Diagnostic Imaging

Imaging 1

Paton and Martin are very proud to be the first practice in the Fraser Valley to have acquired Digital Radiography, Digital Ultrasound and now a standing MRI unit. The clinical data provided by diagnostic imaging allows us to give you an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic modality that allows us to image bone and soft tissue at the same time. This is best used after a thorough lameness exam has been performed and the lameness has been localized to a specific area. If radiographs and ultrasound are either inconclusive or the significance of the findings are unknown, an MRI can be very useful in making or confirming a diagnosis. A correct diagnosis is essential in formulating a treatment and rehabilitation plan.

At Paton and Martin Veterinary Services we have the only equine standing MRI machine in British Columbia. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic modality that allows us to image bone and soft tissue at the same time. This is best used after a thorough lameness exam has been performed and the lameness has been localized to a specific area. If radiographs and ultrasound are either inconclusive or the significance of the findings are unknown, an MRI can be very useful to making or confirming a diagnosis. A correct diagnosis is essential in formulating a treatment and rehabilitation plan.

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Hallmarq Magnetic Resonance Imaging system allows a scan to be performed on a standing sedated horse, which eliminates the risks of general anesthesia and hospitalization required with traditional lying-down systems. The examination takes about 2 hours to complete. The scans are interpreted and a report is completed within 48 hours. Major medical insurance often covers a portion of the cost.

MRI Appointments

We perform MRI scans on Thursdays and booking needs to be done by Monday afternoon.
Please contact our office at 604-856-3351 for additional details.

The Benefits of standing MRI:

• High quality diagnostic images of bone and soft tissue
• Detection of lesions not visible on x-rays and ultrasound
• Eliminate the risk of general anesthesia
• Outpatient procedure, no need for hospitalization
• Major medical insurance often covers a portion of the cost
• Accurate diagnosis allows earlier, more effective targeted treatment plans and prognosis

Consider MRI in these situations:

• Lameness localized to the foot or lower limb by nerve blocks
• X-rays to not show any injuries/lesions
• Area not accessible with ultrasound
• Early detection of bone fractures in race horses
• Assessing damage after penetrating injuries of the foot
• After acute onset of lameness during exercise
• To monitor treatment and healing before returning to work

The Procedure:

• Front or hind shoes are removed to prevent metal interference
• Horse is sedated, walks into the room, and a leg is placed in the scanner
• The operator aligns the scanner with the injury site
• Many images are collected of the injured area, and of the opposite leg for comparative purposes
• After 1-2 hours the scans are completed, the horse can load up and go home
• Scans are interpreted and reported within 48 hours
• No radiation, no known biological hazards

Digital Radiography

Digital Radiography allows for instant viewing of radiographs, greater detail of areas radiographed, and retakes or ancillary views instantly, if necessary.

We are able to radiograph heads, necks, withers, and stifles, along with all other areas of the lower extremities. Appropriate treatment decisions can be made immediately. We are able to email a link for you to send copies to specialists around the world.

Digital Ultrasound


We have a digital ultrasound that is dedicated for lameness work as well as medical cases. This machine has superior resolution and imaging. Ultrasound is used to image soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments. Ultrasound can also be used on some joints to visualize cartilage and bone contour. Your images are saved to our database for retrieval on recheck exams. This aids us in following the repair process during the rehabilitation process. We are able to email a link for you to send copies to specialists around the world.

Gastroscopy


Gastroscopy allows us to look inside a horse’s stomach using a 3 meter long camera that can be inserted into the stomach of your horse. Currently, this is the gold standard for diagnosing gastric ulcers in horses. This procedure is performed at our facility as an outpatient procedure and done to ensure that your horse gets the most accurate diagnosis and treatment regime necessary.

Upper Airway Endoscopy


This diagnostic modality can be used to look at sinuses, guttural pouches, and upper airways, for various disease conditions.

Nuclear Medicine

This modality detects bone inflammation through the use of a radioactive labeled nucleotide that is injected into the bloodstream. A gamma camera is then used to image various areas of the body; distal extremities, hips, pelvis, backs and necks. An image is digitally generated showing where there is abnormal active bone inflammation.

Scintigraphy is not currently available at Paton and Martin, however, if we deem that this might benefit the diagnosis we can arrange an appointment at Rainland Farm Equine Clinic in Woodinville, WA or at Washington State University Veterinary School in Pullman, WA.