Veterinarians hope an innovative type of CT scan can advance medical care for horses, which could possibly be adapted for humans.
“Bert” the horse suffered a leg injury and was recovering from surgery when his owner Dennis Charles took him to the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School for a visit.
The staff ordered a CT scan to see how the leg was recovering, which is normally a demanding procedure on a horse. Usually the horse is anesthetized, unconscious, and placed on a CT scanner to view the inside.
Fortunately, “Bert” was able to avoid this lengthy process. The school is equipped with a new robotic system, allowing horses to remain awake and standing while two mechanical arms move around it.
“We did a couple of tests to make sure the robots weren’t going to impinge upon him n any wway, and then basically we take a 30-second scan around the area of interest,” said Dr. Barbara Dallap Schaer, medical director of the New Bolton Center. “It’s much less stressful.”
The high-quality images are some of the first offering detailed anatomical views of the horse in its normal, upright state.
The new system compensates for slight movement, and vets are hoping they’ll be able to capture images of a horse running on a treadmill. Eventually, doctors believe this technology could be used on humans, especially children and claustrophobic adults.
As for Charles, he’s excited to get back on “Bert’s” saddle again.