What You Need To Know About Equine MRI Scans

Common Indicators For MRI
  • Musculoskeletal Disease: 
    • Better understanding of pathology within the hoof capsule.
    • Identifying pathology in soft tissue structures (i.e. ligaments, tendons) and bone.
    • Assessment of many different synovial structures (i.e. bursa, joint, or tendon sheath).
  • Neurologic Disease:
    • Critical evaluation of the brain.

Common imaging diagnostic tools, such as radiography, are effective for many musculoskeletal injuries; however, MRI examinations allow a more complete assessment of the problem area and extent of the pathology, especially in cases in which radiographs and/or ultrasound are inconclusive. MRI will also provide additional information for determining prognosis and for optimizing a treatment plan for each individual patient. Following the MRI, a treatment and rehabilitation protocol can then be designed through a team approach with the referring veterinarian(s) and the radiologists/imaging team at Animal Imaging.

Animal Imaging has the unique ability to offer 2 options for equine MRI examinations: 

High Field MRI system

Animal Imaging is currently the only private practice in Texas with a 3.0 Tesla MRI. MRI’s commonly used in human and veterinary medicine range from 0.2 – 3.0 Tesla (T) strengths. The higher the Tesla strength, the faster the scan can be performed and the better the image quality; however, due to the type and configuration of these high field systems, all patients must be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure.

Low Field/Standing MRI System

Animal Imaging also has a 0.27 Tesla Hallmarq MRI on site. This system has a lower field strength but has the advantage of allowing the horses to remain standing during the procedure and avoid general anesthesia.

Following each of the MRI examinations, one of our Board-Certified Radiologists will review all the images and submit a final report within 24-48 hours of the exam. The report and clinical findings will then be sent to the referring veterinarian and client. Clients should follow-up with the referring veterinarian for explanation of results and information on treatment or management.