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Animals to benefit from new clinical facilities

A horse undergoing a CT examination of its head while sedated

A horse undergoing a CT examination of its head while sedated LVS

Press release issued: 10 January 2012

Animals in the region will benefit following the completion of new clinical facilities at the University of Bristol’s Langford Veterinary Services.

The first phase of the £13 million development includes a new small animal surgery building, comprising five theatres, an ICU, a dedicated anaesthesia induction and recovery and an imaging suite.

The imaging suite comprises a 16-slice CT scanner, for small animals and horses, conventional digital radiography with a DR system, a high-resolution fluoroscopy, diagnostic ultrasound, echocardiography, scintigraphy and a high resolution 1.5 tesla MRI scanner available seven days a week.

Lynne Hill, Chief Executive of LVS, said: “The new facility provides state of the art diagnostic imaging facilities at all times, to help the animals under our care.”

A recent case at LVS was Gainsborough, an eight-year-old Irish draught gelding.  The horse, used for jumping and endurance, was initially presented to the Equine Hospital in October 2010, with clinical signs including nasal airflow obstruction and discharge, which was limiting his athletic capabilities.

Using videoendoscopy and radiography, a space-occupying mass was diagnosed in the paranasal sinuses impinging into the nasal cavity.   With the horse conscious, but sedated, using regional local anaesthetic nerve blocks, the bulk of the mass was removed and he returned to work.  However, the owner reported a recurrence of the clinical signs and he was returned to the clinic for reassessment.

The new imaging suite, only one of a few such units in the UK, has been adapted to enable the imaging of a horse’s head while conscious using a frictionless air plinth.  The adaptation allows detailed imaging of both bone and soft tissue structures within a horse’s head, without requiring a general anaesthetic.

Using the new imaging suite, Gainsborough’s CT examination revealed a portion of the mass, which had been inaccessible to the previous keyhole surgery, had expanded into the nasal cavity.  The detail of the images enabled careful planning of a second operation that facilitated removal of the large remnant of the mass, which appeared to be benign, with minimal collateral trauma.

In addition to imaging the heads of conscious horses, dogs and cats are able to undergo complete body scans using the same unit while anaesthetised. As well as enabling detection and diagnosis of lesions without invasive or painful tests at an earlier stage, the unit will facilitate operative planning and add to the body of knowledge of disease pathogenesis.

Further information

Langford Veterinary Services (LVS) is a customer focussed veterinary business providing an extensive range of specialist capabilities and a superior quality of care. All clinics are supported by highly specialised clinicians, diagnostic imagers, anaesthetists, nurses and other support staff.

Langford Veterinary Services is a totally owned subsidiary of the University of Bristol.

Please contact for further information.
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