Radiography (x rays) can be undertaken at our clinic or, using the portable equipment, at home or the livery yard. Generally speaking it is more efficient and cost effective to take x-rays at the clinic, where the images can be developed and viewed immediately. If x-rays are to be taken at home then we need to have access to a reasonably dark covered area, preferably a stable, with a firm level surface and an electricity supply nearby. Generators can be used if absolutely necessary but a mains supply is preferable. The area needs to be quiet and x-raying should normally be arranged for when there are not many people around. The area around the stable will be coned off during the procedure for health and safety reasons and anyone holding the patient must not be pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Some horses can be x-rayed without the need for any sedation. However, some views require the horse to stand very still or be placed in a slightly uncomfortable position. Also, we are sometimes working in a confined area. For these reasons your vet may decide to give a light sedative which will make the whole process smoother and safer for everyone including the patient.
If the x-rays are taken at the clinic you will normally be shown the images as soon as they have been developed. If they are taken at home then your vet would normally call you later in the day or the following day to discuss the findings. Although the hard copies remain the property of the practice, you are always welcome to view the images or to have them forwarded to another practice if you leave the area.
In the near future we plan to invest further in radiographic services by purchasing state of the art digital radiography. This technology enables us to obtain exceptional quality images allowing the earlier detection of abnormalities and injuries. Appropriate interventions and treatments can then be started at an earlier stage in the disease process, hopefully improving the response to treatment, resulting in a better long term prognosis in many cases.