Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Digital Radiography

Digital Radiography for Horses
at the
Arthur Veterinary Clinic
Digital Radiography, otherwise known as DR, is very similar to a digital camera. It gives us the ability to have "instant x-rays". Just as a digital camera no longer uses film to capture pictures, DR no longer requires x-ray film. Instead, our DR unit uses a laptop computer to capture our x-ray image. This allows us to obtain clear, superior images in a matter of moments. We no longer have to develop the x-ray, instead we are able to view the x-ray instantly. With the x-ray displayed on the laptop screen, we have the ability to magnify and adjust the image, giving us greater detail and accuracy for our diagnosis and treatment.

Another advantage of the DR system is its compactability which allows us to obtain x-rays at a farm or stable instantaneously without making the trip back to the clinic to develop the x-rays.
This is a photograph of our DR unit. The yellow piece of equipment is the x-ray generator which emits the x-ray beam. The blue plate (connected to the generator) receives the x-ray and transmits the image to the laptop on the cart. The blue plate replaces the x-ray film.

In addition to improved quality and reduced processing time, DR allows us to store images on CDs or thumb drives and to share with colleagues either electronically by email or by posting on a secure website. Each evening, all x-rays taken are stored on a hard drive at the clinic and sent electronically for off site storage, back up and archiving. This off site storage allows for secure viewing of the x-rays via the internet.

This is a photograph of a digital radiograph being taken of a horse's cannon bone or front leg.

This is a photograph of the actual digital x-ray image as seen on the laptop.

Along with the DR unit, the Arthur Veterinary Clinic also has a digital ultrasound unit for use on horses, dogs and cats. Ultrasound is a great compliment to x-rays and allows us to obtain 3-D images of dog and cat abdomens, equine tendons and soft tissue swellings. Whether we are looking a bladder for possible stones or scanning the entire abdomen, ultrasound is a diagnostic test which we use frequently at the AVC. Just like DR, digital ultrasound lets us store images on a CD, thumb drive or email electronically.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cancer Eye in Horses

Cancer Eye in Horses

In horses, tumors of the eye, skin and genital system are most common types of cancer seen. Cancer Eye is the common phrase used when a horse has a tumor or cancer in the eye, eyelid or conjunctiva. Unfortunately, these types of cancer are usually squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) which are malignant. Occasionally, this type of cancer can be a sarcoid which is not malignant.

Squamous cell carcinoma tends to occur in older horses with lightly or non-pigmented eyelids. Appaloosas and draft breeds tend to be most commonly affected with SCC. The eyelids, conjunctiva, third eyelid (nictitating membrane) and corner of the eye are the common areas. Usually, the horse develops a clear to cloudy discharge from the eye. The tumor is usually pink and fleshy in color and can be seen protruding from the eyelid or conjunctiva.

Treatment should involve surgically removing the tumor is possible. Follow up treatment includes "freezing" the tumor site or applying liquid nitrogen to the area to kill any remaining tumor cells. If the cancer cannot be excised, prescription ointments to kill the tumor can be used.

Unfortunately, SCC is malignant and can invade the tissue and bone surrounding the eye. Many times, the cancer will recur even after excision. Enucleation or removal of the entire eye is necessary in advanced cases. If you see an abnormal discharge or pink like growth from your horse's eye, you should call your veterinarian for an examination.

Below are pictures of a Belgian stallion with squamous cell carcinoma of this third eyelid. The third eyelid is an eyelid which is located in the middle corner of the eye and covers the entire eye when needed. It is used to protect the eye. The tumor is visible as the pink, raised mass in the middle corner of his eye. I excised this tumor and used cryosurgery after the excision to kill any remaining tumor cells.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Riverdance & Roxy

January 1st means the beginning of foaling season.......seems too cold and too early to think about that, though!

Thought I would share a picture of a "Roxy", an Oldenburg filly, who was born at the Arthur Veterinary Clinic on May 5th, 2008. Her owner, Chrissie Moran, sent me a picture of her at 18 months! Its great to be able to see these "youngsters" as they grow up! Thanks Chrissie!

Roxy at 18 months of age

Roxy and her mother, Riverdance shortly after birth.

Roxy and Riverdance