Uni to support new diagnostic imaging subsidy for Victoria’s racehorses

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limb injuries thoroughbred horses
Photo courtesy Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne equine veterinary clinics will be instrumental in trialling Racing Victoria’s new subsidy scheme to offset the cost of advanced diagnostic imaging on Victorian thoroughbreds.

U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre (U-Vet) and the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital (GVEH) will each provide advanced imaging services to thoroughbred owners and trainers as part of the Diagnostic Imaging Subsidy Program.

The program, which commenced 1 July 2021, has been launched by Racing Victoria to help minimise the risk of serious limb injuries to thoroughbred racehorses by using advanced veterinary technology for early detection and intervention.

U-Vet is equipped with technology to provide scintigraphy, high-field MRI and standing CT scans, while GVEH offers scintigraphy.

Eligible horses’ owners and trainers will ultimately be able to recoup 50 per cent of their costs (a potential saving of up to $1600) when accessing advanced diagnostic imaging for the nominated horse through a participating practice.

To be eligible for the program, an owner or trainer must have their horse undergo a lameness examination by a veterinarian. If the horse presents with lameness then it can be considered for the program, with an analysis of the examination results and horse’s history conducted by the veterinarian to determine if and what advanced diagnostic imaging is required.

To help the owner or trainer cover the cost of their initial assessment, they will also be eligible for a specialist assessment subsidy of up to $300 upon referral by the veterinarian to U-Vet or GVEH.

Furthermore, an additional subsidy of up to $200 for a horse requiring hospitalisation for a minimum of one overnight stay at U-Vet or GVEH will also be available to the owner or trainer.

“We hope this financial support for owners and trainers will lead to more horses undergoing advanced diagnostic imaging, which has multiple benefits,” Victoria’s general manager Veterinary Services Grace Forbes said.

“It importantly helps reduce the risk of more serious injury through early intervention, while also allowing us to develop a deeper understanding of lameness in our racehorses.”

This article was sourced from the News page (Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences) on the University of Melbourne website.

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