ACTON, Mass. (July 2, 2014) – For years, veterinarians have used MRIs to aid in diagnostics, but the veterinarians at Equine Performax located at The Jaeckle Centre in Thompsons Station, Tennessee, are taking it a step further. With the recent installation of Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging’s standing equine MRI system, the veterinary team at Equine Performax is hoping to utilize MRIs in therapy progression.
Located 30 minutes south of Nashville, Equine Performax is a veterinary, rehabilitation and therapeutic facility that provides innovative physical therapy treatment to performance horses. Offering a wide-range of therapeutic modalities, including an underwater treadmill system, an ECB cold-water spa, laser treatment and therapeutic ultrasound, Equine Performax boosts some of the most advanced equine therapy options in the country. Now with Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging’s standing equine MRI, they hope to not only utilize the scanner in diagnostics, but also monitor the progress of horses as they recover.
“MRIs are an important tool in the diagnosis of lameness,” says Mark Wooten, DVM, Director of Equine Performax Veterinary and Rehabilitation Therapy Services at The Jaeckle Centre. “We know the benefit of utilizing MRIs, but we receive a lot of resistance from owners when it comes to putting their horses under anesthesia, which we have to do when we use a down MRI.”
He adds, “We chose to work with Hallmarq because their standing MRI doesn’t require anesthesia. Since most of our cases are lower limb, a standing MRI made sense to use. We can get the diagnostics we need without the risk of a down MRI.”
The Hallmarq standing equine MRI system allows horses to stand for scans of the foot and lower leg instead of undergoing general anesthesia for the same scans. The horse is simply lightly sedated and walked into the machine. And, because the system eliminates the need for general anesthesia, which can lead to problems including death in some healthy horses1, it is safer than the other MRI options.
“Nearly 80 percent of the cases we get here are lower limb, so full anesthesia is rarely necessary and something we’d prefer to avoid if possible. Our doctors and radiologists are comfortable with the standing method, and it gives us the ability to conduct repeat evaluations and provide customized treatment plans throughout the rehab process,” says Wooten.
He continues that one of the primary purposes of having Hallmarq’s standing equine MRI machine is to provide the veterinarians and therapists on staff the information they need to provide the best treatment protocol for the horse.
“By being able to easily scan a horse’s leg, we can use the images to help guide our therapeutic recommendations for horses throughout the rehabilitation process for tendon, ligament and bone injuries. Thus, a horse coming into Equine Performax may initially be given one mode of treatment and switched to a different one as further MRI scans reveal the degree of recovery being attained,” says Wooten.
Hallmarq manufactures their standing equine MRI machines in Guildford, United Kingdom, and has offered the product in the United States since 2004.
About Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging
As the sole global manufacturer of MRI systems for the standing, sedated equine, and with more than 35,000 anesthesia-free exams on record, Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging is the pioneer of safer MRI diagnostics. The Hallmarq team has decades of experience in the design and manufacturing of clinical research and industrial MRI systems for a range of applications globally. From its beginnings in 2003, Hallmarq’s mission has been to improve the safety, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of equine MRIs, while making them affordable and profitable to key equine veterinary clinics worldwide.
- Johnston G.M., Taylor P.M., Holmes M.A. and Wood J.L.N. (1995) Confidential inquiry of perioperative equine fatalities (CEPEF): preliminary results. Equine vet J 27 193-200