Comprehensive Range of Diagnostic Services

Tailored to your horse’s needs

Equine diagnostics is much more than using the latest technology and running tests to determine the health and well-being of your horse. Here at Countryside Veterinary Services in Covington, we take a holistic approach to your horse's care, looking at the whole picture and accounting for equine symptoms, behaviors, and even small mannerisms that could be telling us something about the state of your horse.

We know that when your horse is sick or lame, you don’t want to wait around for answers. That is why we have invested in state-of-the-art diagnostic and laboratory testing which are mobile, fast, and accurate. Our experienced equine veterinarians understand that early and accurate diagnosis are critical in pinpointing and treating the underlying cause of your horse’s health problems.

Countryside’s comprehensive range of diagnostics includes:

Digital Radiography
Digital Ultrasound
Gastroscopy
Video Endoscopy
In-House Laboratory Testing
Samantha Eder DVM performing an Equine Ultrasound
Imaging Visible in Seconds

Digital Radiography

Equine digital radiography is a non-invasive procedure allowing us to see what is happening internally with your horse. Like a digital camera, the image is visible in as few as four seconds of exposure without the need for chemical film processing. Using this relatively new technology the veterinarians at Countryside can view highly-detailed information on almost any portion of the equine anatomy. Digital imaging can be used to target lameness issues or medical conditions. From the bones and joints to the heart, equine digital radiography is a key tool in our equine diagnosis processes.

Viewing Internal Structures

Digital Ultrasound

Ultrasonography, which uses sound waves to reveal internal structures of your horse, is a quick and painless diagnostic tool. Equine ultrasound is used to see the soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, in horses.

Countryside’s equine veterinarians can use digital ultrasound to help diagnose joint and soft tissue injuries, pregnancy, and colic. In addition, since a horse ultrasound allows us to see tendons and ligaments, we use this tool to help diagnose lameness, ligament injuries, suspected masses and tumors, inflammation, abscesses, and so much more.

Ultrasounds can also be used to evaluate how an injury is healing to guide injections for precide medical procedures. These images are much better than digital x-ray images when looking at soft tissues.

All of our Countryside equine veterinarians are equipped with SOUND Technologies Ultrasound Systems and are available to provide services in-house or on the farm.

Dan Carter, DVM, CJF performing an Ultrasound
Diagnosing eating related issues

Equine Gastroscopy

As you know, horses can have many issues related to eating, which is why our equine gastroscopy machines are crucial in our diagnostic processes. Gastroscopy is a valuable veterinary tool that uses a flexible video endoscope to examine the equine esophagus and stomach. This uncomplicated procedure is performed while the horse is under light sedation. Sedation is not needed to control pain, but to instead to control the "ticklish" feeling your horse may experience as the small (1 cm) endoscope is passed through their nose. A gastroscope is the only way to accurately diagnose the presence and severity of stomach ulcers in horses. Stomach ulcers are extremely common and can lead to colic, weight loss, and your horse feeling poorly overall.  It can also be used to identify stomach impactions, parasites, tumors and other abnormalities that may be affecting your horse's GI tract.

Equine Gastric Ulcers
Gastric Ulcers

Could my horse have ulcers?

Ulcers are a very under-recognized problem in horses. Most owners do not realize that foals, adult horses, pleasure horses and performance horses are all at-risk for developing gastric ulcers.

Signs your horse needs a Gastroscope:

  • Lack of appetite or weight loss
  • Teeth grinding
  • Girthiness or discomfort around flanks
  • Dislike of brushing and blanketing
  • Decreased performance or change in attitude
  • Colic or continuous colic symptoms
  • Chronic, loose stools

Treating and Preventing Equine Ulcers

At Countryside, we do not believe in blindly treating horses for ulcers for several reasons. First, we do not want you to invest in an expensive treatment for a horse that does not even have ulcers. Secondly, we don't want to prolong any suffering for the horse. There are several different types and grades of equine ulcers that require different levels and lengths of treatment. We want the best result and outcome for you and your horse. Once your horse is diagnosed, medication and lifestyle changes will be necessary. We are here to guide you through this process, and we will recommend an exercise and feeding program for your horse.

Read more about the importance of diagnosing Ulcers in this recent article from Dr. Dan Carter, ‘Why it’s worth chasing the ulcer diagnosis.”

Did you know horses are designed to be grazers? Frequent intake of roughage aids stomach acids and reduces risk for ulcers.
Upper Airway

Best Practices in Equine Endoscopy

At Countryside, our advanced endoscope gives our veterinarians a real time view into the horse’s upper respiratory tract. Upper airway video endoscopy is used to evaluate and target problems with the pharynx, larynx, guttural pouches and trachea. These upper airway issues are common in sport horses and race horses. It is also used to diagnose roaring in horses.

Have You Noticed?

Change in performance or energy level
Loud / heavy breathing (especially during exercise)
Nasal discharge (mucus, pus, blood, food etc.)
Coughing / wheezing
Facial swelling

All of the above clinical signs are indications that upper airway endoscopy is needed. The endoscope may also be used in conjunction with radiography, ultrasound examination, biopsy or cytology (via the endoscope) to confirm a diagnosis.
In addition, an endoscopy can be used to help diagnose issues with the bladder, uterus, and urethra.

Equine Dentistry
In-House

Laboratory Diagnostics

Just like in humans, equine vets can learn a lot by running bloodwork on your horse. This can help us with early detection of some conditions and diseases, as well as tell us what is currently going on with your horse. Some of the bloodwork panels we run include:

Complete
blood count (CBC)

Screening for disorders related to the red and white blood cells, and platelet counts. Examples include anemia, inflammation, infection, and some types of neoplasia.

Chemistry Panel

Looks at protein and enzyme levels, as well as electrolytes, to help diagnose diseases or conditions related to the kidney, liver, and pancreas.

Lactate Blood Level

By understanding the level of lactate in your horse's blood, horse vets can get a good indication about the severity of a horse's colic.

From the Blog

News & Articles

As many of our clients know, we love sharing our knowledge and important animal health news. Our blog contains valuable educational resources in one easy location.

Feb 5

The Art of Equine Acupuncture: Let’s get right to the point.

Explore how ancient wisdom meets modern equine health. Learn about acupuncture’s benefits and how it can aid in your horses performance, and well-being.
More
Jan 3

Colic Chronicles: What Every Horse Owner Should Know

Explore the depths of colic management and safeguard your horse's well-being. Learn to recognize crucial signs, understand the risks, and become a colic combatant! 🐎💡
More
Dec 6

We wish you a MARE-y Christmas

From their charming antics to the science behind their estrous cycle, read about managing mare moods, spotting signs of heat, and even balancing hormones with nutrition and supplements. Don't miss this sleigh-full of insights!
More
Dec 6

We wish you a MARE-y Christmas

From their charming antics to the science behind their estrous cycle, read about managing mare moods, spotting signs of heat, and even balancing hormones with nutrition and supplements. Don't miss this sleigh-full of insights!
More
Dec 5

7.2 M Reasons to Celebrate Our Love of Horses

National Day of the Horse is December 13th and we're blogging about the deep emotional connections we share with these magnificent animals, a topic even the NIH is studying. Join us for this captivating read!
More
Nov 7

Care Tips for Senior Horses: Ensuring the Comfort of Your Aging Equine Companions

Prepare your senior horse for colder weather with our care guide. From assessing their body condition to ensuring proper nutrition and dental care, these tips will keep your aging equine companion healthy and content.
More
Oct 3

Understanding Equine Cushing's Disease: What Horse Owners Need to Know

Cushing's is doable with care. Recognize signs, consult your vet, consider Prascend for your horse's comfort.
More
Sep 13

Decoding Equine Pain: How to Recognize the Signs

As Pain Awareness Month begins, it's crucial to spot subtle signs of discomfort in horses, often masked by their natural ability to hide pain. By closely monitoring behavior and recognizing equine facial expressions, owners can learn to spot pain.
More
Aug 8

Focus on Soundness: Strategies for Injury-Free Horses

Expert Insights from Our Veterinarians. Plus, simple yet effective tactics to prevent injuries and maintain soundness.
More
5 Feb

The Art of Equine Acupuncture: Let’s get right to the point.

Explore how ancient wisdom meets modern equine health. Learn about acupuncture’s benefits and how it can aid in your horses performance, and well-being.
More
3 Jan

Colic Chronicles: What Every Horse Owner Should Know

Explore the depths of colic management and safeguard your horse's well-being. Learn to recognize crucial signs, understand the risks, and become a colic combatant! 🐎💡
More
2 Jan

All About Hoof Health

The foundation of a horse’s health is a strong, healthy hoof. Read on for insightful tips and proactive planning to ensure your horse has happy feet all year round.
More
6 Dec

We wish you a MARE-y Christmas

From their charming antics to the science behind their estrous cycle, read about managing mare moods, spotting signs of heat, and even balancing hormones with nutrition and supplements. Don't miss this sleigh-full of insights!
More
5 Dec

7.2 M Reasons to Celebrate Our Love of Horses

National Day of the Horse is December 13th and we're blogging about the deep emotional connections we share with these magnificent animals, a topic even the NIH is studying. Join us for this captivating read!
More
7 Nov

Care Tips for Senior Horses: Ensuring the Comfort of Your Aging Equine Companions

Prepare your senior horse for colder weather with our care guide. From assessing their body condition to ensuring proper nutrition and dental care, these tips will keep your aging equine companion healthy and content.
More
3 Oct

Understanding Equine Cushing's Disease: What Horse Owners Need to Know

Cushing's is doable with care. Recognize signs, consult your vet, consider Prascend for your horse's comfort.
More
13 Sep

Decoding Equine Pain: How to Recognize the Signs

As Pain Awareness Month begins, it's crucial to spot subtle signs of discomfort in horses, often masked by their natural ability to hide pain. By closely monitoring behavior and recognizing equine facial expressions, owners can learn to spot pain.
More