peritoneal space. With ultrasound guidance, the fluid was aspirated and appeared grossly turbid. This fluid was subsequently confirmed as septic suppurative effusion, secondary to a foreign body-associated intestinal perforation. The use of a FAST scan is well described in human medicine, and to a limited degree in veterinary literature. This case represents a novel application of FAST scanning in an emergency field setting in a nontraumatized patient. This case report illustrates the utility of the FAST scan in yielding critical clinical information after fluid resuscitation in a zoological setting.
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