Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, located near Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, have a new way to image the equine lower limb: a standing MRI (sMRI) system.

The system, which was installed in June, is designed to allow veterinarians to use MRI to accurately diagnose lameness without the time, expense, and risk associated with the general anesthesia required for traditional MRIs. Rather, a sMRI can be carried out with the horse standing under light sedation.

“We are very proud to have Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists as one of our newest sites,” says Dan Brown, BVSc, MRCVS, business development director at Hallmarq. “Like many other clinics, they are working to treat lameness injuries in a more effective manner and, perhaps more importantly, determine if they can predict and prevent issues before they happen.”

MRI is an important tool in lameness prevention and diagnosis as it can show both soft tissue and bony lesions weeks before they might be seen on a radiograph.

“The benefits are really two-fold,” says Alan Nixon, BVSc, MS, Dipl. ACV, chief medical officer of Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. “We are able to more accurately diagnose horses, and we are also evolving the way we practice equine medicine, especially when it comes to racehorses. We want to be able to determine the soundness of a horse prior to putting them in any competition or training regime.

"The standing MRI system from Hallmarq lets us do that more easily and more often without putting the horse at risk," he said. "Essentially, it is a tool that allows us to offer more in the management of equine a