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Advanced Diagnostic Imaging includes nuclear scintigraphy and MRI. Both of these services are provided on a referral basis through Elder's Equine. Our primary referral location for CT/CAT scan(computed tomography), MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy is the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Sk. Alternative options for our referral is the University of Minnesota
These are three different advanced imaging modalities which allow us to further evaulate specific areas of lameness.
Nuclear scintigraphy is a process where a radioactive dye is injected into the vascular system of a horse. This dye concentrates in area of bone activity (such as arthritis, stress fractures or OCD lesions). A special camera reads the radiation being emitted from the horse and creates and image to be interpreted by the veterinarian.
MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) is a process where a magnetic field is applied to the horse's leg or head and a computer reads the changes in tissues under the influence of radio frequency waves. The computer develops a image of the leg in very high detail and the complex images are interpreted by the veterinarian (usually a board certified veterinary radiologist).
Standing MRI images of a foot. In the image on the right, there is a tear in the DDFT (small white intensity within the tendon)
Dr. Bell has experience reading MRI's and has published articles in the diagnosis and treatment of navicular disease in horses.
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine has recently installed a Hallmarq standing MRI system. This addition to Western Canada means that horses with previously difficult to understand and diagnosis conditions of the limbs can now be diagnosed much more accurately without having to travel to the USA. Dr. Bell has worked extensively with the Hallmarq MRI system and will be happy to work with owners should they require the MRI service.
CT or CAT Scan (Computed Axial Tomography) is a type of 3D xray system where the image is created by having the limb or head placed within a machine that rotates an xray beam around the structure. This provides a 3-dimensional image of the area and allows for more accurate diagnosis. This system is particularly useful for looking at detailed areas of the head (sinuses, teeth, skull/brain base) and may be used to diagnosis stress fractures or give better detail of a serious fracture.
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