We are proud to be one of ONLY 15 equine veterinary clinics nationwide to offer standing MRI to equine patients!

Why do a standing MRI?

A standing MRI saves time and money, reduces uncertainty, and lowers the risk of further injury that can be encountered with general anesthesia. It only takes 1-2 hours!!

When do I do an MRI?

If the lameness can be isolated to a specific area and radiographs and ultrasound exams are negative, then MRI is the modality of choice. It provides unrivalled capabilities for detecting soft tissue injuries and subtle bone lesions, such as bone edema, sclerosis, and hairline fractures.

Fact: MRI identifies the source of lameness in 85% of undiagnosed lameness in the distal limb.

  • MRI provides a series of images in three planes that are more detailed than Xrays or ultrasound.
  • MRI is recognized as the best way to identify the cause of foot pain, as it allows us to evaluate structures deep within the hoof.
  • MRI provides us with the information to accurately diagnose the source of lameness problems and devise a targeted and more effective treatment plan.

Ultrasound: Shows soft tissue lesion of SDFT

MRI: Shows lesion of SDFT and check ligament (not seen on ultrasound)

Example of a DDFT tear that was within the hoof and not detectable with radiographs or ultrasound



  • Shows more detail than X-rays or ultrasound especially for soft tissue and bone injuries
  • Allows targeted (more effective) therapy
  • Better predict long term outcome
  • Reduces overall total costs to client


  • Eliminating repeat exams by veterinarians
  • Cost of unsuccessful treatments
  • Loss of work opportunity cost
  • Unnecessary rest and lay up costs
  • Costs of unsuccessful corrective shoeing

MRI is most cost effective if NOT used as a last resort.

Example of bone edema (white arrow) in the pastern bone that was not detectable with a radiograph.


MRI has revolutionized the diagnosis of foot lameness.

  • “Navicular syndrome” is now recognized as a term that can describe many different diseases of the foot.
  • Only MRI can distinguish between them.
  • Most problems do not affect the navicular bone, but instead relate to soft tissues, such as the deep digital flexor tendon and/or collateral ligaments.
  • Soft tissue is not visible on X-ray, and the hoof limits visualization with the ultrasound. Only MRI can detect soft tissue lesions deep in the foot.
  • MRI is recognized as the best way to diagnose the cause of foot pain.
  • With a better diagnosis your veterinarian can:
    1. better predict the long-term outcome
    2. plan effective treatment
  • MRI is also the most powerful tool for certain forms of lameness above the foot.

Call our office 781-585-2611 or send us an email to speak with our MRI specialist.

Read about Sir Grand, an MRI success story:

After having an MRI, Sir Grand’s owner is looking forward to enjoying his companionship for many years to come.

My horse, “SirGrand”, had a severe episode of chronic lameness of unknown cause. He had been treated for an abscess for two weeks, with no results. Not only could I not ride him, he could not even go outside! Repeated tests did not reveal the cause of his problem and his life quality became so poor as a result of this problem, that I even considered ending it to relieve him of his misery.

It then came to my attention that there is a test that goes far beyond any other tests for problems in this area of horses, called: a “Standing MRI”. What was even more exciting for me was to know I could get it done right in my backyard, at South Shore Equine Clinic. Moreover, they have told me “SirGrand” could have this exam with only mild sedation so that he could go back to the trailer on his own at the completion of the test. I decided to give this test a try and hoped for the best, but was also prepared for the worst.

And what a delight it was to get a definite diagnosis with this test; that “SirGrand” had a deep bruise in one of his bones, undetectable with other means. With this diagnosis, the doctors at South Shore Equine Clinic were able to prescribe him the appropriate treatment and in only four weeks “SirGrand” is back to himself so that I can even ride him again! He no longer suffers from pain and I look forward to enjoying his companionship for many more years.

“SirGrand” was diagnosed with a deep bruise in one of his bones, only detectable by MRI.

In addition to an accurate diagnosis and treatment, his veterinarian, Dr. Cimetti dealt with him with the utmost attention and care and was very patient with me too, showing me the images of his lesion. The staff at South Shore Equine Clinic was very friendly and attentive to my need, which really made me feel I was in the right place for “SirGrand” and for me.

Thank you so much Dr. Cimetti and the staff at South Shore Equine Clinic for your excellent care.

Lisa Mann 09/2011