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.


Radiography, X-ray, Abdominal (in Adult)

Cost: $100 to $500

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


Due to the massive size of the equine abdomen, radiography of this area requires a very powerful x-ray generator to penetrate and create a diagnostic image. These high output x-ray machines are generally found only in large university teaching hospitals and large private practices.

Abdominal radiographs in adult horses are mostly taken when sand accumulation or enteroliths are suspected.

While a horse is standing, a powerful x-ray generator, usually mounted on a track or rolling cart, is positioned on one side of the horse. An image capture plate (either x-ray cassette with film or digital image capture) is positioned on the other side. X-rays pass through the horse and expose the image capture device. As with much of equine radiography today, in most cases, a digital image is created.

Why A Vet Chooses This Diagnostic


Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

This test could rule out or confirm any of the following diagnoses.

Very Common
more diagnoses
This diagnostic is helpful in confirming or ruling out the presence of an enterolith or sand accumulation in the abdomen. Both enterolith and sand are called "radio-dense", meaning that they show up brightly on a radiograph because the x-rays penetrate them poorly.


The proper equipment needed for abdominal x-ray are usually only found at large teaching hospitals and private referral hospitals. Typical x-ray equipment does not have the power to penetrate the abdomen of an average adult horse abdomen.

Although this is a very useful technique for detecting enteroliths, it is also possible to miss an enterolith using this diagnostic.

Abdominal radiography has limited use in the adult horse for making diagnoses other than sand and enteroliths.

your role

Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • What are the chances that this technique fails to find an enterolith?
  • What is the nearest facility that can provide this service?

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