- If the horse is shod, the shoes remain on so we can see the relationship of the shoe to the coffin bone.
- The blocks under a pair of feet are constructed as mirror images of each other and the horse is stood on both blocks. Block height permits the central beam to hit the foot about ½” above the hoof surface when the x-ray machine sets on the flat ground. The goal is to have both branches of the shoe completely super-imposed in the radiograph.
- A fixed length marker such as soldering wire or barium paste is applied flat against the front of the foot starting immediately below the coronet.
- The cassette touches the medial side of the foot and is perpendicular to the generator.
- The beam is aimed at a point halfway between the anterior and palmar aspects of the coronet.
Taking Podiatry Radiographs
Consults require lateral-medial radiographs of all 4 feet
Considering lateral radiographs of hind feet
To evaluate the total horse for its well-being, causes of lameness and importance in rehabilitating any lameness problem, hind feet radiographs as described above are necessary.
Making radiographs of the hind feet is more difficult, and the process will require more patience. Using the lowest-height blocks that still produce readable radiographs (above) will help, and the horse may need sedation. Most horses toe out behind, so take that into consideration to obtain perpendicular positioning of generator and cassette.
Our protocol for consistent lateral podiatry radiographs for serial comparisons to add text.
Example lateral radiographs: (left) showing two shoe branches and not useful for podiatry, (right) a useful podiatry radiograph.