MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a very advanced form of diagnostic imaging that enables radiologistists to obtain very detailed pictures of the inside of the body. MRI is particularly useful for looking at the brain and the spine where conventional x rays can only show us boney detail.

MRI is gradually becoming available for veterinary surgeons. Burgess Diagnostics is a company that supplies mobile MRI scanners for human hospitals and they now have a veterinary arm called Vet-MRI. The scanner is mainly used for cases seen in our orthopaedic and spinal referral service. It is particularly useful in the investigation of neurological and spinal disease.

The scanning procedure is entirely non-invasive and carries no known side effects to patient or operators. It relies on exposing the patient to a powerful magnetic field. MRI has been used in medicine for many years with literally millions of examinations performed world-wide.

Animals are scanned either sedated or anaesthetized, since it is necessary for them to lie completely still for up to 45 minutes in the scanner. The scanning process takes place in a small tunnel and the machine is quite noisy!

We use an RCVS / ECVS specialist radiologist for interpretation of images where necessary.