RAINBOW Equine Hospital has invested £230,000 in innovative new technology to boost the treatment of injured horses.
Injured racehorses and competition horses will be among the patients to benefit from new high-tech bone scan equipment at Rainbow Equine Hospital.
The practice in Rainbow Lane, Old Malton, has invested in a state-of-the-art nuclear scintigraphy unit, the fourth generation of scintigraphy scanners at the hospital over several decades, which has been placed in a newly converted part of the hospital, providing vets with crisp, high definition images of horses.
Horses are injected with radiation, before a sophisticated scanner, known as a gamma camera, is used to capture images of the horse’s skeleton, allowing vets to make a quicker and more accurate diagnosis of injuries, including stress fractures, lame limbs, pelvic injuries, and back problems such as ‘kissing spines.’
The new equipment cost £180,000 and there has been a further £50,000 investment to convert a barn into a self-contained unit to house the equipment, along with five stables for horses who remain radioactive for two days following the procedure.
The investment has come from York-based VetPartners, a veterinary group that includes some of the UK’s most respected and trusted small animal, equine and production animal practices, including Rainbow Equine Hospital.
Rainbow vet Jonathon Dixon, a European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, believes the investment in the new technology will revolutionise the service they already offer.
He said: “The new scanner is now installed and fully operational, and this capability demonstrates the commitment by Rainbow Equine Hospital and VetPartners to being at the forefront of diagnostic imaging and veterinary medicine.
“It enables us to provide the most advanced diagnostics to the horses of Yorkshire and further afield. So far, we have seen fractures, carpal (knee) bone disease that is common in racehorses and other lameness issues that can be better treated following diagnosis with these images.
“Upgrading our equipment means the quality of the images from the gamma camera is far superior to what we previously had, and the images enable us to make a diagnosis because you can see things much more clearly. It is a big step forward in technology and image quality and what we can achieve for our patients.”
Rainbow Equine Hospital offers the most advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques in the UK and is staffed by specialists in equine soft-tissue and orthopaedic surgery, internal medicine, equine anaesthesia and diagnostic imaging.
It has stabling capacity for more than 50 equine inpatients. The scintigraphy unit adds to the other advanced imaging options at Rainbow including MRI and CT which allow unparalleled ability to perform all high-level diagnostics available for horses in the north east of England.
The latest investment comes after work started on a purpose-built surgical and intensive care facility to house two new operating theatres as part of the hospital’s expansion over the next 12 months. The plans also include a dedicated isolation unit with stabling for six inpatients, a new reception building and offices for vets and administrative staff.
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