Clinician's View
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    How does MRI improve diagnosis and treatment?

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    WSU veterinary student, Beryl Swanson ('14 DVM) with Mr. Bear after surgery.

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    A Machine with Greater Capabilities

Clinician’s View: Equine

WSU is the only veterinary hospital in the Pacific Northwest with a high-field MRI that can easily be used on horses.

Why is an MRI important for equine patients?

Equine MRI
Without MRI, veterinarians would not have known the extent of this horse's navicular disease, which caused lameness. Knowing the severity means our clinicians can offer the best combination of treatments to help a horse walk again.
For equine patients, MRI is the best way to accurately diagnosis of soft tissue injuries in a horse’s hoof. And because WSU is the only veterinary hospital in the Pacific Northwest with a high-field MRI that can easily be used on horses, a new MRI is critical for the health of our patients.

Without an MRI machine, how would it affect diagnoses?

"MRI provides the ability to see the tissues involved in the disease process that may not be able to be seen by any other method," says Dr. Claude Ragle, WSU equine surgeon. "It provides three dimensional imaging which is the ideal when planning the most successful surgical approach."

"When looking for an accurate diagnosis of horses with soft tissue injuries in the hoof, we would use MRI nearly 100% of the time," says Dr. Ragle. "Without it we would be left to use less ideal methods of imaging or take a best educated guess at the problem."

How does MRI improve the diagnosis and treatment of horses?

horse in MRI
After 18 years, the MRI's lifespan is quickly approaching its end. For our patients, the time to act is now.
"We are learning unexpected and new information from MRI of horses on a regular basis," says Dr. Ragle. "Many of the advances and improvements in treatments and prognosis will be as a result of what is learned about our horse patients from MRI."

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