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Clean Radiographs are Integral in Therapeutic Hoof Care

Images reveal critical information for vets and farriers to help horses

Quality radiographs are pivotal for veterinarians and farriers when providing a horse and its owner proper therapeutic hoof care

Flaws in any element of recording the images will render them detrimental. As veterinary radiologist Peter Suter once said, “At best, poor radiographs are totally useless, and at worst, they are totally misleading.”

Brent Barrett, an Ocala, Fla., veterinarian and Certified Journeyman Farrier, told attendees during a clinic at Centaur Forge in Burlington, Wis., that achieving a quality radiograph relies on understanding the information contained within the image, the technique used to capture it and the assessment of soft tissue parameters.

Understanding Radiographs

Why is it important for veterinarians and farriers to understand radiographs? They assist in comprehending the makeup of the foot we’re addressing, establish a link between external and internal anatomy and improve veterinarian-farrier relations.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Farriers must understand what’s contained in radiographs, otherwise veterinarians are simply telling you what to do.
  • Farriers must develop their ability to read the foot to determine how much should be removed.

Know what you are looking at. Radiographs assist in achieving a diagnosis, developing a protocol and allowing vets and farriers to assess the work.

“Is the foot better?” he says. “Has sole mass improved? Has the palmar/plantar angle [PA] dropped or increased? It allows you to assess your worth.”

External and internal links. Like many veterinarians starting out, Barrett hadn’t performed much therapeutic work, but had shod a fair amount of straightforward horses. His awareness of the connections between the…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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