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Diagnostic Services

Fox Valley Equine Practice is continually expanding and upgrading our diagnostic capabilities to improve our quality of care.  This includes having an in-house lab for routine blood tests and fecal exams.

We have multiple state-of-the-art direct digital X-ray units and ultrasounds, which have optimal image quality (see some examples below) and provide immediate, on-farm diagnosis.  The practice also has endoscopes for respiratory examinations and a lameness locator unit to help diagnose subtle lameness.

We also stress effective communication, thorough physical exams and consultation with specialists along with regular continuing education to enhance diagnostic abilities.

Did you know?

Foreign matter, such as mud, on an x-ray is referred to as an artifact.

Digital Radiography

FVEP offers digital radiography, an advanced x-ray technology where radiographs can be instantly viewed on the farm.  This is an invaluable tool for lameness examinations, pre-purchase examinations, navicular bursa injections, and time-sensitive radiographic results, to name a few. The ability to view images immediately on the farm is crucial in critical cases, such as when a fracture is suspected, and pre-purchase exams, when decisions await diagnostic results.

    Digital Ultrasonography

    Ultrasonography is an evolving technology with many applications in equine health. An ultrasound may be indicated in cases where an injury to ligament or tendon is suspected. If the injury is causing lameness, having an image of the affected area is helpful in directing advanced therapy (e.g. shockwave, PRP injections) as well as tracking improvement as the area heals. An ultrasound will also routinely be performed to track a mare’s estrus (heat) cycle and pregnancy, and may sometimes help elucidate the cause of a severe colic case. Finally, some doctors may use ultrasound to guide injections or biopsies of a specific area. These are a few of the most common uses of ultrasound technology, and the veterinarian may use the ultrasound in other instances where imaging is desired.

      Lameness Locator

      Fox Valley Equine Practice is now utilizing a new diagnostic technology that interprets lameness on a horse using gyroscopic and accelerometer sensors and Bluetooth to assess which limb or limbs is affected.  This is a very useful aid in subtle or complex lameness.

        In House Laboratory

        Fox Valley Equine Practice provides a wide range of in-office routine blood, urine, and fecal tests, as well as advanced diagnostic tests that are sent out to specialized laboratories.

        The VetScan VS2 is a state-of-the-art chemistry, electrolyte, immunoassay and blood gas analyzer that delivers uncompromising accuracy from just two drops of whole blood, serum or plasma. The VetScan VS2 is amazingly simple and intuitive, with precision reference laboratory quality results in 12 minutes – making it ideal for veterinary clinics.

          Respiratory Endoscopy

          An endoscope is a piece of equipment that comprises a long, flexible tube with a small camera on the tip used to perform a procedure called endoscopy. (A colonoscopy is an example with which many are familiar.) An endoscope can be inserted into the body to examine various locations, such as the equine upper respiratory system. Fox Valley Equine Practice can bring a one-meter endoscope to examine and diagnose upper respiratory conditions. These include diseases that affect the nose, larynx, and throat, and can cause breathing difficulties or noise, or abnormal discharge from the nose. A much longer endoscope unit is needed to see into the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, as is needed to check for gastric ulcers. Fox Valley may refer to another practice should a gastroscopy be recommended.


            Gastroscopy involves visualization of the inside of the horse’s stomach and is most commonly carried out in order to diagnose equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS).  The procedure involves using an extra long 3 meter flexible video endoscope which allows direct examination of the stomach lining.  It is carried out under sedation and is well tolerated by most horses.

            Symptoms are often vague and can include:

            • Poor performance
            • Changes in behavior or grumpy temperament
            • Picky appetite
            • Weight loss/ failure to maintain condition
            • Colic
            • Girthing pain or resistance to girthing
            • Resistance to riding aids
            • Poor coat condition

              Stable Lab Serum Amyloid A Blood Test

              Your horse is ill or uncomfortable. Is it just inflammation or is it  an infection?
              Your horse is breathing hard.  Is it allergies or do they have pneumonia?
              Your horse’s leg is swollen.  Is he injured or does he have a lymphangitis infection?

              Fox Valley Equine recently acquired a stall-side kit which is used to test for Serum Amyloid A, a bio-marker that elevates in cases of infection.  Stable Lab has developed this new approach to diagnostics and treatment which will aid in making better decisions sooner.  If infection is indicated, this simple blood test allows our vets to start antibiotics earlier.  If no infection is indicated, unnecessary treatment is avoided, if no infection is indicated.  We can also use this test to indicate if current antibiotics are working.  Fox Valley Equine is pleased to be able to offer this service to its clients.