Ultrasound is a non-invasive technique that allows visualisation of the internal organs. The size, shape and appearance can all be assessed and abnormalities such as abscesses and tumours may be seen.

Abdominal ultrasound is indicated in numerous conditions, including:

  • weight loss
  • recurrent colic
  • fever of unknown origin
  • kidney & liver problems
  • chronic diarrhoea
Ultrasound is also vital for guiding biopsy of abdominal organs such as the liver and kidneys.  

Abdominal ultrasound is not painful and often does not require sedation. If the horse has a thick coat, the hair will need to be clipped and cleaned to remove any grease and ensure a better image.



Left: thickened small intestine due to inflammatory bowel disease in a horse with weight loss

Right: distended loop of small intestine adjacent to the spleen, in a horse with recurrent colic