Diagnostic Imaging


Endoscopy is the use of a camera to visualise and evaluate many parts of the horse. The most common use is to look at the upper respiratory tract (pharynx, larynx, guttural pouches and trachea), and parts of the gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach, rectum), but we also frequently use it to look at the urinary tract (bladder and urethra) and reproductive tract of mares (vagina, cervix and uterus) and sometimes to examine the accessory sex gland of stallions. Upper respiratory tract endoscopy is an essential part of a poor performance work up or to examine horses with suspected upper airway obstructions, infections or lung disease. At the Victorian Equine Hospital we have several endoscopes, which vary in their width, length and portability (with both hospital based systems and portable systems for racetrack work and yearling sales work). Most of our endoscopes are video endoscopes which allow the image to be viewed on a screen, and allows for easy recording and image retrieval.

Dynamic Respiratory Endoscopy

We also perform dynamic respiratory endoscopy to evaluate horses which are suffering from intermittent problems, only evident during exercise. These problems (often termed dynamic problems, or dynamic collapse) are actually quite common. 


The Victorian Equine Group has three state of the art digital radiography machines. Digital radiography means that the x-ray beam is converted to an electronic image on the cloud which can be enhanced further through manipulations to contrast and resolution. With these images we can obtain excellent quality images of upper limbs, necks and backs, as well as the lower limbs. Radiography may be undertaken for many reasons including lameness evaluations, yearling sales, poor performance and assists in the assessment of a range of medical and surgical cases.


Historically many people have associated ultrasonography mostly with reproductive work and ultrasonography of the lower limb. However, ultrasonography is an invaluable tool for assessing almost every part of the horse. We often use it for looking at the; 

  • musculoskeletal system (tendons and ligaments, but also joint and the surface of bones such as the pelvis) 
  • reproductive system; preparation of mares for breeding and pregnancy diagnosis and monitoring 
  • the abdominal cavity; looking at the intestines and other organs in the case of colic, repeat/recurrent colic/horses with diarrhoea or weight loss 
  • the thorax; looking at the lungs and heart 
  • monitoring the foetus during late gestation in high risk pregnancies 
  • almost anything else! It is very useful to evaluate wounds, lumps and abnormally swollen tissues 

The Victorian Equine Group has two in house ultrasonography machines that provide superb images of the musculoskeletal systems, abdominal and thoracic cavities. As most cases require the use of high quality ultrasound machines, these machines are used several times on a daily basis. The practice also carries a large number of portable ultrasound machines mainly used for reproductive purposes.