Equine scintigraphy (bone scan) involves injection of a radioisotope, (technetium-99m) which is linked to a compound called bisphosphonate-MDP. Within a couple of hours this combined compound shows up in areas of the horse’s skeleton where there is increased activity of the bone, which may indicate lesions. Because the radioactivity of the compound gradually decreases, radiation is emitted from the horse’s body. This radiation (gamma radiation) is captured by a gamma camera. Through computer software, an image is acquired where abnormalities in bone activity can be detected as so called “hot spots”.
Scintigraphy is a very sensitive technique which can detect bony changes much earlier than radiography (sometimes even years before radiographic changes can be seen). Our gamma camera is designed to enable quick and efficient acquisition of scintigraphic images of any area of the axial and appendicular skeleton in the standing horse, meaning no general anaesthesia is required. Dr.Bergman is the founder of equine scintigraphy in The Netherlands (since 2003). Due to this, SMDC offers a lot of expertise and experience in performing scintigraphy and analyzing the results. SMDC is currently the only clinic in the Netherlands that has the newest and most up to date scintigraphic equipment.