Since 1998 at Equine Practice, first time in Italy, a Gamma Camera has been used to carry out Nuclear Scintigraphy. The acquisition software has been recently modernized, achieving a substantial improvement of images in even most difficult (younger and more restless horses) cases. Hence the quality of the images related to the pelvis, the spinal column, the head and the hip joint have improved. With the improvement of the acquisition the examination execution time has also reduced.
The experience gained in the course of these years has allowed us to improve the knowledge of sport horse problems and especially to realize to what extent this scintigraphic exam represents the diagnostic method of choice for occult lameness.
It represents the only way to achieve diagnostic certainty in some cases, which are not infrequent, such as stress fractures of the tibia, humerus and the distal condyles of the metacarpus/metatarsus in Thoroughbred horses and lameness with poor radiographic findings such as traumatic subchondral bone injury.
It can also highlight the insertional enthesopathy of the suspensory ligament, the traumatic diseases of the carpus and the different degrees of bone activity in the Podotrochlear (Navicular) Syndrome in saddle horses.
Scintigraphy can also help determine multifactorial lameness and damage to the vertebral column, otherwise difficult to diagnose by other means.
The scintigraphy exam allows to detect the increased metabolic activity of the bone enabling the detection of pathological processes in place with no radiographically visible simultaneous structural alterations.
Such early diagnosis greatly reduces the risk of a severe development and irreparable damage in a number of well known pathologies affecting the long bones.
The scintigraphy exam has become an indispensable tool in diagnostic imaging. It is strongly recommended and undoubtedly necessary every time there are signs on severe and acute lameness lacking radiographic findings after the first examination.
Depending on the different needs of our customers, we are able to offer three examination options for different prices: the front legs, the rear legs or the complete “Total Body” examination, based on the medical history or the prescriptions of the referring veterinarian.
Luca Tosticroce DVM