Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has opened a new reception, entrance yard and MRI facility at the University of Liverpool’s equine hospital as part of a multi-million pound development project.
The Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital at Leahurst on Wirral is one of the busiest equine referral centres in the country, seeing more than 2,000 cases each year. The new development, which includes the expansion of the hospital’s entrance yard and a new reception area, has created more study areas for students and improved stabling for patients.
The Princess Royal was given a tour of the hospital where she met veterinary surgeons and was shown an operation on a horse. The hospital, which has two operating theatres, also has a high speed treadmill for the study of respiratory and cardiac conditions, and specialist diagnostic tools for the evaluation of horse lameness and other orthopaedic conditions.
The £1.5 million development also includes an equine MRI scanner – the first to be installed in the North West region. The new facility will be used to investigate foot lameness and provide further insights into the soft tissue and bone structures of horses, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.
In the second phase of the development project, the hospital aims to raise £6 million to develop a Colic Prevention and Performance Centre. Colic is a term used to describe the behavioural signs associated with abdominal pain that arises from distention of the intestine. The condition is the single most common cause of the death in horses.
The new Centre will include an intensive care facility, an isolation unit and a refurbished colic operating theatre. The hospital has an international reputation for excellence in equine colic research and the Centre will act as a focus for colic data collection and analysis.
Peter Bowling, Head of the University’s Equine Division, said: “We were delighted to welcome The Princess Royal to open our new entrance yard, reception and MRI facility. Students, staff and clients will benefit from the waiting room, offices and study areas, and the new MRI facility will enable us to use the latest diagnostic imaging techniques and further research into musculoskeletal conditions.”
Chris Proudman, Professor of Equine Studies, added: “We have already received very generous support for the next phase of the project from charitable trusts and we hope that this will continue so that we can further build on our internationally recognised expertise in the treatment and prevention of colic.”