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New Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Service in the Midlands.

We are delighted to announce that Pool House Equine Clinic in partnership with Hallmarq UK  launched a the new MRI service called Midland’s Equine Referrals (MER) in March 2015 at Crown Inn Farm, Rykneld Street, Fradley, WS13 8RD.

The service will be supervised by European diplomat Jonathan Withers and the images will be interpreted by Dr Meredith Smith MA Vet MB PhD Cert ES Dip ECVS AECVDI MRCVS, acknowledged expert in MRI interpretation and consultant to the AHT & RVC in the field of Equine Diagnostic Imaging.


Why Equine MRI?

For lameness caused by a problem inside the foot only an MRI allows veterinary surgeons to clearly distinguish between lesions in the bone, ligaments or tendons. The treatment for each is different, so only with an accurate diagnosis can treatment be properly targeted. Better treatment gives a better outcome.

Standing MRI is also valuable for problems higher up the leg, and for monitoring the progress of recovery from injury. MRI can reveal stress fractures weeks before any damage would be visible on X-ray. Early diagnosis allows modifications to the training regime, potentially avoiding a catastrophic injury.

Why Standing MRI?

For a standing MRI, sedation will normally be sufficient to ensure no movement and good image quality.

While some vets argue that the higher magnetic field of a human-type scanner gives clearer images, comparison studies have shown the images captured of horses in the Hallmarq MRI to be of comparable diagnostic value.

Since the procedure is performed on a sedated standing patient, the well known concerns of General Anaesthetic are avoided.

Information for owners.

MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that permits fine details of both bone and soft tissues structures within the foot (and other locations) to be visualised and assessed permitting very accurate diagnosis of problems. In turn this means that targeted treatment can be given and a more accurate prognosis at an early stage of the disease process. MRI can be performed on a sedated patient thus avoiding the need for general anaesthesia, however image acquisition is a relatively lengthy process and is usually preceded by radiography. For this reason MRI patients will need to be admitted for a day (overnight stabling will be provided at a reduced rate if required).  In most instances the results of the scan should be available within three working days and a detailed written report will be supplied. It is not possible to perform an MRI scan with any metallic material nearby, therefore it is an invariable rule that the horse’s shoes must be removed.

Information for referring vets.

Cases may be referred for imaging of a specified area up to the distal carpus and tarsus OR for a full diagnostic work up. Ongoing treatment will not usually be undertaken unless specifically requested by the referring practice.

The images will be read by Dr. Meredith Smith MRCVS and reported to you by MER via email copied to the client within three working days of the scan.

Referrals to MER can be made via telephone 01283 799700 (ask for MRI referral) or fax 01283 799707.

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