Rainbow Equine Hospital has been a world leader in the development of Computed Tomography (CT) for use in horses, with the hospital being first equine hospital in the world to offer standing head CT examinations without the need for general anesthesia. We are proud to be the only private Equine hospital in the north to offer the combined services of scintigraphy (bone scan), CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at one site, ensuring we have all the latest diagnostic imaging facilities to ensure rapid and accurate diagnosis. We are  one of a handful of equine hospitals in the country that has a specialist in diagnostic imaging on-site as part of our hospital team.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is an excellent tool for evaluating the structures within the foot; however, we also have experience of using it to image structures up to and including the carpus and tarsus. MRI scans are performed by 2 of our qualified veterinary nurses who also have training in equine diagnostic imaging. The use of MRI has revolutionised our approach to foot lameness and penetrating injuries of the foot with a definitive diagnosis being achieved in 90% of cases. The use of MRI can save huge amounts of time and money that can be wasted in the absence of a definitive diagnosis. MRI should be considered early in cases of foot lameness that cannot be diagnosed by traditional methods.

MRI scans are performed standing under sedation and do not require a general anaesthetic. Further information on MRI and its uses in equine medicine is available at www.hallmarq.net. Our referral team are always happy to discuss cases that you think may benefit from an MRI scan.

For more information on what an MRI scan entails see admission for MRI.

Computed Tomography (CT)

We have more experience of equine CT than any other hospital in the country. The use of head CT was in horses was pioneered at Rainbow and Jonathan Anderson formerly worked at The University of California where they developed contrast CT techniques. Our CT scanner has recently been upgraded improving image quality and enabling a scan to be completed in only 30 seconds.

CT 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.

In adult horses we are able to image the head and proximal neck and the limbs up to the proximal tibia or radius. In foals, more can be achieved. Our referral team are always happy to discuss cases that you think may benefit from a CT scan.

For more information on what a CT scan entails see admission for CT.

Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan)

We have been using nuclear scintigraphy for over 15 years and have recently upgraded to the latest equipment in order to be able to provide the best possible images. Following injection of a radiopharmaceutical a gamma camera is used to detect areas of increased bone activity or “hot spots’.

Increased bone activity is expected where there has been damage and the bone is trying to repair. For example after a fractures or as a result of chronic joint disease. It is not the best tool for detecting subtle disease but is very useful when the clinical signs are vague or when it is necessary to look at a number of areas simultaneously.

For more information on what nuclear scintigraphy entails see admission for nuclear scintigraphy.