Referred Services

In order to provide a wide range of diagnostic and treatment options we will sometimes recommend a visit to a local referral hospital. By working closely with these hospitals we are able to provide our clients with a greater depth of care performed by specialists in a variety of equine veterinary fields.

1) General anaesthetic procedures - Surgery performed on a horse under general anaesthetic is best undertaken by specialist surgeons. For example a surgeon who, on a daily basis, operates solely on correcting lamenesses in horses, is far more likely to achieve a successful outcome than a vet who only occasionally attempts a similar procedure. For this reason we choose to refer the majority of our surgical cases. We believe the inconvenience of a slightly greater journey to an operating theatre is far outweighed by the benefits.

2) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - This diagnostic modality is used to create a detailed 3D image of the anatomy of the equine lower limb. Recent advances in technology now negate the need for a general anaesthesic, and horse can be imaged whilst standing and sedated. It is primarily used in diagnosing injuries to the soft tissue structures in the foot that are otherwise difficult to image within the hoof capsule.

3) Gamma scintigraphy (bone scan) - Scintigraphy is particularly useful in horses as it allows structures to be visualised that would normally be difficult to evaluate due to the horse’s large size, for example the proximal limbs, back and pelvis. A radioactive isotope (technetium-99m) is linked to a molecule that is required by the body in repairing injured tissues, and injected into the horse’s blood stream. The radiation released is then captured by an external detector and images formed. Injured regions will be seen on the images as “hot spots”. The radiation is all but gone after 24 hours of injecting the isotope and has no long term ill effects on the horse.

4) Computed Tomography (CT) - This is a diagnostic tool used primarily to create a 3D image of the equine head. It uses a rotating x-ray generator and detector to create consecutive cross-sectional slices through the horse’s head that can be combined to produced a complete 3D image. It is particularly useful in imaging growth within the skull, fluid accumulation in the sinuses and tooth root abnormalities.

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