Exact localization of thoracolumbar lesions can be harder with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging than with radiography. The celiac and cranial mesenteric arteries are easily seen on MR images and are always included in sagittal thoracolumbar studies. This study was undertaken to establish whether their location was sufficiently consistent to enable them to be used as anatomic landmarks. It was found that their location varied considerably, and there was no useful relationship to breed, gender, age, or body weight. They are therefore unreliable for use in establishing initial localization of a spinal lesion although they can be helpful when comparing multiple image planes.