Watch What You’re Doing If You’re Using Radiographs

With more farriers relying on radiographs, you need to realize that there could be liability issues if something goes wrong. There’s even more concern if you’re taking your own radiographs.

But as with many other shoeing issues, there’s no clear cut answer as to what you can legally do and can’t do.

In many states, it is illegal for anyone other than a veterinarian to radiograph horses. But with more owners and trainers demanding that farriers utilize radiograph results for determining the best shoeing protocol, more farriers are evaluating X-rays.

Taking Vs. Evaluating

While a few farriers own their own X-ray machines, many more work with equine vets on evaluating radiographic data. But since farriers aren’t always happy with the radiographic views of feet, the question often arises as to whether a shoer can legally take and evaluate radiographs.

At last winter’s Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium, Thomas Miller said farriers who take radiographs need to be aware of the liability issues. It all boils down to how various states define the use of X-ray equipment and practice of veterinary medicine, says the attorney with Miller, Griffin & Marks in Lexington, Ky.

If a farrier could find a way to work under the direct or indirect supervision of a veterinarian, Miller says taking X-rays might be legal. For example, under Kentucky law, a farrier could probably work with an equine vet and take radiographs without the vet being present when there is an ongoing farrier relationship between the veterinarian, client and the…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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