Large Animal Hospital
Equine Field Service :   540-231-9042
Food Animal Field Service :   540-231-9041
Large Animal Hospital :   540-231-9043
Hospital FAX : 540-231-7979
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Equine Digital Radiology (DR)


The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine provides digital radiology services for equine patients in our hospital and on the farm through our equine field service. If you have questions about our services, please contact us.

  • For in-hospital treatment, please call (540) 231-4621 and select option 5.
  • For on-farm treatment, please call (540) 231-9042.

What is Digital Radiology?

digital radiologyDigital radiography is a technique where X-rays are digitally transmitted to a processor/computer. Instead of having to “develop” the film, the “captured image” can be viewed directly on the screen/processor. On critical cases, an immediate diagnosis can often be made based on the immediate images. However, the resolution on the screen available on the farm is not as good as that in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; therefore, images are always taken back to the hospital for viewing and to make a final diagnosis. Because of the differences in resolution, small lesions are sometimes only visible on the higher imaging viewers at the hospital. As images can be viewed immediately after taking them, it can quickly be determined if additional images are needed. This eliminates trips back to the farm to take repeat views.

Equine Field Services currently uses MinXray portable X-ray machines and an Eklin Mark III system with a portable screen that shows and processes the images immediately.


What is digital radiography used for?

  • Navicular disease
  • Osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease
  • Fractures
  • Podiatry cases (assisting with trimming and/or shoeing your horse); we can work with farriers on these cases
  • Laminitis
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Wounds (foreign bodies, penetration of joints)

How is the procedure performed?

digital radiology

  • For on-farm visits, two electrical outlets are required (one for the eklin and one for the minXray).
  • Horse must stand quietly and may require a tranquilizer.
  • Multiple views are needed to evaluate an area.
  • Depending on what views are needed (i.e. hock, navicular, carpus), we may ask the horse to stand on blocks or flex the limbs.
  • Initial assessment may be given on the farm. Final diagnosis is made after viewing the images on higher resolution screens at the college.
  • Owners can purchase a copy of digital radiographs for their own records.

More information about in-hospital digital radiology is available on the VTH Diagnostic Imaging page.