A ST Helens veterinary hospital has been boosted by a £1million investment in an MRI scanner that will help to revolutionise the treatment of poorly pets.

Rutland House Referrals now boasts one of the highest-powered MRI scanners available – one of only three in the country.

As well as being used for soft tissue problems and oncology, it will help to advance their referral service in neurology and neurosurgery.

The new Siemens Sempra Magnaton 1.5 Tesla high field scanner has the ability to reduce scanning time from one hour to 30 minutes, which is a massive benefit as pets have to have a general anaesthetic for an MRI scan.

Rutland House Referrals clinical director Jan Beranek, who is a highly qualified neurosurgeon, said: “Having the new MRI scanner establishes us as a practice that is able to handle more neurology and neurosurgery.

“This is truly state-of-the-art equipment and will enable us to obtain images of exceptionally high quality so we can achieve swifter diagnosis and reduced examination time. It has dramatically reduced scanning time and, as a result, patients have less time under anaesthetic, which is extremely important as it reduces the risk.”

Rutland House has had a CT scanner in place for a number of years and the addition of an MRI scanner means the hospital is able to offer clients and referring vets a full diagnostic service.

The neurology and neurosurgery service will be able to accept referrals or advise on cases including neurological emergencies, such as spinal trauma and head trauma, as well as cases like spinal diseases, seizures and brain tumours.

The £1million investment also includes a two-storey extension to house the MRI scanner and provide additional new kennel areas, as well as new offices.

The MRI scanner and building work has been funded by VetPartners, a veterinary group that owns some of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices, including Rutland House Vets and Rutland House Referrals.

Dr Beranek added: “Being part of a group like VetPartners that has a supportive approach towards practices is a huge help. They don’t tell you what to do, they just say they will invest, and it is up to us to use the equipment the way we need to.”

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email amanda.little@vetpartners.co.uk