Clients & Visitors

Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan)


A bone scan is performed on a horse.

At the Equine Medical Center, bone scans can be performed on horses that are suspected to have a variety of abnormalities in their bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.

The scan can check the entire skeleton for any abnormality that may exist, including fractures, infections, or trauma that might not be seen with x-rays.

Bone scans are particularly effective in helping to diagnose difficult lamenesses or sore spots which do not cause lameness.

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Our expertise

  • We have been using this technology since 1995 and we utilize state-of-the-art bone and soft tissue scanning equipment.
  • Our whole body scan captures 46 images instead of the standard 36 images, so we get a highly accurate picture of the areas of pathology within the horse's skeletal structures.
  • Our clinical experts are highly skilled in conducting the examination, reading and interpreting the results, and conveying a clear diagnosis and treatment recommendation to horse owners.

The procedure

Bone scans are performed as inpatient procedures and require your horse to stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights/2-3 days.

  • The morning following admission to the hospital, a radioactive isotope will be injected into your horse's jugular vein and the scintigraphy process will begin.
  • At this point, you will not be able to touch your horse for the next 24 hours or until he is cleared by our imaging department.
  • The day after the nuclear scintigraphy is performed, the clinician will continue your horse's exam with further diagnostic testing, such as ultrasonography and radiographs that may be needed to make a specific diagnosis. Further diagnostic testing would be an additional charge.

Appointments for bone scans

  • Bone scans are performed by appointment and results are evaluated by EMC faculty.
  • For an appointment or for more information, call 703-771-6800 or email
  • View the Client Care Packet (PDF) for more information about the facilities, services, staffing, and policies at the EMC.

Faculty clinicians

The following faculty have extensive experience in administering bone scans, interpreting the results, and diagnosing the problem.