The Farrier and Radiographs

X-ray machines are probably never going to become standard equipment on shoeing rigs, but the information gleaned through this technology can help you provide better hoof care and improve your standing in the eyes of your clients

Digital radiographs allow “stall-side” imagery that farriers and veterinarians can read within seconds, as farrier/veterinarian Raul Bras of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital did on a Lexington, Ky., Thoroughbred farm in this photo.

Let’s admit right up front that you can probably trim and shoe the vast majority of horses in your practice without ever looking at a radiograph and never have a problem. So why should you ask a client to go through the added expense of having a veterinarian shoot digital radiographs of a horse’s feet? 

Harry Werner, an equine veterinarian from North Granby, Conn., gave a pretty succinct answer to that question during a 2010 presentation at the International Hoof-Care Summit.

Farrier Benefits

“For a farrier, effective diagnostic imaging can save you time, minimize your cost, lead to better outcomes and improve your relationships with clients,” the past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners told attendees.

While addressing several forms of diagnostic imaging, Werner particularly stressed the effectiveness of digital radiography in dealing with lamenesses.

“Over the 36 or 37 years that I’ve been in practice, the single most beneficial investment I have made was digital radiography,” he says. “There’s no more running back to the clinic and finding out that 10% of the films we shot aren’t worth reading. It helps facilitate working with farriers in a way that we never could before, because we’re right there.”

Dr. Harry Werner told an International Hoof-Care Summit audience that digital radiographs are becoming an increasingly important…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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