Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses to produce images with superior bone and soft tissue detail. Our low field system allows us to acquire images of the distal limb in the standing, sedated horse. We do not have to put the horse under general anesthesia. We gather images in multiple planes allowing the radiologist to precisely locate the cause of the problem. Depending on the temperament of the horse, the exam usually takes about 3 hours.
MRI is an exciting technology as it allows us to diagnose lameness causing injuries that show few or no abnormalities with other imaging techniques like radiographs or ultrasound. For more information about what to expect if your horse has an MRI at our clinic, please see the frequently asked questions page.

Nuclear Scintigraphy

Nuclear scintigraphy, commonly called a bone scan, is a diagnostic procedure used in lameness cases. It involves i.v. administration of a radiopharmaceutical to the horse. The horse is then returned to its stall. While in the stall the radiopharmaceutical accumulates in areas where bony remodeling is actively occurring. We then gather information using our gamma camera and can recognize areas of injury where there is more "uptake” of radiopharmaceutical than normal. This type of imaging is especially useful in diagnosing injuries that are difficult or impossible to visualize with radiographs or when the horse has a multi-limb lameness. The imaging process takes approximately 3 hours to complete and an overnight stay is required to ensure adequate elimination of the isotope from the horse’s system. For more information about what to expect if your horse has a bone scan at our clinic, please see the frequently asked questions page

Digital Radiography

Digital radiography allows for detailed diagnostic studies of bone pathology with consistent image quality. Images can be seen immediately as there is no film that needs to be developed. SDEG utilizes the Eklin portable DR system at the clinic and in the field. Preliminary review of the images can happen in the field. However, final interpretation is made on our high quality monitor at the clinic. At your request, we can save all radiographs on a CD for your records.


Ultrasound is a valuable imaging tool used to visualize soft tissue structures in the horse. Joint, tendon, and ligament injuries can be diagnosed and monitored using this modality. It also allows for evaluation of thoracic and abdominal organs for horses with suspected systemic illness. SDEG has portable ultrasound units in each ambulatory vehicle and a large hospital unit at the clinic.


Both portable and videoendoscopy are available at SDEG. Evaluation of the upper respiratory tract is possible out in the field. Our 3-meter endoscope allows examination of the stomach and aids in diagnosis of gastric ulceration and other disorders. The exam can be recorded and saved on a CD for you, if desired.


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