A bone scan is a nuclear medicine technique which produces images of any part of the skeleton. Bone scans can usually detect most diseases of bone earlier than other techniques and are more sensitive than x-rays in depicting stress fractures, infections of bones and joints, infections of artificial joints and most tumours.
This means a bone scan can often detect problems long before they would show up on a plain x-ray. There is no special preparation required for a bone scan other than sedation of the animal at the time of the scan.
A scanning camera (Gamma Camera) views the body after the animal is given an injection of a radioactive substance, called Technetium 99mHDP, into a vein. This radioactive substance metabolically collects in both normal bone tissue and that which is more active due to disease processes.