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Re: [RC] Digital x-rays - Maggie Mieske

That is TOO cool.  I hope they have something like that here in Michigan if
we ever need it (knock on wood!).  We have a terrible time up here with vets
taking x-rays.  Very few know how to do it well and do it right and charge
way too much in our opinion.  $168 sounds like a steal.
I think you should try to keep Kaboot barefoot if you can.  If not, I would
suggest using St. Croix Eventers and squaring the toe as opposed to NB
shoes.  We personally don't care for them (though we have seen a couple of
horses benefit from them...problem was slippage on wet grass and snow and
ice and expense.  Nelson can achieve the same thing with the SCEs and the
Miles of smiles,
----- Original Message -----
From: <rides2far@xxxxxxxx>
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:55 PM
Subject: [RC] Digital x-rays

Alright guys, either I'm a little behind or I just discovered something
pretty darned new. Until 2 weeks ago I'd never heard of any such thing as
"digital x-rays". I've had x-rays taken now and then but when I looked at
them I couldn't see a thing. The vet keeps taking more views (chu-ching
$$$) trying to see "something", etc.

You know I've been bummed after 2 straight pulls with Kaboot and didn't
really know what to try next. I *really* want to keep riding *this* horse
longer and wanted to make sure I explore all my options before moving on.
Tina Hicks sent me a note suggesting I try a vet in Pell City, AL who
could see more than you can imagine on an x-ray. At first I just thought
he had super vision or something but it turns out this was a REALLY nice
equine facility which apparently has one of the first digital x-ray
machines around.  Pell City, AL seemed like a pretty strange place to
have such an apparently booming all equine sports medicine type practice
but the vet explained that it was centrally located for horses from
Florida to Mississippi to Tennessee. Apparently a day's drive in every
direction is their client base.

Anyway, I am terribly impressed with the digital x-rays and don't think
I'll ever pay for another regular one again if it's for anything other
than looking for a foreign body or something like that.

Whereas with my regular x-rays I had to BEG the vet to LOAN them to me, I
left this vet with 2 copies on disk and a full set of regular x-ray film
type prints. When the vet took the x-ray he just made 7 different shots
at a set "exposure" and took them to a large computer screen. When they
came up there were all sorts of tools on the margin and he was able to
change the exposure of what he was looking at as he dragged the tool
across the page. What this did was make an image that started out a very
light exposure with soft tissue, etc. showing turn slowly darker until
all the soft tissue disappeared and the bones were suddenly there
incredibly sharp with all the other stuff stripped away. It felt like you
were walking through a computer animation of a horse's hoof with a big
flashlight. One shot could give you a good view of so many different
areas. The disk uses up 77 MB of space so the resolution is very high
(O.K. the tools use some too). The cool thing is that the disk they gave
me to take home has the tools too so I can look at the images the same at
home, or send them to another vet on disk. They took 7 shots and the
charge was $168.  I got my daughter to make 3 more copies for me and I'm
just dying to send them out to every vet who has ever scratched their
head trying to figure out what could be wrong with my horse. >g<

What they found was that the coffin joint which we injected in the past
looks great and didn't need it. The navicular bone is great. There is
some wear on the front of the short pastern bone that should be helped by
cutting the toe way back and going to possibly natural balance shoes
(feel free to respond privately about any comments you may have on
treatment options). Another thing they found was a possible hairline
fracture that you never would have seen on a regular x-ray. I'm wondering
if this isn't what caused our most recent problems since his lameness has
been more pronounced than his previous more subtle soreness.

I just wondered if I'm slow on the uptake and everyone else has known
about this technology for a long time or if this was something exciting
to tell you about.

As far as treatment goes, for those of you in the know. Do you think
there is an advantage to keeping him shod with the short toe as opposed
to trimmed short? I could probably keep it consistently short better with
trimming. He might be easier on himself as far as cutting up in the field
barefoot too. Dr. Murray said to expect to wait 6 months before judging
whether it's worked. He had no idea how old the stress fracture might be,
so I figured I'd pretty much lay off of him during this time. They do
shock wave therapy there too which he just mentioned in passing as if
that could be some sort of future option.

One really nice thing about this place was just that they had a good
place to lounge the horse for the lameness exam. It was a big roundpen
under shade, I'd say maybe over 40' with a very smooth raked crushed
gravel surface. Whereas all my poor ride vets have had to block him and
try to see changes on a trot out (and Kaboot trots out very
enthusiastically if you recall) at this place we could work him in both
directions and "listen" to the footfalls on the gravel for a change in
cadence or pressure.

Am I just slow. Have the rest of you known about this forever?

Angie (off to ride my Welsh Pony which I have no saddle to fit)

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[RC] Digital x-rays, rides2far