An ultrasonographic technique which permits the visualization of internal structures of the ewe udder is described for the first time. To develop the technique, 24 lactating Ripollesa ewes were used. The use of tranquilizers and special restraints were unnecessary. Posture of the ewe during ultrasonography was anatomically normal, with the extremities extended and bearing the weight of the animal. The ultrasound mammography imaging plane, determined by the position of the transducer, is directed from the portion of the proximal intermammary groove between the external projections of the superficial inguinal lymph nodes towards the teat. The frequency of the transducer was 5 MHz and the exploration depth was fixed between 8 and 14 cm. The following scanned mammary structures were observed: glandular parenchyma, gland cistern, teat cistern, cricoid fold and skin associated with the laminae. The echogenic scale was calculated and echo-texture of each of the mammary structures was evaluated. Computerized treatment of the images gave an objective scale of echogenicity (grey-scale) for the mammary structures. From the results obtained, we consider that ultrasound mammography could be a useful technique for the study and evaluation of milk secretion of sheep udders. © 1994.
- Mammary structure