diagnostic imaging

New England Equine Practice is pleased to offer state-of-the-art equine diagnostic imaging. We offer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), endoscopy of the proximal gastrointestinal tract and the upper airway and in-house and ambulatory radiography, ultrasonography and dynamic endoscopy. 

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

An MRI uses strong magnetic fields and pulses of radio wave energy to obtain extremely detailed images of both soft tissue and bone. These studies facilitate diagnoses that might otherwise be hard or impossible to identify. Our MRI is used most frequently to aid in the diagnosis of distal limb lameness, but it has wide applications, including diagnosis of neurologic impairments obtained through imaging of the equine brain. In a full-sized horse, the lower limbs, head, and portions of the neck may be imaged; in foals or miniature horses, more extensive imaging may be possible. New England Equine Practice is one of a small number of equine facilities in the country that offers the superior image quality obtained with recumbent MRI technology; general anesthesia is required for the procedure, which takes approximately one hour and produces images of the highest quality.

nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan)

Nuclear scintigraphy (commonly referred to as bone scan), provides a modality to help localize bony or soft tissue lesions that may otherwise be hard to pinpoint. The procedure, which is performed on a standing, sedated patient, involves the injection of a radioactive agent that acts as a marker for increased metabolic activity. If necessary, the entire horse can be imaged, which can be particularly helpful in horses with multiple areas of soreness, or in those with upper limb lamenesses. Low levels of radioactivity result following bone scan, requiring a 48 hour stay at the clinic while the radioactive agent completes its decay. 


Ultrasonography uses sound waves to obtain images primarily of soft tissues, which can aid in both the diagnosis of lameness and management of recovery, as well as with tracking reproductive cycles and evaluating and diagnosing problems in the pulmonary, cardiac and gastrointestinal systems. New England Equine Practice offers both in-house and ambulatory ultrasound technology, allowing your horse to be evaluated in the hospital or on your farm. 


Radiography uses electromagnetic radiation (X-rays) to obtain images primarily of bony structures, as well as of other radiopaque structures, such as the lungs. We offer both in-house and ambulatory digital radiography, which allows us to provide diagnostic imaging both stall-side and in-hospital. Our internal viewing system allows for optimal diagnostic efficiency and allows for electronic sharing of images for your convenience. 


New England Equine has both standing and dynamic one meter fiberoptic scopes, which can be used, respectively, to examine the patient's upper airway at rest and at exercise. The dynamic scope is particular helpful in diagnosing problems of the upper airway that are only experienced during exertion. We also have a three meter scope, which is used to examine the esophagus, stomach and most proximal part of the small intestine and is essential in diagnosing and monitoring gastric ulcers.