Radiography and ultrasound are at the core of any equine veterinary practice with a sport horse caseload. As both technology and, subsequently, our clinical understanding of the intricacies of the pathophysiology of equine lameness have developed, there is increasing requirement and even expectation to perform advanced imaging in order to obtain a definitive diagnosis. When choosing to perform advanced imaging as part of lameness diagnostic work-up, depending on modality and equipment available, part of the decision-making process requires a balanced risk assessment of whether or not to perform general anesthesia to obtain images.
The inherent risks of subjecting even a healthy equine patient to general anesthesia are well-documented; however, other factors such as owner compliance, time proximity to competition, increased clinic costs, and technician resources might mean imaging under general anesthesia is not practical regardless of the health risks.
So, what if there is an alternative? Recently we have seen the emergence of several standing limb CT systems on the market. Considering they all aim to achieve the same goal, the difference in approach to solving the problem of imaging the standing horse varies quite dramatically.
Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging is world-renowned for development of the standing equine MRI system and has recently launched its standing equine leg CT (slCT). With detector and generator mounted on a low flat platform revolving around the limb and capturing 3D image sets in 1 minute, the system uses cone-beam technology, supported with 20 years of experience in motion correction reconstruction software, to deliver superior 3D images. With patient safety always high priority, the Hallmarq slCT does not restrict the limb of the patient in any way and is designed for easy and immediate emergency exit by the patient and handler should the need arise.
Although cone-beam technology is not widely used in veterinary medicine currently, it offers many additional benefits when imaging the distal limb of the horse, while still returning high-quality diagnostic images. In addition, this technology is low-cost compared to fan-beam CT, with operator radiation risk comparable to widely used digital radiography. The Hallmarq system allows horse handler and technician to remain with the patient at all times, shielded by a lead screen.
The Hallmarq slCT system ease of use enables fast imaging of the patient, typically around 15 minutes to complete, with images sent directly to your image-reading and -storage device. This safe, effective, affordable product could help you and your clinic take lameness diagnosis to another level.
Better for you, better for your clients, better for your patients.