MRI Diagnostics

Standing Equine MRI

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Consider MRI in these Situations:

  • Chronic lameness has been localized to the foot or in the distal limb by nerve block
  • Radiographs are negative or equivocal
  • Nuclear scintigraphy is being considered – or is negative
  • Access by ultrasound is difficult or impossible
  • For penetrating injuries needing urgent attention
  • After acute onset of lameness during exercise
  • To monitor treatment and healing before returning to work

How Does it Work:

  • Scanning takes place in a special screened room
  • A strong magnetic field and short pulses of radio waves are applied to the limb and the weak resulting radio echo is used to create the image
  • Signals from different substances differ, allowing fat (e.g. in bone) and water (e.g. edema) to be distinguished
  • No ionizing radiation is used and there are no known hazardous biological side effects

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Benefits of MRI

  • High quality images of bone and soft tissue
  • The only technique that distinguishes between the many causes of palmar foot pain
No need for general anesthesia in most cases
  • Eliminating mortality risk
  • Allowing day-patient scheduling
  • Preferred by owners and trainers, particularly for elite sports horses


Saving you Time and Money

Clear diagnosis:
  • Eliminating unnecessary and costly repeat tests and rest periods
  • Allowing precise targeting of treatment
Rapid diagnosis:
  • Eliminating the risk of further damage during the conventional cycle of block-treat-rest-reexamination

What is the Procedure?

  • The shoes are removed from both front or hind feet
  • The horse is sedated, walked into the room, and one leg placed in the scanner
  • The operator aligns the scanner with the injury site
  • Many images are collected, possibly including those of the contralateral limb for reference
  • After 1-2 hours the horse is walked out of the room, and if necessary, allowed to recover from the sedative
  • A professional interpretation and written report follows in a few days

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Contact us

O: (352) 873-7830
F: (352) 873-7700


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Equine Medical Center of Ocala
7107 West Hwy 326
Ocala, Florida 34482


Office hours

Mon - Fri (7:30am - 5:30pm)
Saturday (8:00am - 12:00pm) February to June
Closed on Sunday