Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Radiography, X-ray, Thoraco-Lumbar Spine



This region of the spine is embedded in very thick and heavy musculature. Injury to this area is less common than previously thought.

Radiographs are valuable because they can help confirm or rule out an injury to this area. However, only veterinary teaching hospitals and large referral clinics have the proper equipment to perform this radiographic study.


Allows visualization of the vertebrae and intervertebral joints, providing for rapid diagnosis of fractures in this area or arthritis.


Very few equine hospitals have a powerful enough x-ray generator to produce quality radiographs of this area. This diagnostic requires higher radiation doses that make radiation safety especially important. Soft tissue injuries can be severe and yet bony changes can be minimal. Additional diagnostics that are better able to visualize soft tissue injuries or abnormalities may be necessary.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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