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Practicing at Tufts University in Massachusetts, equine veterinarian Kate Chope brings her expertise to the clinic’s ultrasound team. When challenged with understanding what is behind an equine limb injury, ultrasound is a valuable tool that can help the team determine the cause and arrive at a decision to best help the horse.
Chope says the farrier’s expertise is essential when taking the ultrasound findings and building a plan. This has proved valuable for identifying issues affecting the pastern region. Chope reviewed techniques for using ultrasound on the pastern region with veterinary colleagues at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention in December 2021. And while better practices of using an ultrasound aren’t in the farrier’s realm, understanding the use in settings can foster better veterinarian-farrier relationships that ultimately benefit the horse.
It is well established that soft tissue injuries occurring in the pastern region are a significant contributor to equine lameness and loss of use or performance. Among diagnostic choices, ultrasound has become a useful method for diagnosing these soft tissue injuries. Typically, ultrasound is preferred for monitoring lesion healing and guiding rehabilitation.