Coosa Valley Equine Center
100% Equine - 24 hour emergency referral medical and surgical care . 


Advances in Diagnosis and treatment.

  Coosa Valley Equine Center is proud to announce the availabilities of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI's) for Equine in-house. We have added our own MRI unit in order to bring this diagnostic imaging capability to our area and adjoining states. 
We have full participation with insurance providers in the endorsement of these procedures at our clinic.

Lameness is the number one reason that horses are removed from athletic performance. We at
Coosa Valley Equine Center are always looking for better ways to serve our patients (the Horse). We do
this by trying to stay up to date on the newest and sometimes far reaching technologies and medicines
associated with equine veterinary medicine. We strive to have the ability to help the horse return to their
intended use as soon as possible. It is exciting to announce that since early spring of 2010 we have
made another improvement in our ability to accurately diagnose and treat lame horses. We are able
to offer Equine MRI‘s to better diagnose the cause of the horse’s lameness, allowing our Veterinarians &
staff to devise a treatment and rehabilitation plan that will return the horse to its performance level or

When veterinarians choose treatment for injured horses, the most important thing they need to know is
the cause of the horse's lameness. This is the benefit of an MRI evaluation because it has a very high
probability of defining the problem. MRI is currently used when other imaging techniques like x-rays or
ultrasound are not able to determine the cause of the horse's problem. MRI can help identify
abnormalities in both bone and the supporting soft tissues, like tendons and ligaments. MRI can find
bone abnormalities that cannot be seen on radiographs (x-rays), and it can also expose abnormalities in
tendons and ligaments that cannot be seen with ultrasound. This is in part because sections of the
horse's leg or foot can be seen with MRI allowing a unique look at the internal anatomy. The use of MRI
in horses is increasing; sometimes it is performed when a diagnosis has been made to see if the horse
has other problems. It is not unusual for performance horses to have more than one problem, and it is
very helpful to know all of the problems a horse has when choosing treatment and rehabilitation

A MRI for horses is not much different than those for humans in that the subject has to be perfectly still.
While sedatives will slow most horses down, they can still move. This is why a horse’s MRI must be
performed under general anesthesia. The horse is first prepped for the procedure then gently
anesthetized, the horse is then moved into the MRI unit and the images are taken. Afterward the horse
is moved into a padded recovery room where it awakens using a harness system reducing the chances of
injuries when recovering. The MRI images (approximately 400 per examination) are then sent to an
equine radiologist to read and interpret. Reports of the MR findings are available within 24-48 hours of
performing the procedure. Once these reports are returned to us our veterinarian staff begins with their
plan of treatment and rehabilitation.

If you feel your horse may benefit from such an evaluation appointments can be made by calling Coosa
Valley Equine Center at 205-338-1111 and we will be glad to set you up an appointment. If you have
further questions concerning the MRI one of our knowledgeable veterinarians can speak with you about
this procedure or one of the many tools available to us, that helps return your horse to intended use as
soon as possible.
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