In medicine, both human and veterinary, the following principles apply: 1. Without an accurate diagnosis, knowing the best treatment is impossible. 2. Do no harm.
These simple statements underpin Hallmarq’s development of the world’s only equine standing MRI (sMRI).
Since launch, sMRI systems have scanned more than 60,000 horses worldwide and provided accurate diagnoses for over 90% of them. Thissuccess rate is impressive and is comparable to ‘down’ MRI, which requires full anesthesia with all of the risks of both the anesthesia itself and of injury during recovery.
Standing MRI systems are able to image soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, as well as bony structures such as joints. Although able to image up to the knee (carpus) and hock (tarsus) in most horses, this ability makes sMRI uniquely valuable in cases of foot lameness.
There are more than 13 potential causes of foot lameness. This fact, combined with the extreme difficulty of imaging through the hoofwall, means that getting a complete diagnosis of the cause, or causes, of the pain is very difficult. So difficult, in fact, that a catch-all term, “navicular syndrome”, was invented for horses with foot pain of no specific diagnosis.
Standing MRI can provide a complete picture of the sources of lameness within the foot. Indeed, some diagnoses, such as bone bruising or ‘edema’, are only possible by means of MRI. This complete diagnostic picture allows your veterinarian to create the best possible treatment and rehabilitation plan in accordance with Principle 1 (above).
The fact that the sMRI system scans while the horse stands quietly under a very light sedation and avoids the risk of anesthesia also complies with Principle 2.
Next time you and your vet are struggling with a complex lameness case, consider standing MRI to get the information you need, without the risk that you don’t.
Hallmarq systems are available at the following sites in Texas :
- Veterinary Hospital, 600 Hwy 290 West Elgin, Texas 78621
- Brock Veterinary Clinic, 1204 S Dallas Ave, Lamesa, TX 79331
For more information, visit www.hallmarq.net