Equine Diagnostic Imaging and X-Rays

Digital Radiography

Come in and see the difference that Digital Radiography (DR) can make for your horse. After exposure, our Eklin Mark III Rapid StudyTM DR system will instantly capture a high quality digital image on the display in front of the radiographer, removing the need for processing. This unprecedented level of detail and versatility provide efficiency for our radiology team and an enhanced diagnostic tool for our patients and veterinarians. We are able to make a diagnosis in minutes. This remarkable new technology is available in the clinic as well as in the field for lameness and emergency situations. Radiography is the diagnostic imaging modality of choice for skeletal abnormalities (bone). It is often used in lameness diagnosis to look for arthritis, OCD, fractures, and other boney abnormalities. We commonly use it for our older patients with dental disease to assess the teeth and sinus cavities. It is also important to diagnose disorders that may cause neurologic disease, such as cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy (Wobblers disease), which is best assessed with plain radiographs as well as a specialized imaging technique known as myelography. Radiography can also be useful in the diagnosis of pneumonia in foals and can be used for specialized gastrointestinal studies, such as barium swallows for esophageal disease in adult horses or to evaluate the transit time in the gastrointestinal tract of foals.

Our Podiatry profile uses digital radiographs to help your farrier. Many horses with chronic lameness conditions, such as navicular disease and laminitis, benefit from routine radiographs before and after trimming and shoeing. We can take the images that help your farrier assess toe length, sole depth, and balance and provide you with a CD of the images or we can take the time to sit down with your farrier to review the findings and help them formulate a trimming/shoeing plan for your horse. We also provide venograms for the acute and chronic laminitis horses to determine overall blood flow and prognosis for these cases. The veterinarians at BEH believe in working together with farriers to provide the best care for your horses’ feet.

Digital Ultrasound

Our MyLab30 is capable of satisfying the most demanding diagnostic and archival requirements. We have the ability to perform high-resolution, real-time digital ultrasonography, and archive the studies. The advanced imaging technology of the MyLab 30 makes it the new gold standard in portable ultrasound. Ultrasound is the best imaging modality for soft tissue structures. We use it to diagnose soft tissue injuries of the distal limb (tendons and ligaments) as part of our lameness diagnosis. When working up colics, we can use the ultrasound to image the gastrointestinal tract, liver, spleen, kidneys, etc. For our challenging pneumonia cases, we can diagnose and monitor the progression of the disease through treatment and onto resolution. As your mare progresses through pregnancy, we can image the foal and listen to the heart beat, or monitor the thickness of the placenta and detect any amniotic abnormalities. We can also use it to assess the anatomy of the larynx, the anatomy of the eye, to evaluate the heart, and to image the many lumps and bumps our patients present with. Our ultrasound has the ability to use many advanced modules in ultrasonography:

  • Black and white B-Mode, M-Mode
  • Compass M-Mode
  • High frame-rate Color and Power Doppler
  • Pulsed Wave Doppler
  • Directional Continuous Wave Doppler

Please call and speak with a doctor if you think your horse needs an ultrasound examination.


Endoscopy of the horse has evolved dramatically over the years. Modern video endoscopes are flexible with state-of-the-art chip cameras at the tip with bright Xenon light sources. Advances in video endoscopy have formed the basis for development of many minimally invasive procedures in equine surgery in the past 30 years. The use of video endoscopy in the horse has enhanced our diagnostic capabilities for various body systems, including the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, and the urogenital tract. Video endoscopy not only magnifies the structures to make small structures more visible, it also allows you, as the client, to visualize the anatomy as we explain a given problem in your horse. We have various diameter and lengths of our endoscopes to accommodate a range of patient sizes. We can image foals, miniature horses, average sized horses, and Draft-breed horses. The various lengths also allow different areas to be visualized. It takes a special three meter endoscope to reach an adult horse’s stomach. We have the ability to save digital images of our patients and store them in our digital patient record archives for future needs.Examples of disorders diagnosed via video endoscopy include:

  • Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)
  • Uterine cysts, infections, and scarring
  • Laryngeal hemiplegia (roaring)
  • Dorsal displacement of the soft palate
  • Small airway inflammatory disease
  • Urinary tract diseases

For horses that need video endoscopy of the stomach (gastroscopy), several steps must be taken to get optimal images. Before gastroscopy exam can be performed, the horse cannot have food 24 hours before the exam and no water 12 hours before. Making sure the stomach is empty is essential for proper evaluation of the entire stomach.Symptoms which may indicate the need for upper airway endoscopy:

  • Exercise intolerance or poor performance
  • Excessive noise while exercising
  • Unilateral purulent nasal discharge (pus draining from the nose)
  • Epistaxis (bloody nose)
  • Changes in the silhouette of the skull
  • Excessive coughing, ongoing nasal discharge, signs of allergies

Symptoms which may indicate the need for gastroscopy:

  • Intermittently off feed or anorexia
  • Unexplained bouts of colic or abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Poor athletic performance
  • Dull hair coat
  • Grinding teeth
  • Excessive salivation

The video endoscope is also used by Dr. Armentrout for several surgeries. The prosthetic laryngoplasty procedure (tie-back) is performed with the endoscope in the nostrils to assess the surgical site. Sinoscopy is performed with a small trephine hole placed in the sinus to allow for insertion of the scope and evaluation of many of the structures inside the sinuses that can be responsible for nasal discharge. Removal of uroliths (bladder stones) is also done with the aid of the endoscope, as is removal of uterine cysts. We frequently use the endoscope to perform lavage and infusions of the guttural pouch, along with surgeries where chondroids are too big to remove using standard procedures. Call and speak with a doctor today if you are interested in having your horse scoped.

Contact us today!

We offer 24/7 emergency services

Have an emergency? Please give us a call at 817-295-2231.

Thanks for reaching out. We'll get back to you shortly.