Tips and Tricks to Acquiring Great Equine Foot Radiographs  

Proper technique and foot position are essential for consistently diagnostic radiographs.
Horse Foot Radiograph
High-quality radiographs set veterinarians up for success when diagnosing conditions in the hoof. | Courtesy Dr. Craig Lesser

Are you looking to take foot radiographs you can be proud of, especially if sharing with other veterinarians or farriers? Then it’s essential to use consistent techniques! 

Horse foot radiograph
It’s important to have the correct size block for balance radiographs. | Courtesy Dr. Craig Lesser

“It’s hard to see changes over time with inconsistent views and nondiagnostic radiographs. We need to set ourselves up for success,” said Craig Lesser, DVM, CF, shareholder in the podiatry department at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky, in his Burst Session presentation at the 2023 AAEP Convention.  

He emphasized the importance of having the correct size block for balance radiographs, especially in the dorsopalmar and lateral projections.  

Next, make certain the horse is standing appropriately. 

“Stance is vital to taking good radiographs,” said Lesser. “Truly make sure the horse is square with the foot underneath them. This also applies to the dorsopalmar view when both legs should be on blocks.” 

Finally, don’t be afraid to sedate or use local anesthetic blocks, especially for skylines, to obtain quality images.  

“Quality skyline views are tough to take in painful horses without sedation,” Lesser advised.  

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