We have recently upgraded our portable digital x-ray system to the most advanced machine available on the market today. With our NEXT DR system from Sound-Eklin, we are able to get precise clean pictures in seconds, enabling us to diagnose the most subtle of bone changes in the horse. From acute emergency situations to scheduled prepurchase exams, the portability of the machine allows us to be set up on site at your farm in minutes. We also invested in the most powerful x-ray generator available. In addition to the extremities, this generator produces enough power to get clean shots of the neck, head, shoulders, back, and stifles. Before this technology was available, many of these areas had to be examined at a referral clinic with a much larger machine.
CASE STUDY: This is a horse that was observed falling while running in the pasture. He showed immediate signs of incoordination, difficulty eating, and neurological signs. He was treated with several days with anti-inflammatory drugs and radiographs were taken of the skull to determine if there were any fractures. A very large mandibular fracture was found that reached the temporomandibular joint.
Here is an image of a horse with severe laminitis, commonly known as founder. The coffin bone has rotated away from the dorsal hoof wall, creating the angle seen with the red lines, those lines should be parallel. The rotation is so severe that the coffin bone has penetrated the bottom of the foot. Prognosis at this point is grave.
This is a 4 month old foal with 2 coffin bone fractures. The smaller fracture to the left is known as a rim fracture or marginal fracture. The larger fracture to the right is a saggital fracture with communication to the coffin joint. The marginal fracture typically heals well with simple stall rest, however the communicating fracture requires special treatment. An aluminum rim shoe was glued on with stall rest for 3 months. Without this kind of stabilization, the foal would invariably develop significant arthritis of the coffin joint, rendering the horse unusable for competition. With this appropriate treatment guided by our x-ray system, the foal made a full recovery and will go on to compete.
This is a horse that presented with a hind limb lameness and effusion of the tarsocrural joint in the hock. After localizing the lameness to the hock using joint flexions, radiographs were taken. You can see a fragment loose in the joint commonly known as OCD. This is an OCD lesion of the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia (DIRT). Please refer to our client education pages to learn more about OCD in the horse.
This is an older horse with chronic changes in the stifle joint. This horse had difficulty getting up and significant effusion of the stifle, particularly in the medial femorotibial compartment. Medial (inside of leg) is to the left. You can see ossification of the medial collateral ligament and meniscus, as well as a bone cyst in the medial femoral condyle. The bone cyst is a form of OCD that can commonly be found in this location. These lesions typically appear at 1-2 years of age and routine screening of your young horses for these conditions can help start treatment early enough to prevent chronic arthritis like you see here.
This is another older horse that presented for lameness in both front limbs. The horse was positive to flexion of the joints above. Diagnostic nerve blocks localized the lameness to below the fetlock joint. Radiographs revealed significant arthritis of the pastern joint, commonly known as high ring bone. You can see the bone proliferation surrounding the joint, having the appearance of “fluff”. This is the bone remodeling as the arthritis progresses, causing inflammation of the joint, which is painful for the horse.