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Diagnostic Imaging

Serving equine &
companion animals

Dr. Myhre Explains a Procedure

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New England Regional Veterinary Imaging Center

is located at the Myhre Equine Clinic, where primary care veterinarians refer dogs, cats and other companion animals for advanced diagnostic imaging. Myhre Equine Clinic's state-of-the-art technology, previously available at only a few select hospitals in the country, affords New England veterinarians, horses, and small companion animals diagnosis and treatment of the most elusive problems.

An MRI

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Equipment

gives Myhre Equine Clinic the leading edge in diagnosing lameness problems.  We utilize a wide array of non-invasive diagnostics, including modalities such as digital radiology, C.A.T. scans, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. Each of these techniques has advantages (and disadvantages) which makes them useful for specific conditions. A consult is recommended to determine which modality will be appropriate for your horse's condition.

A Horse in the CAT Scanner

Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) for Equine and Small Companion Animals

produces cross sectional and 3-D images of injuries and can further qualify the degree of structural damage to area of concern. Contrast CT adds physiological imaging to the structural imaging. This modality can be beneficial in diagnosing hair-line fractures, joint damage, tumors, masses and is fundamental in diagnosing lameness. Anatomical areas such as head and neck, distal limbs and abdomen/chest of smaller sized patients can be imaged. The technology behind Computed Tomography has advanced greatly during the more than three decades it has been used. Today's fourth generation 'Helical' machine, like that available at MEC, allows continuous rotation of the x-ray tube for increased image quality, quantity and rapid test speed.

A Radiograph

Digital Radiology

is used after a clinical examination to diagnose any boney changes or remodeling including but not limited to arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), fractures, cysts, joint collapsing, Navicular Disease and laminitis. This technique produces a far more advanced image than a typical x-ray. A computer is utilized to enhance the x-ray (darken or lighten, change the contrast, enlarge it to focus on a specific area) which is very helpful in making a diagnosis MEC operates the MedLink imaging and Fugifilm system.  Digital radiographs and ultrasounds are made right in our clinic, which decreases the length of time clients spend waiting for results. Images acquired with these techniques can be digitally stored in an electronic database for future reference. The information can also be put on a CD for the client to take home along with information about the causes and prevention of lameness, and prescribed treatment for the client's horse. In most cases, appointments and consultation will be completed within 2-3 hours and the client will have all the results of any procedures performed on the horse.

A Nuclear Medicine Scan

Nuclear Medicine (Nuclear Scintigraphy)

for the evaluation of the equine musculoskeletal system has become well established over the last twenty years. MEC's scintigraphy equipment (nuclear medicine) can localize increased bone activity or soft inflammation anywhere in the body. This bone scan is the best means of identifying the source if a lameness problem is not obvious. It is the closest that we can get to having the horse tell us from where the pain originates. Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology.
Nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine looks at both the physiology (functioning) and the anatomy of the body in establishing diagnosis and treatment. Nuclear medicine (scintigraphy) imaging techniques give MEC doctors another way to look inside the equine body. It comprises diagnostic examinations that result in images of body anatomy and function. The images are developed based on the detection of energy emitted from a radioactive substance given to the horse intravenously. The techniques combine the use of computers, detectors, and radioactive substances. The Nuclear medicine technologist operates MEC's new gamma camera which detects and maps the radioactive drug in a horse’s body to create diagnostic images. Injected radioactive substances do not harm the horse. The radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine decay quickly, in minutes to hours, have lower radiation levels than a typical X-ray or CT scan, and are eliminated in the urine or bowel movement. Most horses undergo a nuclear medicine examination because their primary care veterinarian has recommended it. Senior surgeon Dr. Grant Myhre, D.V.M., with specialized training in nuclear medicine, will interpret the images and forward a report to your veterinarian. It usually takes approximately one day to interpret and report.

Dr. Vin Performs an Ultrasound

Ultrasonography

Using ultrasound to get a better image for tendon evaluation is a common technique in veterinary medicine. Using the same ultrasound techniques for evaluation of a joint to acquire more information about the soft tissues in a joint (capsule, synovial membrane, quality of the synovial fluid, quality of the cartilage) is a relatively new purpose. Ultrasound can produce an image of muscle properties and tendons and ligaments involved injuries. The MEC's ultrasound machine has special probes and frequencies that can produce a better resolution than the typical machine and allows us to analyze tissues such as joint capsules, tendons, ligaments, cartilage in joints, the menisci in the stifle, and attachments of ligaments and tendons on bone and muscles. MEC utilizes its Sonoace Pico ultrasound machine which transmits high-frequency sound pulses into the body using a probe. The sound waves travel into the body and hit a boundary between tissues (e.g. between fluid and soft tissue, soft tissue and bone). Some of the sound waves get reflected back to the probe, the image we see on the screen is then transmitted from the probe to the computer where the image is complied. The clearly defined two-dimensional image can be used to better visualize tendon and ligament injuries, muscle damage conditions affecting the joint and joint components (capsule, synovial membrane, quality of the synovial fluid, quality of the cartilage). Ultrasound can also be used to detect pregnancy, diagnose types of colic and detect foreign objects.

Dr. Myhre and Technician Wakeman working on cats

Feline Hyperthyroidism and Radioactive Iodine(I-131) Therapy

Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common diseases affecting middle-aged and senior cats. It is a result of the enlargement of the thyroid gland, which in turn causes an increase in release of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. Injected painlessly under the skin, radioactive iodine is absorbed throughout the body, including the thyroid gland.  Radioactive particles attack and destroy unhealthy thyroid tissue while normal thyroid and other body tissues remain unharmed.  I-131 has been shown to be over 95% effective in curing Hyperthyroid cats and people.