As to the question about what one should charge for the use of this equipment, the response spans a wide spectrum. Some don’t charge (I think they are wrong), some do not charge much, and some charge a lot. Some line item the charge and some roll it into the entire lameness evaluation, but really, I think the charge should reflect the worth of the service and this is what I do. If your service is valuable, your charge should reflect the value.
When I was first learning tendon/joint ultrasound I did not charge much, but now I charge more. I still do not charge much if I am ultrasound something just for the heck of it, maybe to learn more, maybe to practice some, like the pelvic or SI joint or back (of which I know little). This is anathema to some veterinary practice managers I am sure.
You have to pay for the machines. But I just feel uncomfortable charging a lot for something I am not very good at or are just learning to do. So, I charge for my use of the equipment, because it is very useful to me and it provides a valuable service. I have at least one case a week in which I would probably not have reached the definitive diagnosis, or would not have been confident about it, without the use of the equipment.
Sometimes I put it on just because I am curious and do not charge for it. This is the good thing about the equipment. You are not really going to wear it out using it (like shockwave, or if you really think about it, ultrasound and radiographs) and the hardware (sensors, computer) can be easily replaced. Also, when someone first gets the equipment, putting it on every horse quickly makes one an expert, so that when that difficult case comes around, he/she is better situated to use the extra and more sensitive information provided by the equipment.
Written by Dr. Kevin G. Keegan