Advanced Imaging Technology

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is equipped with advanced diagnostic imaging modalities that enable our doctors to make precise and timely diagnoses. Diagnostic images are held to the highest quality standards and evaluated by our board-certified radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski. With leading diagnostic tools in our arsenal, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is able to identify and treat a wide variety of conditions.

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Services:

  • Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Traditional Diagnostic Imaging Options

  • Ultrasonography
  • Digital Radiography
  • Endoscopy

Nuclear Scintigraphy

Commonly referred to as a bone scan.

Nuclear scintigraphy allows veterinarians to detect areas of concern before they may be visible with other imaging modalities. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is one of only a handful of equine hospitals in the region offering nuclear diagnostic capabilities and takes pride in producing superior images.

The process of nuclear scintigraphy involves injecting a radioisotope into the patient who then begins to emit radiation in the form of gamma rays. A special camera is then used to capture images of the horse which showcase areas of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake. These “hot spots” represent areas of increased metabolic activity in soft tissue or bone, allowing veterinarians to identify potential sources of lameness or other conditions that may only present subtle signs to the naked eye.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic utilizes nuclear scintigraphy to access these types of complex issues, as well as when identifying fracture sites in the pelvis, legs and spine. The average hospital stay for equine patients undergoing a bone scan is 30 hours from the time of injection to when the veterinarian clears the horse to return home. The morning after the bone scan, hospital staff will record the horse’s radiation levels to ensure they are safe to return home. The Palm Beach Equine Clinic board certified radiologist will review the images and send a report to the veterinarian, or whomever the owner prefers, within two business days.

Computed Tomography

On the forefront of diagnostic imaging, Palm Beach Equine Clinic proudly offers Computed Tomography (CT) scans as one of the country’s select few equine hospitals with this capability. CT technology utilizes x-rays to digitally showcase structures on multiple planes, from multiple angles. This allows veterinarians to examine structures, such as the skull, spine and distal limbs, on an intricate level and raises the bar for diagnoses and treatment.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is equipped with the Epica Pegaso unit that allows images to be obtained from standing and recumbent positions. Although the scans can be taken in a matter of minutes, the overall CT time is dependent on the area being scanned and whether anesthesia will be necessary. Horses undergoing a CT scan can most often be discharged on the same day once sedation effects have completely worn off. A full report and review of the scans will be delivered within two business days by Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s board certified radiologist.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI is widely considered the gold standard of diagnostic imaging in humans and animals by allowing doctors to examine soft tissue, bone and cartilage. Most prominently used in diagnosing lameness, MRI presents more detailed images to veterinarians when compared to radiography and ultrasonography. With the Hallmarq MRI unit at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, veterinarians are able to examine highly focused sections across anatomic planes and at various angles. This low magnetic field unit allows Palm Beach Equine Clinic to perform the scan with the horse standing and only lightly sedated. Other facilities that utilize high-field MRI units require general anesthesia and therefore put horses at a greater risk of injury.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic takes time to ensure all patients are calm and comfortable during the MRI scan, which allows for high-quality results. Once completed, Palm Beach Equine Clinic staff closely monitors each patient until sedation effects have completely worn off. The Palm Beach Equine Clinic board certified radiologist will review the images and send a report to the veterinarian, or whomever the owner prefers, within two business days.

Traditional Diagnostic Imaging Capabilities

Dr. Peter Heidmann palm beach equine clinic veterinarian internal medicine wellington horse abdominal ultrasound


Ultrasonography is a frequently used, noninvasive and versatile tool that allows veterinarians to visualize a variety of internal structures and make a swift diagnosis. Ultrasonography uses high frequency sound waves to produce a real time image of musculoskeletal structures and internal organs. It is most often utilized to diagnose tendon, ligament and joint issues, as well as respiratory and cardiac diseases, colic and pregnancies. 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Sport Horse Medicine Radiography

Digital Radiography  

As an essential imaging modality, radiography is commonly used for diagnoses and for pre-purchase examinations. Radiographs show cracks, fractures, or other issues in hard tissue and the digital x-rays can be manipulated for a more accurate reading. Digital radiographs may be taken at the barn or at the clinic and are assessed by our board-certified radiologist.

endoscope palm beach equine clinic diagnostic medical imaging services


An endoscope is an instrument that allows veterinarians an in-depth look inside the body through inserted of a tiny camera through a natural opening or incision. Endoscopes are commonly used to examine internal structures such as the upper and lower respiratory track, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts as well as the cervix and uterus of mares.

computed tomography palm beach equine clinic diagnostic medical imaging services

Referring Veterinarians

Palm Beach Equine Clinic values referring veterinarian relationships and aims to accommodate all patients. Referring veterinarians may contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic regarding diagnostic imaging services by calling 561-793-1599.