Radiography is the main imaging modality for the assessment of bone, teeth and tissue densities.  McLaren Vale Equine Veterinary Services has a portable digital TRU-DR x-ray machine which is capable of producing high quality images in the field, facilitating on-site diagnosis.  The images can be viewed on screen within 2-3 seconds and the technology in the portable processing unit allows manipulation of the image to quantify lesions observed.

Some of the uses for radiography include:





Dentistry – periodontal disease

Sand accumulation in gastro-intestinal tract

Vertebrae assessment – “Wobblers” & “Kissing Spines”


Ultrasonography is the imaging modality used to assess soft tissue structures.  McLaren Vale Equine Veterinary Services has a battery operated portable Sonosite M-Turbo ultrasound machine with 3 transducers (probes) to facilitate examination of various soft tissue structures including:

  • 5-2MHz Muscles & abdominal organs (lung, liver, spleen, kidney, bladder, GIT)
  • 15-6MHz Tendons, ligaments and wounds/swellings
  • 10-5MHz Reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, cervix)

Some of the diagnostic capabilities of ultrasound include:

Tendons & Ligaments - changes or loss of homogenous fibre pattern and alterations to the cross-sectional size of the structure plus avulsion injuries at origin/insertion points

Gastro-intestinal tract – distended loops of small intestine, increased volumes of peritoneal fluid

Lungs – identification of abscesses on the pulmonary parenchyma surface in foals

Bladder – sabulous urolithiasis from bladder atony/cauda equine syndrome

Reproduction – follicle/endometrial monitoring during stud season, pregnancy assessment, placentitis monitoring in late gestation

Swellings and wounds – assessment for haematomas, gas/foreign bodies in wounds, blood flow assessment (Doppler) to devitalised skin areas