Polishing the Image

Polishing The Image: Learn To Use X-rays, Imaging Tools Properly

French equine veterinarian urges farriers to learn to use X-rays, other imaging tools, properly

IDEAS ON IMAGING. Dr. Phillippe Benoit, a speaker at the Cornell Farrier Conference, believes farriers must learn to work with veterinarians to get the X-rays they both need to help an injured horse.

Dr. Phillippe Benoit, equine veterinarian to the French Olympian Equestrian Team, told those in attendance at the Cornell Farrier Conference in early November that Xrays can be an important tool for veterinarians and for farriers — if they are good X-rays.

Benoit, who is known in France for his efforts at promoting better working relationships between farriers and equine vets, says farriers need to learn to recognize what a good X-ray is and insist on seeing good ones.

“You need to push veterinarians for better X-rays,” he says. “Make sure that the focus is good and that you can see what you want to see and need to see.”

X-Ray Pros And Cons

As a diagnostic tool, Benoit says X-rays offer the advantage of being common, relatively inexpensive and easy to take, as well as being non-invasive. They are effective in showing hard-tissue injuries and changes.

He says limitations of X-rays include the quality of the system, the quality of the image taken and the fact that X-rays cannot be used when a horse is in motion. X-rays also offer little information regarding soft-tissue injuries.

But while X-rays may not be perfect, they can be a useful tool. They can provide good images of hard tissue such as bones and those bones are important.

“Bone is alive,”…

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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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