University of Missouri Now Providing MRI for Horses

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology is commonly used to provide accurate diagnosis of orthopedic ailments. Athletes, in particular, have benefitted from the detailed images MRI studies provide. Now, the University of Missouri (MU) College of Veterinary Medicine provides equine athletes with the same competitive advantage. This is welcome news for equine lameness experts whose focus is keeping these horses in top health.

MU is among a handful of institutions in the Midwest with access to MREquine services, an independently owned mobile unit equipped with a high-field MRI unit sensitive enough to identify very subtle changes in bone and soft tissue. It is an imaging modality that allows the interface of bone and soft tissue simultaneously with tremendous detail.

The elite coach housing this technology cannot pull up and provide services at just any location. The MREquine unit requires a specific electrical unit and docking station, as well as veterinary staff and facilities equipped to perform all aspects of anesthesia and patient management, from induction to recovery. In most cases, an attending veterinarian works in collaboration with the horse's own veterinarian.

The MREquine unit returns to the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital once or twice monthly depending on demand.

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