Preventive Services: Podiatry Evaluation
A thorough assessment of your horse's feet and early intervention to correct potential problems is key to ensuring a healthy horse and maintaining performance long term. Regardless of the level at which your horse performs you can help keep him at his peak for years to come with appropriate foot care. A podiatry evaluation, while focusing on the feet, takes into account the horse as a whole.
This simple annual preventive foot care program could be as important as your vaccinating and deworming preventive programs. Besides specific foot problems evaluated during the examination, other issues may be noted that shoeing may help. This evaluation can help to prolong the athletic life span of your horse, enhance your horse's performance and even improve quality of life and reduce future medical costs.
The goals of a podiatry evaluation are:
I) To increase awareness of your horse's unique feet to enhance your management and your farrier's and veterinarian's work.
2) To take preventive care a step beyond vaccination and deworming. After all, "No hoof, no horse." 3) To provide baseline information for future annual comparisons.
4) To have the owner, farrier, and veterinarian work together to prolong equine foot health.
5) To promote this concept as a common equine veterinary practice to reduce preventable foot problems such as laminitis.
This is achieved by:
- Assessing overall body condition.
- Taking lateral radiographs of the feet.
- Using the radiographs to obtain measurements regarding the position of the bones within the horse's hoof.
- Considering horse age, work, and management factors.
- Developing a plan of action for the owner/farrier/veterinarian to optimize the horse's physical well being and performance.