With the advent of digital radiography, it is now possible to image horses’ feet and have the results immediately available on a computer screen or saved on a disc for later use. These images show the underlying bony column that the horse stands on and the bone’s relationship to the hoof capsule. These images of the feet also allow us to measure the depth of the sole and to determine the proper placement of the shoe to help balance the feet.
Every horse would like to have a thick, healthy sole protecting the sensitive structures of the foot from the ground. Normal sole depth is 16mm or about 5/8 of an inch. If the sole is much thinner, the horse will be tender footed and prone to sole bruising.
The incidence of laminitis and founder increases during the hot summer months in Arizona. This increase is due to a decrease in regular exercise, the stress of the summer heat, and overfeeding. Radiology is key in helping sore footed horses recover and reestablish normal foot health.
Progressive farriers appreciate having x-ray images to aid them in their trimming and shoe placement. Problems are readily seen and corrective measures can be implemented. If your horse is tender footed, a veterinary / farrier consultation will help establish a diagnosis and guide the treatment plan.