Radiographic anatomy of the thorax and abdomen in captive caracals (Caracal caracal)

  • M Makungu
  • W.M. du Plessis
  • M Barrows
  • K.N. Koeppel


The caracal (Caracal caracal) also known as Simbamangu is widely distributed in Africa. Captive caracals commonly present with similar infectious and non-infectious diseases of the thorax and abdomen as domestic cats. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic anatomy of the thorax and abdomen in captive caracals as a reference for clinical use. Radiography of the thorax and abdomen was performed in two healthy adult caracals during their annual health examinations. The thoracolumbar spine had 20 vertebrae. Pairs of ribs were 13, which corresponded to the number of thoracic vertebrae. The last pair of ribs was floating. The sternum was fairly straight and consisted of manubrium sterni, xiphoid process and six sternebrae. Clavicles were seen. Hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in all animals. The trachea was seen with mineralised cartilage rings in all animals. The cardiac silhouette was elongated and more horizontally positioned in the oldest animal (8.8 years). The spleen was clearly seen on the ventrodorsal view. The length of kidneys was approximately two times the length of the second lumbar vertebra (L2). Bunching of small intestines in the right central abdomen was seen in the heaviest caracal (14.8 kg). The diameter of the small intestine was approximately 0.7 times the height of L2. For the large intestine the diameter was approximately 1.7 and 0.7 times the height and length of L2, respectively. Knowledge of the normal radiographic anatomy of the thorax and abdomen of the caracal may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in routine health examinations.

Keywords: anatomy, abdomen, caracal, Caracal caracal, radiography, thorax


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2714-206X
print ISSN: 0856-1451