Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Radiography, X-ray, Shoulder



This diagnostic is less commonly used because shoulder lameness is uncommon. When lameness is suspected to originate in the shoulder area, it is usually because the examiner has ruled out many other potential areas via the use of nerve blocks. In addition, this diagnostic requires a powerful x-ray generators and excellent technique in order to acquire images of diagnostic quality.

The front limb is usually pulled forward and the x-ray is taken from the other side of the horse. This is done so that the limb is pulled away from the massive muscling of the other limb.


Quality shoulder radiographs are useful in diagnosing fractures and osteochondrosis of the bones of the shoulder joint.


This area is difficult to image well, meaning that many radiographs lack sufficient detail to be helpful in diagnosing the problem.

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  • Will information gathered by this test change the prognosis or possible treatments available for my horse?
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