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The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine provides ultrasound procedures to equine patients in our hospital and on the farm through our Equine Field Service. If you have questions about our ultrasound services, please contact us at 540-231-4621 for in-hospital or on-farm treatment.

What is ultrasonography/ultrasound?

Ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound waves that are transmitted from a transducer (probe) into the patient. The characteristics of the image being ultrasounded influence the returning energy back to the transducer. The reflections are processed into an image, which is viewed on the screen.

Ultrasound can help to better identify problems (e.g., thickened small intestine, tendon lesion) and understand the extent of many injuries, which helps guide diagnosis, treatment, time off, and prognosis.

How is the procedure performed?

  • Various ultrasounds with multiple probes are used, depending on the area being examined.
  • Exams can often be performed without sedation, depending on the horse and the area being scanned.

What are common ultrasound procedures?

  • Reproductive breeding exam (cycle check mares, pregnancy exams)
  • Tendons/ligaments
  • Masses (abscesses, tumors, foreign bodies, puncture wounds)
  • Colic: identify cause of colic (twisted small intestine, enteritis, colitis)
  • Chest: fluid in chest, pneumonia