Imaging of small laboratory animals in clinical MRI scanners is feasible but challenging. Compared with dedicated preclinical systems, clinical scanners have relatively low B(0)field (1.5-3.0 T) and gradient strength (40-60 mT/m). This work explored the use of wireless inductively coupled coils (ICCs) combined with appropriate pulse sequence parameters to overcome these two drawbacks, with a special emphasis on the optimization of the coil passive detuning circuit for this application. A Bengal rose photothrombotic stroke model was used to induce cortical infarction in rats and mice. Animals were imaged in a 3T scanner using T2 and T1-weighted sequences. In all animals, the ICCs allowed acquisition of high-quality images of the infarcted brain at acute and chronic stages. Images obtained with the ICCs showed a substantial increase in SNR compared to clinical coils (by factors of 6 in the rat brain and 16-17 in the mouse brain), and the absence of wires made the animal preparation workflow straightforward.