Going Beneath the Surface: Large Animal Diagnostics

large animal diagnostics in becker, milaca and foley, mn

For owners of livestock, equines, or other farm animals, having one of them become ill or lame can have disastrous consequences if their condition is left untreated. If you suspect that one of your cattle is suffering from a respiratory disease, or your horse has infectious anemia, our knowledgeable veterinary teams in Milaca and Foley will work to diagnose the problem. Our large animal diagnostic services include X-rays, ultrasound, and various lab tests for checking blood, stool, and urine.

brown horses grazing grass
Large Animal X-Rays and Ultrasound

Large Animal X-Rays and Ultrasound

Radiography (X-rays) is one of the most common types of diagnostic imaging in both human and veterinary medicine. X-rays are ideal for studying bones to look for subtle and not-so-subtle abnormalities. They can help in diagnosing lameness in equines that can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Bone spurs (a sign of osteoarthritis)
  • Fractures
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Congenital deformities
  • Bone disease
  • Bone chips

Ultrasound is the preferred modality for examining soft tissues such as the intestines, kidneys, and spleen, and is useful for:

  • Monitoring pregnancies
  • Identifying pelvic fractures
  • Detecting fluid in the abdomen
  • Detecting pneumonia
  • Examining tumors
  • Finding the cause of colic

In-House Diagnostic Testing

curious young cow

Another way to observe the state of your large animal’s internal systems is to perform lab tests to check the condition of their blood, internal organs, urine, stool, or plasma. With our in-house diagnostics lab, we can perform:

  • Coggins testing
  • Equine chemistry testing
  • Hematology testing
  • IgG testing for foals
  • Bovine serum pregnancy testing
  • Bull semen testing

The Coggins test is a blood test for horses that veterinarians use to diagnose a serious disease called equine infectious anemia, which is spread by deer flies, horse flies, and other biting insects. Contrary to popular belief, “Coggins” is not the name of any disease but rather the name of the veterinarian (Dr. Leroy Coggins) who developed the test. The test itself involves checking the blood for equine infectious anemia antibodies. Unfortunately, this disease is untreatable and incurable, and in some cases, fatal. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen legs
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of athletic performance ability