September, 2012
Issue: 4, 2012

In this issue: 
-  West Nile Virus Infections are on the rise!
-  MRIs scheduled for Wednesday, September 5th





We're writing this month with news of a possible increase in equine cases of West Nile Virus this year in Montana.  As reported by the office of the state veterinarian, Dr. Marty
Zaluski, the conditions are perfect this year, in all the worst ways.  The mild Winter and hot, dry summer have allowed many pathogens and vermin to thrive, among them West Nile Virus. You can read about the recent uptick in equine cases of West Nile Virus on the State Veterinarian's 
Culex spp Mosquito
Any horses that haven't been vaccinated recently are at risk.  The safest protocol includes a 2-shot primary series, but even a single shot is better than nothing at all.  Horses who are stressed, very young or very old are generally more at risk from West Nile Virus.  This is a really nasty disease, and is fatal in 1/3 of equine cases.   
The vaccines are considered very safe and effective, and generally protect for at least 6 months.  So if your horse hasn't been vaccinated in the past 6 months, consider a WNV series...especially if you live in an area with ANY mosquitoes.   Peak WNV season in Montana spans late August through October, so it is important to update your horses' vaccine status.  

You really don't want to see your horse go down from WNV, it is a preventible disease!  The American Association of Equine Practitioners website details reasons why this vaccine is considered a component of the "core" vaccine program.  The vaccines are typically very safe and highly effective, so please call your local vet clinic and make sure your horses are protected!
Please contact your local veterinarian to develop a health plan that includes protection against West Nile Virus and other preventable diseases.  

MRI Scans being performed 9.5.12:  

Montana Equine Medical & Surgical Center continues to host a travelling MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) trailer at our clinic on a monthly basis.  The next visit is scheduled for next Wednesday, September 5th and we are accepting appointments and/or referrals from veterinarians for horses, dogs and cats.  
MREquine at MTEQ

MRI is an imaging modality that provides the gold-standard of highly detailed images of body structrues, especially soft-tissue structures.  In equine veterinary care, we most often use MRI to create images of tendons and ligaments, especially inside the horse's foot.  No other tool is as effective for imaging soft tissues.  The same tool can also be used to create images of small animals.

Loading MR at MTEQ
Dr. Flint and the MR Equine Team, July 2012

This particular MRI machine, one of three being operated nationwide by MR Equine, utilizes a large-size magnet, so the images of various body systems are very high quality. 

It is important to know that genereal anesthesia is required to obtain all the MR images, so patients will be fully asleep for the procedure.

General Anesthesia before the scan

Montana Equine is fully equipped to provide all aspects of general anesthesia (including induction and recovery) for patient and referred horses, and will partner with our small animal colleagues around the region to provide excellent anesthesia and patient care to small animal patients.

Most equine cases will cost $2500 for a complete imaging scan and interpretation of the images.  This fee includes the cost of anesthesia as well as one night's hospitalization at the Montana Equine clinic, if necessary.  

Fees for small animal cases vary, but we've arranged lower charges: a typical MRI for a dog is now $1100-1500 including anesthesia costs.

Standing MREQ Trailer

The MRI trailer from MR Equine is scheduled for monthly visits to Montana Equine to service the Gallatin Valley and our entire region.  Whether you are a veterinarian, horse-owner, pet-owner, or just curious about the arrival of this exciting tool in Gallatin County, please feel free to contact the clinic at 406-285-0123 or 

You can also contact MREQuine directly at 1-877-MRE-4MRI or on their website at

Thanks for your interest!

The Team at Montana Equine

In This Issue

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