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Date: 7/27/2009 10:49 am
Many times a patient (especially our equine patients) is presented with a lameness that is difficult to localize because our patients cannot tell us where they hurt and may not show discomfort in our physical exam. In order to focus our examination and determine what other diagnostic procedures that need to be done we may need a nuclear medicine scan. This involves injecting a short acting radioactive agent that may indicate an abnormal area of soft tissue or abnormal area of bone. Images of the body are recorded using a gamma camera. This type of examination is very sensitive to subtle disease processes and may be able to localize the problems area for us and allow us to use other diagnostic procedures to pinpoint the cause of the problem. Nuclear medicine scans can also be used to evaluate for thyroid, kidney, pulmonary and liver abnormalities. The patients usually have to be in isolation for about 2 days but then can return to their normal stall areas.