Information for Veterinarians

  • MRI
  • Our Referral Services


MRI scans take about 3 hours (sometimes longer) and horses will need to be admitted for the procedure. We usually admit horses the evening before the MRI is done, but we can do the MRI on the day of arrival if the horse is in the clinic by 8:30am.

EVERY horse will need to be sedated, and the front shoes removed (assuming it is a forelimb scan) as iron is strongly magnetic and causes a massive disruption to the MRI image.

Usually X rays will be taken to check for the absence of metal within the hoof wall.

An average scan generates over 600 – 900 images and this takes time to read. All MRIs are examined by an independent imaging specialist and this can take 24 – 48 hours. Please don’t expect an ‘instant result’, it is very important to take time to consider all the scans properly as the future treatment of your horse will depend on correct interpretation. We have a panel of readers BUT we are happy to send scans to a reader of your choice.

We will not generally re work up cases (unless specifically requested to do so) and will usually only scan the regions specifically requested.

Getting the Most Clinical information from your MRI scan.

Experience shows that abaxial sesamoid nerve blocks are NOT sufficiently localising to the foot to ensure that a foot MRI scan will elucidate the correct cause of lameness. Therefore it is very important to perform a palmar digital block prior to foot MRI. In our experience horses positive to PDNB almost invariably have significant MRI findings on the standard foot sequences. Occasionally ASNBs will ‘block out’ higher lesions involving the fetlock or distal suspensory ligaments so if possible a PDNB should be considered the ‘gold standard’ block for foot MRI.

How to arrange an MRI.

Currently, the easiest way is to either email our office at or simply phone 01283 799700.

We need a succinct history and importantly the blocking pattern – in most cases electronic copies of any radiographs are helpful.

Our Referral Services

Our referral services

The referral service team is led by Jonathan Withers, our equine surgery European Diploma holder and recognised specialist in equine surgery supported by our resident Marco Marcatili and four in clinic vets. Marco Duz with an RCVS certificate in equine internal medicine leads our medicine service. We appreciate that not every horse is insured and we will always try to tailor the treatment plan so that it is appropriate to the resources of the client. Many thanks for your cases over the last year and we hope to be able to be of assistance to you in the next 12 months.


Both medical and surgical cases are welcome. Cases in the past year have varied from resection of necrotic small intestine and ileocaecal anastomosis to correction of displaced colons. We have 24/7 veterinary cover in the clinic and all recovery boxes have closed circuit television monitoring to ensure a high level of aftercare for all our colic cases. We believe this is reflected in an extremely high success rate, currently exceeding 80% of horses going home after surgery.

Equine Dentistry Referral Service

Sam Hole obtained the European Diploma in Equine Dentistry last year and is now an RCVS recognised specialist. Sam is always delighted to receive challenging dental and sinus cases. We offer a wide range of dental and surgical options.

PENS treatment for Head Shakers.

We know that ‘head shakers’ can be some of the most frustrating and depressing cases to treat so we are particularly pleased to be able to offer Neuromodulation for trigeminal-mediated headshaking in horses (Percutaneous Electrical Stimulation-PENS). Neuromodulation is performed in the standing sedated horse and usually involves two treatments one week apart followed by a third after about two weeks (or when signs return). The therapy has been trialled by Bristol University and has had impressive results. Obviously the more accurate the diagnosis, the higher the chance of success so referring vets should still seek to rule out other potential causes of head shaking prior to selecting PENS. For further information ask to speak to Richard Stephenson.


We can offer laparoscopic ovariectomy and rig surgery. Other laparoscopic treatments are available such as biopsy of the intestines in the investigation of weight loss.


Over the last 12 months we have performed 152 standing MRI studies. All MRI scans done at Pool House are read by an independent expert in MRI interpretation. Currently we use one of four readers ensuring a rapid turnaround with a written report emailed to the referring vet within 48 hours of the scan.

Lameness Locator Service

We have added an electronic lameness locator to our lameness investigation armoury. It is extremely helpful in investigating horses with multi limb lameness, particularly in giving a totally objective assessment of the response to nerve blocks. Gil Riley and Jonathan Withers are happy to discuss which cases might benefit with referring vets. We can also offer a lameness locator test as an adjunct to pre-purchase examinations.


Investigation of OCD lesions, treatment of joint and tendon sheath sepsis.

Laser Surgery

We have had great success with laser surgery for the removal of sarcoids and performing ‘hobday’s surgery’ without the necessity of a laryngostomy incision.

Regenerative Sports Medicine (PRP, BMAC and IRAP)

We are able to manufacture autologous PRP, BMAC (from bone marrow aspiration) and IRAP.


Gastroscopy is one of the most popular services we offer.  Prospective patients must be starved 16 hours and deprived of water for two to three hours prior to the procedure. We are happy to stable them overnight at the clinic to ensure compliance if that is helpful to the client. 

Farrier Referral Service

Our remedial farriery service is led by Jonathan Nunn AWCF supported by Grant Moon FWCF. Jonathan spends every Wednesday at the clinic and liaises closely with the owner’s own farrier so that they feel fully involved and supported by the service.

Should you need assistance with a case or need to make an emergency colic referral please call our office 01283 799 700 (OOH 01543 262464). Our phones are manned 24/7 and our  team of specialists and certificate holding veterinary surgeons are more than happy to talk to you prior to receiving cases. We will always send a written report after the case has been discharged.