Ultrasonography is a non-painful and non-invasive means of assessing external and internal soft tissues and the surfaces of bone/joints.
We currently have three ultrasound machines. Two are portable and are primarily used for fertility work during the breeding season. With these machines we can monitor changes in the reproductive tract when mares are cycling to help with natural breeding. We also frequently scan mares before, during and after undertaking artificial insemination (see AI section for more information). We also use these machines to investigate reproductive and urinary tract problems. To carry out an ultrasound exam at home we need a stable or reasonably dark covered area with a power supply nearby. One of our machines also works off a portable battery if no power supply is available, although we would need to know this in advance so that the vet brings the correct machine. Leg scans can also be carried out using one of the portable machines, however the image quality is inferior to the clinic based scanner.
Our clinic based digital ultrasound machine has greatly enhanced our ability to investigate leg swellings/injuries, abdominal problems, heart and eye abnormalities, creating exceptional quality images using extremely sensitive ultrasound probes. The main benefit of this machine is that it allows us to identify much milder injuries or damage to structures at an earlier stage than would be possible using the portable equipment, thereby preventing more serious damage to tissues like tendons and ligaments. The result is that treatment can be started sooner and the prognosis will be significantly better than had the injury been detected at a later stage. Although the use of this machine requires a trip to the clinic, our clients almost always feel the trip was worthwhile.