The practice has a wide range of diagnostic imaging equipment:
Radiography, which remains the standard imaging technique for bone, is carried out in our new radiography room using our powerful ceiling-mounted X ray machine which generates high quality, digital images. Although its main use is for lameness and back pain investigation, it also plays an important role in the evaluation of dental pathology, head and neck problems and thoracic disease.
The practice owns several diagnostic ultrasound scanners, several of which are portable, with one large unit based at the hospital.
Ultrasound is the standard imaging modality for examination of the reproductive tract in the breeding mare. It is also used widely in equine lameness cases to evaluate soft tissue structures of the limbs, such as the flexor tendons, various ligaments and synovial structures.
Our hospital-based scanner is not only able to generate highly-detailed images of musculoskeletal structures, but is also used for thoracic and abdominal ultrasonography and colour-flow echocardiography (heart scanning).
Videoendoscopy and videogastroscopy
Our various endoscopes allow direct visualisation of patients’ internal organs such as the upper and lower airway, sinuses and bladder. With videoendoscopy, highly detailed images are projected onto a television monitor, which facilitates case discussion, allows improved understanding of proposed treatment options and, via serial recordings, permits response to treatment to be assessed. For horses where the upper airway is to be examined at strenuous exercise the high speed treadmill at Hartpury College Equine Therapy Centre is available.
Using our 3 metre long videogastrocope, a detailed examination of the lining of the oesophagus and stomach is possible, which is particularly useful in the diagnosis of gastric ulceration of neoplasia.
Our new scintigraphy unit allows us to identify areas of increased bone turnover which is not always possible with radiography alone. This enhances our ability to diagnose stress fractures, for example of the cannon bone, pelvis or tibia and allows us to more fully determine the significance of certain back problems such as overriding dorsal spinous processes (kissing spines).
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is occasionally advised for detailed imaging of the foot and lower limb where the results of radiography and/or ultrasonography are equivocal. Although MRI is not available at Three Counties Equine Hospital, case referral is easily made to one of the country's few MRI units, usually at Liphook Equine Hospital, Hampshire.