Peripheral vein phlebitis (inflammation) is a relatively frequent complication in dogs, however, published information on the ultrasonographic characteristics is currently lacking. This prospective, observational study describes the ultrasound (US) characteristics of normal canine cephalic veins, and veins with clinical phlebitis. Correlations among US findings and between US findings versus time that the intravenous catheter was in place were investigated. Safety of the US procedure was evaluated. Fifty patients were prospectively recruited for the study and 18 met the final inclusion criteria. Each patient underwent daily US examinations and was assessed for multiple criteria (vascular wall appearance, compressibility, spontaneity of flow, color fill, and presence/absence of filling defects, flow contour, direction, non-pulsatility). Characteristics of normal canine cephalic veins were as follows: smooth and thin wall, complete compressibility, no flow disturbances, no filling defects, smooth flow contours, and unidirectional, non-pulsatile flow with no turbulence. Characteristics of cephalic veins with clinical phlebitis were as follows: wall thickening (83%), decreased compressibility (55%), filling defects consistent with intraluminal thrombus (55%), vessel wall hyperechogenicity (44%), and abnormal color Doppler flow (39%). Significant correlations were found between Doppler filling defects and compressibility, Doppler filling defects and presumed thrombosis, and compressibility and presumed thrombosis (P = .001, P = .001, P = .000, respectively). No correlation was found between the US findings and time the intravenous catheter was in place. Findings indicated that duplex and compressibility US are feasible and safe methods for characterizing and monitoring cephalic veins in dogs with clinical phlebitis.