What are Farrier Radiographs?

Farrier radiographs are specialized X-rays that can provide invaluable insights into the internal structures and balance of the hoof, offering farriers and veterinarians further information for effective hoof care. Farrier radiographs are useful for:

  1. Preventative Care: Foot health and balance is an important component of maintaining your horse’s soundness. Farrier radiographs allow us to visualize abnormalities that may not be evident during routine visual examination. Early detection of problems is key to preventing more serious issues down the line.
  2. Customized Shoeing Plans: Every horse is unique, and so are their hoof conformation and biomechanics. Farrier radiographs allow us to better tailor trimming and shoeing plans to each horse’s needs. By understanding the internal structures and any deviations from the norm, farriers can create shoeing strategies that optimize hoof balance, support, and function.
  3. Monitoring Progress: For horses undergoing treatment or rehabilitation for hoof-related injuries or any performance limiting condition, farrier radiographs serve as a valuable tool for monitoring progress. By comparing images taken over time, farriers and veterinarians can assess the effectiveness of treatment protocols and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal healing and recovery.
  4. Enhancing Collaboration: Collaboration between farriers, veterinarians, and other equine professionals is essential for comprehensive hoof care. Farrier radiographs facilitate communication and collaboration among these professionals, ensuring that all aspects of the horse’s health and soundness are addressed cohesively.

When taking farrier radiographs, your veterinarian will clean your horse’s foot to remove any excessive debris. In addition, your horse will be expected to stand on short blocks to lift the hoof off the ground. This allows the entire hoof to be included in the x-ray image, which is crucial for accurate measurements. Typically, two views of each foot are obtained. Following this, your veterinarian will perform a series of digital measurements on the radiographs to provide accurate insight into your horse’s hoof balance. The radiographs will be available to you electronically to view.

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