Diagnostic imaging is a set of different imaging techniques that will help us to provide a diagnosis of the suspected pathology, whether in the locomotor, traumatological, articular, osteo-articular, soft tissue, thoracic or digestive areas.
When we talk about diagnostic imaging in horses, we mainly talk about 5 techniques:
- Digital radiology: This is the most widely used and provides a great deal of information on the pathology of the locomotor system.
- Ultrasound: which helps us to carry out studies of the musculoskeletal, thoracic and reproductive systems…
- Magnetic resonance: More specific, in the case of the horse there are facilities to do it with the horse in station with some hospital couplings that are placed only in the area we want to use under deep sedation so that the patient does not move, such as magnetic resonance under general anaesthesia.
- Computed tomography: where general anaesthesia is required in a hospital setting to study the horse’s brain.
- Scintigraphy: as a nuclear medicine test, which is based on radioactive isotography through which we will see some “hot points” that will help us to locate the affected area.
In our daily clinic with horses, the most commonly used tests are digital radiology and ultrasound. Within our mobile unit, we have:
- A portable digital radiology apparatus that consists of three structures: portable with x-ray software; chassis, which is in charge of receiving the radiation that we shoot; and the trigger. All of this is wireless, which is very useful and convenient for our daily clinical practice, especially in field conditions. In addition, we have plumbed protection equipment so that the veterinary team can perform the X-rays without risk.
We tell you more about how we use this equipment on our Youtube channel.
- A colour ultrasound scanner, also portable, allows us to analyse different structures of the horse and locate specific problems in a non-invasive way. With the ultrasound scanner we can evaluate soft tissues through high frequency sound waves. In most cases it does not require sedation of the animal so it is a very simple test that allows us to find alterations of various kinds.
You can also see this equipment on our channel.
In short, the various diagnostic imaging techniques allow us to provide the patient with an evidence-based differential diagnosis and generate a clinical treatment with the greatest of guarantees. That is why it is so important to carry them out, not only on an occasional basis, but also in regular check-ups that allow us to anticipate possible future problems