It was a fun day with Dr. Silvia Colladay taking radiographs on this beautiful horse at Sycamore stables in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
First the vet checks the heart before giving the horse a sedative
Every horse considering size and demeanor are very different this horse was very easy going and didn’t need much. It usually take 3-5 minutes before they are ready.
Next the shoes must come off if radiographs of the feet are being done.
This is always the fun part for the doc. Radiographs should not be taken with metal shoes because it interferes visualizing structures in the foot. Generally vets will pull the shoe but do not replace them.
The hoof must be thoroughly knifed and cleaned
This part is important for clear radiographs. You want to pick any foreign particles out and knife off dead and jagged edges for clearer x-rays
X-Raying the foot
There are several views for the foot. This is generally done from the front at a 65 degree angle. Several more can be taken from both angles as well. The navicular bone is another structure visualized while the horse stands on the plate.
Higher up the leg we look for arthritis, bone chips,
angle defects, tumors, etc. Four views plus a flexed view
are generally taken here. Anything less and you will
not get a complete picture.
Similar to the ankle in terms of what you are looking
for and number of views. Safety is important here for
your assistant to be knowledgable around horses since
they are very close to the hind end!
We are able to immediately take an initial look in the field.
When you take radiographs it is alway best to allow your veterinarian to take them back to the office and look at them on a bigger screen. You will be emailed and own a copy of your horses radiographs. If you are taking x-rays of your horse for a pre-purchase exam it is best to take them of all areas such as the feet, navicular, ankles front and back, hocks, stifles and neck so you have a base line for any future lameness issues that may arise. If your horse ever has any lameness issues your veterinarian will be able to compare new x-rays with your initial pre-purchase x-rays.