Ric Redden

Radiographs Not Just for Veterinarians

“We’re not looking for a nice outside, cosmetic appearance of the foot — we’re looking for inside health…”

Equine podiatrist Ric Redden teaches farriers, veterinarians and owners how to use X-rays to make horses sounder

Is it really important for a farrier to know how to read and interpret a radiograph (X-ray) of a horse’s foot? Absolutely so, especially if he or she is dealing with laminitis or other pathological problems, says Ric Redden, — farrier, member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame and founder of the International Equine Podiatry Center in Versailles, Ky.

He discussed radiology technique, interpretation and application of findings for an audience of farriers, veterinarians and horse owners during a foot radiology short course earlier this year in Versailles.

“The point here is to educate everyone that we’re not looking for a nice outside, cosmetic appearance of the foot — we’re looking for inside health,” he began. “Farriers worldwide have been taught to make a foot follow a traditional image. But all feet don’t look alike. They don’t look the same inside. And soft tissue parameters (as seen on a radiograph; more on these shortly) change long before you have bone damage, displacement, or hoof capsule changes. They are the writing on the wall. Soft tissue changes tell you what’s coming.”

Getting A Good Picture

“I don’t want you to memorize what to do when looking at or working on a foot,” Redden commented. “I want to teach you to look at a foot in such a way that it speaks to you and tells you what to do. It will speak…

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Christy West

Christy West is a freelance writer and the Web site editor for The Horse. She is also a former editor of American Farriers Journal.

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