B.W. Furlong and Associates is excited to announce the opening of EQUINE MRI OF NJ, LLC, located directly across the street from B.W. Furlong and Associates in Oldwick, NJ. EQUINE MRI OF NJ, LLC is the first standing equine MRI system in a private practice setting in the eastern United States. Due to the latest in technology, MRI for the horse will now be available on an outpatient basis. Until now, MRI for horses was available on an extremely limited bases and only able to be performed under general anesthesia, which has its own inherent risks. Now, with sedation, MRIs will be available for the standing horse.
What is an MRI?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. Without getting too complicates, MRI works by reading radiofrequency signals emitted by free protons (usually hydrogen protons) that are found in tissues.
Why an MRI?
This will perhaps be the most frequently asked question. An MRI is a very useful diagnostic modality for many reasons, but specifically for two reasons in particular. First, most of the horses going for an MRI will have already been “worked up,” i.e. they will have been nerve blocked, radiographed, ultrasounded, and in many cases had a nuclear scintigraphic scan. The intention is that an MRI will “fill in the blanks” when these other areas have led to a non-scientific diagnosis. Secondly, due to the nature of the hoof wall, imaging of the soft tissue structures beneath has been virtually impossible. MRI will offer a “window” in the the complex workings of the equine foot.
While the technology of the equine MRI is very exciting, it is very important to remember it is not meant to replace radiographs, ultrasounds or nuclear scintigraphy. It is another means of diagnostic imaging and a thorough lameness work-up will always need to be done prior to scheduling an MRI. B.W. Furlong and Associates continues to specialize in lameness work-ups of performance horses with the latest in digital scintigraphy and will be working together with EQUINE MRI OF NJ, LLC to fullfill all of your lameness and diagnostic needs!
Equine MRI of NJ, LLC was now been up and operational since July 22, 2004. To date we have completed over 40 studies! The most significant findings that we have encountered are injuries to the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT). These are injuries that would hvae continued to remain undiagnosed due to their location. The DDFT lesions that we are seeing are the the level of the navicular bone. This area is virtually impossible to ultrasound as it is just at the level where the hoof wall becomes an issue. Radiographs do not help as the DDFT is a soft tissue structure and therefore does not show up on radiographs. It has been extremely satisfying to us as veterinarians to be able to give definitve diagnoses to our faithful clients that have been dealing with undiagnosed foot issues in their equine partners for, in some cases, years! Feel free to call us today (908) 439-9921.
JUNE 2005 UPDATE
Equine MRI of NJ, LLC has been up and operational for almost a year now. There have been over 125 MRI’s performed to date and the results have been spectacular. With many diagnosis that would not have been achieved any other way, this equipment has been an incredible asset to our everyday routine.