Date Published: 29 November 2005

Edinburgh University's new MRI scanner opens to horses

Lame horses from throughout Scotland and the north of England will benefit from sophisticated scanning equipment, unveiled at the University of Edinburgh's Large Animal Hospital on Friday, 25 November.

The new equipment, the first to be installed in a Scottish vet school or animal hospital, has been designed so the horse only has to be sedated and walked up to the scanner.

Traditional MRI systems require the horse to be anaesthetised which carries some risk to the patient and increases the cost of examination. The unique equine scanner system, installed by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging, has been operational at the Royal Dick Vet Large Animal Hospital for a fortnight.

Todd Booth, Director of the Large Animal Hospital at the University's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said:

" The Hallmarq MRI unit allow us to image bone and soft tissue structures in very fine detail, helping us to make a clear diagnosis as to the cause of a horse's lameness. This unit is invaluable for improving the care and welfare of horses in Scotland and the north of England. It is also a wonderful teaching aid for our Veterinary students and provides a fantastic service for owners and referring vets, so everyone benefits."

Dr David Taylor, Executive Chairman of Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging says,

" We are very proud to have our system installed in one of the most respected veterinary institutes in the world. It is only through working with such a high profile centre of veterinary excellence that we can further progress the acceptance of MRI as the diagnostic tool of choice in equine lameness. It is very exciting to be the unique provider, in this field and to be part of this revolution in diagnostic imaging and seeing the benefits of new treatments that are following."

The scanner will be inaugurated tomorrow, Friday, 25 November at 12 noon by His Grace, The Duke of Hamilton. His wife, The Duchess of Hamilton has been active for many years in various areas raising awareness in animal welfare and animal rights and currently runs a rescue service for Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Source(s): Edinburgh University, Scotland, UK.

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