Diagnostic Imaging

In an effort to provide your horse with superior medical care, we perform imaging services to achieve a diagnosis. Medical imaging employs the use of stall-side equipment such as digital radiography, ultrasound, and fiber-optic endoscopy. In performing diagnostic imaging, our veterinarians can provide a safe, accurate diagnosis and promptly treat the problem. However, some patients are referred to area hospitals for further diagnostic imaging including MRI, CT, and nuclear scintigraphy (bone scans).

Reasons for diagnostic imaging: 

  • Lameness evaluation
  • Identifying bone fractures
  • Abnormal swelling
  • Assess dental problems
  • Evaluate the status of a horses pregnancy
  • Help obtain a biopsy sample
  • Chronic coughs
  • Chronic nasal discharge

Types of diagnostic imaging

Digital Radiography - Radiographs, or x-rays, are often the first test administered to evaluate your horse. Radiogaphs are used to evaluate bone structures. Our veterinarians utilize digital x-rays because they are accurate and display high quality images. Digital radiographs also project less radiation than traditional film radiographs, which allows you and your horse to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.

Ultrasound - Ultrasound exams are another form of imaging used for soft tissue. This diagnostic modality is perfect for horse pregnancy and lameness issues. Ultrasounds are also used extensively to examine the chest, abdomen and masses. Ultrasound exams are gentle, non-invasive and easy on the horse.

What does diagnostic imaging involve?

The process for obtaining images of your horses depends on what type of diagnostic modality is being used and the size of your horse.

Horses with a disease or condition often feel increased anxiety and stress. Perhaps the horse is naturally fidgety or edgy. For any of these reasons, horses can be uncooperative during imaging procedures. In these situations, our staff patiently tries to make your horse feel comfortable and guide them to cooperate. If a horse is aggressive or remains unwilling, the veterinarian may opt to sedate your horse while performing diagnostic imaging. Also, for tests that require a horse to be absolutely still, sedation is typically administered.


If you have any questions about our digital imaging services, please feel free to contact our office.

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