Computed Tomography for Evaluation of Canine Intestinal Obstruction


The goal of this study is to determine if computed tomography (CT) is more accurate for detecting canine intestinal obstruction than abdominal radiographs. We expect using CT will be more sensitive, specific, accurate and have better ROC curves than using abdominal radiographs.


Intestinal obstruction is a common problem in dogs that can lead to vomiting and other clinical signs. Abdominal radiographs (x-rays) are used to determine if intestine is obstructed, but radiographs may appear normal even if the intestines are obstructed. In people, intestinal obstruction is more accurately diagnosed using computed tomography or CT scans. Our study will determine if CT is more accurate for detecting intestinal obstruction vs. abdominal radiographs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Dogs that are having abdominal surgery for a non-intestinal problem
  • Dogs with suspected intestinal obstruction

Study Design

We are looking to enroll dogs that are having abdominal surgery for a non-intestinal problem. The abdominal CT exam may benefit the dog enrolled in the study by allowing the surgeon to more accurately determine the extent and nature of the non-intestinal disease. While in surgery, the surgeon will quickly evaluate the dog’s intestines to confirm the absence of intestinal obstruction.

We will also be enrolling dogs with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease with and without radiographic evidence of an intestinal obstruction. This study will help veterinarians determine the best way to determine if intestinal obstruction is present and surgery is needed.

All dogs enrolled will have abdominal radiographs and a CT performed followed by their scheduled surgery.

Client Compensation

  • Study covers fees associated with abdominal radiographs and CT including an hour of anesthesia costs
  • Owner receives $200 incentive towards their bill

Client Cost

Clients will be responsible for all other costs.


Dr. Wm Tod Drost, drost [dot] 2 [at] osu [dot] edu, for further information.