Tests or procedures used by your vet to determine what is wrong with your horse, in order to reach a diagnosis.

Cost: $100 to $500

These cost ranges are approximate and may vary from region to region.
Additional charges may also apply.


Foal or Newborn, Abdominal Radiography, X-ray

Cost: $100 to $500

These cost ranges are approximate and may vary from region to region.
Additional charges may also apply.


This diagnostic may be advised when a foal is exhibiting signs of abdominal pain (colic), which can be associated with a variety of underlying conditions. The small size of foals relative to adult horses makes them much easier to x-ray.

X-rays are streams of electrons that pass through the tissues of the body and are blocked by tissues of various densities. The resultant pattern that emerges on the other side of the body causes a screen to emit light, which exposes film or a digital image capture surface.

High quality radiographs taken of a foal's abdomen may provide an examiner with a wealth of diagnostic information about the organs and patterns of gas distention and fluid accumulation within the different parts of the intestinal tract. Usually, only a single image is needed, however additional views may be helpful.

Why A Vet Chooses This Diagnostic

This diagnostic provides valuable (if not definitive) information to your vet, the results of which cannot be obtained in any other way. The results should be evaluated in conjunction with other diagnostics, a complete history, and physical exam.


Sedation may be necessary to keep a young and distressed foal immobilized adequately to take high quality images. In many cases, the foal is laid on its side on the x-ray plate. It is uncommon to make a definitive diagnosis of an abdominal problem in a foal with this diagnostic alone.

your role

Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • Will the foal need to be sedated?
  • Will this diagnostic change the approaches to treatment?

further reading & resources


Brand Name Products

Equine health related brand name products and services.

  • Sound™ Vet Inc.
    NEXT Equine DR™
    The Evolution of Equine Digital Radiography
    Sound™ is the veterinary industry’s #1 Digital Imaging and PACS Company, with uncontested leadership positions in Ultrasound, Digital Radiography, Imaging Education, and PACS Solutions. 
    Veterinary Digital Radiography, Ultrasound, and PACS Image Management benefiting from a combined strength and synergy, driving innovation and advancing an open standard of practice integration to provide you with previously unknown levels of Quality, Efficiency, and Freedom of Choice.
    Sound™ is the veterinary industry's largest and most trusted source for X Ray, Ultrasound, Digital Radiography, Radiation Therapy Equipment, PACS - Distributed Imaging Solutions, Telemedicine, Advanced Imaging Tools, Imaging Solutions Support & Technician Training.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP