Ultrasound is a practical imaging modality to evaluate soft tissue or bone injuries of the equine limb and other structures in the body. It allows for visualization of tendons and ligaments, cartilage and underlying bone. We identify, confirm, and monitor soft tissue injury. Evaluation of tissue size, shape, echogenicity (whiteness or brightness of a structure), fiber pattern, and surrounding inflammatory reactions is possible with ultrasound.
We also commonly use ultrasound to examine the abdomen in colic cases, diarrhea cases, or fevers of unknown origin. We can also imagine the lung surface, diaphragm, liver, heart and kidney.
As with digital radiography, these images are stored electronically and available to email to referring veterinarians as needed. They are also available for review to compare with new images obtained during a recovery period to determine rate of healing and prognosis.
We use digital radiography to evaluate joints, bones, hoof angles and even teeth. Some examples of common findings include osteoarthritis of joints, fractures, osteochondrosis (OCD), navicular disease, and poor hoof balance.
With our DR system, we can provide the following benefits compared to traditional radiographs:
- More consistent image quality
- Reduced number of repeat exposures because of ability to adjust brightness, contrast, magnification, and edge enhancement (less time per study = less sedation for horse)
- More efficient to identify small bone detail and soft tissue
- Images can be emailed immediately as .jpeg pictures to referring veterinarians
- Portable unit allows images to be evaluated at horse shows or stables with trainers and owners within seconds.
- Rules out fractures or catastrophic bone injuries at competitions or farm calls
- Radiograph results for time sensitive issues such as prepurchase exams are known immediately.
- Radiographs can be emailed to owners or trainers to keep their radiographs with them at all times.