The Latest in Diagnostic Imaging Modalities for Horses

Each imaging option, such as MRI, radiography and more, serves a unique role in equine lameness diagnosis.
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An accurate diagnosis is imperative to pinpointing and treating lameness in horses. Fortunately, veterinarians today have more sound and accurate options for identifying specific issues than they did just 10 years ago, said Kent Allen, DVM, owner of Virginia Equine Imaging, a specialty sports imaging practice in The Plains, who presented April 26 at a University of Kentucky Department of Veterinary Science Equine Diagnostic and Research Seminar. That, he shared in his presentation, is good for the horse, the veterinarian, and the owner. 

"Absent a diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma, and regenerative medicine is witchcraft," he said.

Allen touched on several imaging modalities during his presentation but stressed that, in most cases, the sole use of any one technique is not enough to reach a proper diagnosis. "Wait until all the information is in before you try to interpret results," he cautioned. "None of these (diagnostic imaging modalities) without a detailed clinical evaluation are a magic answer

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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