The Animal Health Trust is celebrating its 75th anniversary by aiming to raise an extra £75,000 towards the cost of a new £400,000 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
It’s an appropriate target. In 1992, the veterinary scientific and research charity, near Newmarket, was the first centre in Europe to own a dedicated veterinary MRI machine and pioneered its use in veterinary medicine.
Since then, there has been an incredible number of firsts:
2002 – Working with groups in France and the USA, the AHT published the most comprehensive genetic map of the dog currently available.
2008 – A new diagnostic test for equine strangles was developed and launched. A vaccine is in the final stages of development.
2012 – A purpose-built cancer centre was opened, offering radiotherapy to dogs, cats and horses alongside the AHT’s existing cancer treatment options.
2012 – Findings from AHT equine clinical research helped the organisers of the London Olympic Games design and maintain the best and safest arenas.
2016 – The Give a Dog a Genome project was launched. This creates the UK’s largest canine genome bank, containing DNA from 75 breeds.
The AHT looks after dogs, cats and horses referred to its specialists by owners’ vets, but the benefits of its work reach much further.
“Even if your animal has never visited the AHT, it will still have benefited from the AHT’s research and continuous education for vets and scientists of the future,” said a spokesman. “The impact of its research and veterinary expertise spans the globe.”
The AHT treats more than 3,500 new patients and delivers more than 12,000 consultations every year.
Image: A kitten undergoes a hearing test at the AHT. Image: AHT.