Should I get xrays taken?

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Should I get xrays taken?

This is a discussion on Should I get xrays taken? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    03-22-2012, 08:17 PM
Should I get xrays taken?

We're doing spring shots next week. My horse is 2 months into his front feet barefoot transition period. While he's not at all lame and completely rideable in boots, I'm not seeing much in the line of changes so far unlike his hind feet that morphed into beautiful concave feet like no tomorrow. Would it benefit me at all to have xrays taken of his feet to get an idea of how much sole/digital cushion/coffin bone orientation I'm dealing with, or is this a just sit back and wait thing? My gut tells me it's only 2 months and it all just has to grow out. The worrying side of me says find out as much as I can in case he's standing on a paper thin slice of sole.
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    03-22-2012, 08:49 PM
Is he rideable with out boots ?
    03-22-2012, 08:52 PM
Yes, on grass, good sand ring footing and soft trails he's fine. On grass he's a monster. He's rideable but footy to a lesser degree on hard surfaces and things with rocks in it, so we're using boots on those.
    03-22-2012, 08:58 PM
Hmm I guess if I were you id get the xrays done. If he's sore on hard ground, there must be something going on in there. If you get the xrays done at least you know whats going on.
    03-22-2012, 09:02 PM
The thing is, he's only 2 months shoeless. He has a good 3/4 of flared foot that needs to grow out. I'd be footy in that case too. There's still obvious white line stretching going on that we knock down as the hoof wall grows down, but that's just a time thing. I just don't want to spend money if the only solution (besides throwing shoes back on) is time.
    03-22-2012, 09:03 PM
Ya, but will you be able to sleep at night ? Lol. If you are worried about it I would just do the xrays.
    03-22-2012, 09:04 PM
If it was me, I'd give him more time to adjust and grow out. A few more trimmings. If he still has issues around July, I'd get a vet/farrier's second opinion.

Right now, I'd be talking to my farrier and see what he thinks...
    03-22-2012, 09:08 PM
I currently only have access to the far left and far right of the horse hoof world. My farrier will tell me to put shoes on and the barefoot trimmer will tell me the opposite. Magically both will be able to substantiate their reasoning. Logic tells me let the flares grow out some more and then revisit. I think I'll just bring it up to the vet and see what he says. I only thought about it because it would be convenient to do it on shots day so I only pay for one barn call.
    03-24-2012, 02:09 AM

Depends how rich you are! Ideally it'd be nice to see rads of every horse & if you can afford it &/or you or your trimmer are really concerned about anything, then yes, go for it. But as it's not cheap, it's only those in a bad way that tend to get them, if that. Could be wrong, but from memory & as much as can be told from an internet forum, wouldn't class your boy as that bad at all.

Yes, your gut feeling is right, that 2 months is nothing much in the scheme of things & depending on the state of his feet, management, diet, etc, it could take a LOT longer, or even never, for his feet to become strong enough to cope with rocky ground bare. If you do xray & find that his soles are paper thin or such, what are you going to do differently with that knowledge? If he's truly comfortable on more yielding ground I think that's an indication his feet aren't likely terrible though. While I'm not convinced about the accuracy Pete Ramey claims about collateral groove depth, I think 'landmarks' such as that can indeed give you a pretty fair idea of sole thickness & such. I'd just continue to diligently protect/support his feet with boots as necessary for another fair few months at least yet, before considering it may be worth trying him bare.

While I remember they're not in fantastic shape & having only been out of shoes a couple of months, so there may well be other 'issues', I disagree with Gypsy & being 'footy' on hard going is not at all necessarily indicative of pathologies any more than a person not conditioned for it should be classed as 'unsound' if they have to hobble a bit when walking bare on gravel.
    03-24-2012, 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by loosie    

If you do xray & find that his soles are paper thin or such, what are you going to do differently with that knowledge?

There's the answer to my question. I'm not going to do anything but give him some more time to adjust. I'm still astounded by how much nicer his movement has become, so I'm not about to throw shoes back on at the slightest sign of problems only to block his shoulders again and go back to his jackhammer trot. I have Guess I'll save my $$ for now. No, I'm not remotely rich!

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