The Hallmarq MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) unit has been up and running since August, 2015. We are very excited that this revolutionary new imaging option is now available. The Hallmarq MRI is designed to take images from a standing, sedated horse, and is used for areas below the carpus of the front legs and the hock of the hind legs.
MRI uses a magnetic field and a radio-frequency pulse to collect a detailed image of the bones and soft tissues of a region. It is a very safe procedure that gives us valuable information that cannot be obtained with radiographs and/or ultrasound. MRI is known for its exquisite detail of soft tissue structures (tendons, ligaments, synovial structures, and cartilage). MRI scans also show us lesions in bones, such as bone edema, that cannot be identified on radiographs.
MRI of the equine foot is the most common area that we image, as there are many structures in the foot that are common causes of lameness, and diagnostic ultrasound of this area is not possible. MRI can help us get a clearer picture of the diagnosis and prognosis in these cases. With an accurate diagnosis, we can then create an appropriate therapeutic plan.
Your veterinarian may recommend an MRI for your horse following a lameness evaluation that localizes the lameness to a specific region of the limb. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.