Helen Woodward Equine Hospital adds high-tech MRI to list of services


The Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center recently added high- field Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI to its lineup of state-of-the art services available to Southern California’s equine community. The new service is offered in partnership with MREquine and Equine Surgical Services and is a mobile MRI suite that will be available at Helen Woodward Equine Hospital on an as-needed basis. This is the first time this state-of-the-art technology has been available in San Diego.

Today Taro, a 9-year-old Grand Prix jumper, who has been lame for more than a year due to an injury to his ankle joints, became the first Helen Woodward Equine Hospital patient to undergo the high field MRI procedure. He was anesthetized to limit movement and spent nearly two hours in the MRI suite being scanned. The hospital also held an open house recently, inviting veterinary community to see the MRI imaging suite in person and to meet technicians and doctors from MREquine as well as the team at the Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center.

“This is really exciting,” said Christen Hanley, director of the Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center. “This is the new up and coming diagnostic tool for horses. We have wanted to offer high field MRI services for a long time and MR Equine has made it possible for us to do it without having to purchase several million dollars worth of equipment. This is a fantastic service to be able to offer our clients.”

Until now low field standing MRIs (.2 Teslas) have been the only option available for horses in San Diego County. The imaging available through MREquine utilizes a high field (1.5 Tesla) image similar to the standard MRI used in human hospitals. The high field MRI has a much greater imaging area than low field imaging, offering the most definitive bone and soft tissue examination and images available.

The new MRI technology will be especially valuable to the elite equine athletes the Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center treats as an accurate diagnosis is the key to an effective treatment plan, and a faster recovery.

The Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center provides high-quality veterinary care for the health and welfare of the community horse population and is equipped to perform a wide variety of medical procedures and services such as Colic surgery, dental repair, endoscopy, arthroscopy, laparoscopy, fracture surgery, recovery pool with overhead sling, wellness exams and 24 hour nursing care.

For more information on the Equine Hospital at Helen Woodward Animal Center, visit or call 858-756-4117 x 325. To learn more about MREquine, visit