Equine hospital installs new MRI scanner

  • A Yorkshire equine hospital has installed a standing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to boost its lameness diagnosis.

    The Hallmarq MRI scanner, which is said to offer a “90% likelihood of conclusive diagnosis” will be used alongside the existing CT facility at Rainbow Equine Hospital, Malton. It will become the 14th centre in the country to use this scanner, and the only private hospital in the north of England offering combined diagnostic services of MRI, CT and scintigraphy.

    Rainbow’s team of vets has been trained to use the equipment, and Rossdales’ equine MRI specialist Sarah Powell will interpret the images.

    Veterinary surgeon Moses Brennan, from Rainbow Equine Hospital, said that a standing MRI scan “removes the need for treating problems by trial and terror”. X-rays and ultrasound examinations only reveal bone and soft tissue, meaning that if nothing shows up a vet has to use his judgement to diagnose the issue.

    “As soon as the nerve blocks confirm the location of the problem, you can ask your vet for an MRI to help reach an accurate diagnosis,” said Mr Brennan. “There’s no need to spend money trying different treatments and then MRI in three to six months’ time as a last resort. The Hallmarq system offers the choice of standing MRI, so your horse does not have to undergo the risks of general anaesthesia for the examination”.

    The Hallmarq Standing Equine MRI uses a strong magnetic field to produce around 500 images of the soft tissues and bone of the foot and leg. Light sedation is used to make sure the horse does not move throughout the procedure. The scan takes one to two hours, meaning the horse can often return home later the same day.

    For more information visit: www.rainbowequinehospital.co.uk

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