Please refer to general admission information if you are bringing your horse in for any of these procedures.
Horses may be referred to us for one of these procedures alone or for a more comprehensive work-up of which the diagnostic imaging is a part. If your horse is being referred for lameness then please see also admission for lameness investigation.
Your horse will need to be sedated for these procedures. If you know of any problems that the horse has encountered previously while being sedated please let us know. Occasionally horses may require general anaesthesia for CT but we will always warn you if this is the case.
Due to the large amount of information collected during these procedures, you may not receive any results before your horse is discharged. In most cases a full report will be produced within 3-5 days and copies will be sent to you and your referring vet.
Computed Tomography (CT)
Computed Tomography is the acquisition of a series of x-ray images at high speed circumferentially around the area of interest so giving a 3-dimensional x-ray image. It has significant advantages over 2-dimensional x-ray particularly in the assessment of dental, sinus and other head diseases and in the assessment of fractures.
CT of the head and neck is generally performed under sedation. CT of the legs is performed under general anaesthesia.
Please expect that your horse will remain all day for the CT scan alone. Each scan will only take a couple of hours but we may repeat images if when they are reviewed there is evidence of movement.
You will be informed when your horse can leave the clinic, normally as soon as we have completed the scan and checked to see that we have images of diagnostic quality.
Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan)
Scintigraphy involves the injection of a radioactive substance bound to a marker which attaches to bone and particularly areas of bone damage. A gamma camera is then used to detect the radioactivity sequentially at specific locations on the body and limbs and then software converts the data to a picture on a computer. The resultant images show areas of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake or ‘hot spots’ on the body that highlight where the injury may be located.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
For MRI shoes need to be removed before the procedure. If your horse is being examined before the MRI or if you are in any doubt then please leave the shoes ON so that we can trot and work the horse as necessary. If you know that your horse is only having an MRI then it is helpful if the shoes are removed: both forelimbs for a front foot MRI, both hindlimbs if it is a hind foot.
Do not apply any blue or purple spray to the feet for a week before the MRI scan as it compromises the image quality.
Prior to an MRI scan the feet will be X-rayed to ensure there are no traces of metal remaining as these disrupt the scanning procedure.
Please expect that your horse may stay all day even if it is only MRI that is being performed. Each scan will only take a couple of hours but we may repeat images if, when they are reviewed, there is evidence of movement.
Due to the large amount of information collected during these procedure, it is unlikely that you will receive any results before your horse is discharged. In most cases a full report will be produced within 3-5 days and copies will be sent to you and your referring vet.