Equine Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging

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Diagnostic Imaging

We pride ourselves on good quality, targeted diagnostic imaging to make an accurate diagnosis, every time. Quality diagnostic imaging comes from being able to produce repeatable, standardised views in every patient but also knowing where to point those diagnostic tools and how to interpret the images in every case. Our equipment has been chosen for both its quality and durability in the field, from companies well represented in New Zealand to ensure the very best technical support.

David our principle equine vet has spent 15 years in equine referral practice as a surgeon and diagnostician, is a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons in Equine Surgery, is a Royal College certified Advanced Practitioner in Equine Orthopaedics and is a member of ISELP, the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology. He is well qualified to bring you accurate diagnostic imaging every time.

Digital wireless DR radiography from IMEX.

Everything is battery powered and allows us to bring the best quality imaging patient side if necessary. Images are reviewed and attached to patient files for reference at any time. DICOM images can be shared online for customer records, uploading to global repositories, or sending to referral centres when required.

Digital ultrasound (Mindray M9) from BCF

This is a high-end portable ultrasound machine supplied by BCF with a full complement of imaging probes to ensure every part of your horse is covered from its eye to its abdomen!

Portable flexible endoscope from Austvet Endoscopy

Our new endoscope is perfect for airway, urogenital and dental imaging and comes with a small portable screen for viewing. Still and video images can be recorded to complement patient files and provide comparative views when monitoring certain conditions. A biopsy channel allows sampling as well as treating different conditions. It is not suitable for gastroscopy (stomach ulcers) or dynamic endoscopy (while exercising) which still require referral when appropriate.


Three probes now open up a host of imaging and guided therapeutic options for our patients. When talking about ultrasound to horse owners, most people imagine tendon and pregnancy scans. It’s certainly where equine ultrasound started but there are now SO MANY MORE diagnostic and therapeutic indications. Here are a few other examples to get you thinking: limitless possibilities when you know what you’re looking at!


  • Musculoskeletal indications: tendon injury monitoring, joint evaluation (periarticular soft tissue attachments, joint surface integrity, fluid analysis), guided back and spinal injections (eg, cervical facets, sacro-iliac disease, kissing spines), lumbar muscle evaluations and so on…

  • Wounds: ultrasound imaging is very useful for assessing wounds for evidence of foreign body material that can then be removed, underlying bone injury or sinus tracts and to rule out joint and tendon involvement.

  • Visceral imaging (abdomen): ultrasound examination of the equine abdomen has become a routine part of evaluating the colic patient in many centres or as part of a sick patient evaluation to evaluate organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.

  • Airway disease: from larynx (roarers) to lung, ultrasound is now an essential part of airway disease investigation and monitoring response to treatment. 

  • Urogenital: imaging the female reproductive tract is essential for assisted breeding techniques and difficult breeders. It’s also useful for some late term pregnancy and foal evaluations near term. Urogenital imaging isn’t just an arena for females though: ultrasound can also be useful in locating crypt orchid testes in some of our male patients!

  • Occular injury: painfully closed or cloudy eyes present an obvious problem for assessment. Ultrasound is a useful way to assess globe, lens and uveal tract integrity when you can’t see it with a normal ophthalmoscope.

We’re looking forward to sharing some examples of these uses with you as we go but in the meantime, if you have any queries or think your horse might benefit from an ultrasound examination; please don’t hesitate to call to discuss this further.