Since 2004, we are doing MRI examination on the horse. The diagnostic method, also designated as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) tomography or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), is an imaging technique for presentiation of various tissues with the help of magnetic fields and radio waves. Without the use of X-rays images of the affected area are made, and not restricted to bone, as in x-rays, but including soft tissues. The technique, which has been applied for about 8years in equine medicine, offers decivise advantages vis-á-vis “classic” radiography and we get much more information. By the MRI technique, we make possible statements about the condition of soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons, joint capsule, cartilage, or bursae. This is particularly important in the region of the foot, where ultrasound is very limited. In our clinic we utilize a device that enables the examination on a standing, merely sedated horse. As a result, a high risk narcosis is no longer necessary. The U-shaped magnet is height-adjustable so that regions from the hoof area to the carpus or tarsus can be axaminated. Up to now, this modern technique is only offered by three other clinics in Germany.
What is the procedure?
The shoes can be removed from both hooves. The horse is sedated, lead into the room and placed on the scanner with one leg. The veterinarian directs the magnet to the unhealthy leg. Many images are taken and sometimes recordings from the other leg are included in order to compare. After 1-2 hours, the horse is out of the room and, if necessary, is kept shortly in a box until it’s awake. Afterwards, the meeting between the veterinarian, owner and / or rider takes place so the therapy is determined in collective cooperation.
What are the benefits of MRI?
It saves you time and money. In human orthopedics, MRI is usually the diagnostic method of "first choice". It is the only method in which all structures (even beneath the hoof wall) can be seen. General anesthesia is not necessary in most cases.
Clear and fast diagnosis:
Consider MRI in the following cases:
How does the MRI works?
The scans are made in a special shielded room. The leg is exposed to a strong magnetic field and to short radio-wave impulses. The resulting signal can then be converted into images. Different sequences provide different signals. Therefore all tissues can be distinguished from each other without contrast agents. It doesn´t create harmful radiation like X-rays and CT. Side effects are not known.