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journeysgirl

New Horse Diagnosed With Navicular

30 posts in this topic

We picked up a new mare Sunday. She had been diagnosed 2+ years ago. We are waiting on all the vet records. The only thing we have are the following pics. I KNOW they aren't current but I'm putting them up for discussion and to learn. I don't know a lot about Navicular. The diagnosis was done by the top lameness vet in our state. We have an appointment with a different vet. We barrel race and we are taking her to the go to guy in the barrel horse industry.

We are hoping we can get her fixed, but if not we just want her comfortable. She was bought to be a broodmare (gonna talk to the vet about breeding soundness, if she DOES have something genetically wrong we won't breed her). So if she can't be brought back to riding sound that's fine.

ETA: The previous owner said she does great barefoot. Just has to keep her toes really backed up and rolled. If they try and put shoes on her she goes lame as all get out. She was basically 3 legged lame within 2 week. They did all sorts of different shoes over several months trying to find something to work for her. Barefoot was the way to go.

Onto pics. As I said, these are 2 years old so don't waste a lot of time on them. I will post the current ones once we get them.

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this was what the vet prescribed for treatment

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and here she is (cause I can't post I got a new horse then not post a picture of her without getting run out of here lol)

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she's 16 hands and about 1100 lbs of sweet heart.

Edited by journeysgirl

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Navicular disease is not genetic.

However, predisposition to navicular is associated with conformational factors - small feet and straight pasterns. This conformation is particularly common in stock horses, explaining why navicular disease is more common in those breeds.

Also, the extra weight of carrying a foal could aggravate her condition.

If the navicular is mild and she's sound under weight, and has other exceptional qualities, then you might consider breeding her to a stallion with particularly good feet and legs.

Otherwise, no. I would not breed a mare with navicular syndrome.

On to treatment.

Egg bar shoes are the standard. They provide support to the navicular bone and relief of symptoms. (There's no cure). Pin firing is another possible treatment.

Also, you might want to talk to a specialist barefoot trimmer if you can find one. Some horses with navicular (and I've seen this myself) do much better with no shoes and a special "navicular trim" than with the egg bars. It does require an expert trimmer, though.

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Shameless I edited my OP cause I forgot the following.

The previous owner said she does great barefoot. Just has to keep her toes really backed up and rolled. If they try and put shoes on her she goes lame as all get out. She was basically 3 legged lame within 2 week. They did all sorts of different shoes over several months trying to find something to work for her. Barefoot was the way to go.

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I have had 2 navicular mares, both did great barefoot, and when I did wirk them, I used

Ground Control shoes www.plastichorseshoes.com Them moved with the foot enoughnot to

restrict, or pressure the heals.

I love the vets directions, and found myself the trimming them to encourage a good

heal support in the hoof, as well as a veryrolledback toe, I also found going and

trimming on a 3 week schedule really helped as well.....

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well.. when we picked her up Sunday she was gimpy on both front feet. Not bad just ouchy. I asked the seller how she was if she was stalled. Cause she was going to end up getting stalled when we got home for the first night at least. She said that if she was stalled the next morning she would be off. So I figured monday morning she'd be about dead lame. Nope, 6 hour trailer ride then stalled for the night, concrete with 8+ inches of bedding, and she walked out fine. Didn't take a lame step. Kicked her out into a frozen, hoof marked lot for the day. That night, nothing. No sign of lameness. Same thing Tuesday and this morning. In at night and not a lame step. Heck yesterday morning she was prancing around after we let her out. NO sign of pain.

Monday night when we brought everyone in, We were messing with her legs. SO (used to race trotting ponies), he was feeling her leg and said she had what they referred to on the track as a "hole in her ankle". When I asked what he meant he said that on the track the trotters would clip the inside of their leg right below the ankle and it would make them sore.

IDK, I've never heard of that, we'll know more Saturday though. That's when she's supposed to go to the vet. Pray for no snow Friday, if it snows Friday the SO will have to work and won't be able to get here in till the next Saturday.

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Yeah, some horses respond to the special barefoot trim better than to the egg bars - if she's sound barefoot, keep her barefoot. With navicular, you do whatever it takes to keep them sound even if it's not quite the "conventional wisdom."

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I see the slight bone spur, but I've been taught to look at the joint spaces, so my eye goes to the middle of the rad. Here you see a more expanded joint space, suggesting inflammation, but above it, there are no lolipop shadows to indicate problems. Sidebone is also in that red circle and on the other side as well, but not bad. Otherwise, these rads are pretty darn clean.
The lateral rad shows a bone that is a little too ground parallel, but as you look at the whole pic, there is obvious imbalance. The hoof is surrounding the bone, but is not tight to it or mirroring the bone. The balance between the extensor tendon and the ddft has been lost. It is a fairly well balanced bone, but that is not a happy hoof mirroring it, like its been trying to come back from a negative palmer angle by dictation from a farrier. Is this the result of "corrective shoeing/trimming??? " A ballerina foot??? I see torque from the long toe going up the front wall and extensor tendon to bash into the coronary band. Know also that that convex shape has compromised the hold of the white line inside that bubble. Then look down to the sagging heel bulbs and there is your ddft pull right there.
If there is thrush involved and sick frog, contracted heels, know that the back of the foot is folded in on itself like an accordian. The heels must be at the right height for comfort and be facing the ground, the burgeoning, thrush-free frog ready to back them up. That is development and what barefoot allows to happen. That's what happens when you give the horse back their foot and let them make it their own. It's then that the eyebrows go up with the results. Development in the back of the foot...strength where you need it.

When a hoof is developed strong, it has spread, become balanced, is used properly so that the mechanisms can flow forward. Flex is increased and in the face of that with every step, if the bone pathology is not too bad, spurs will break off and start floating around, waiting to be re-absorbed, or not, but doesn't matter. They are no longer anchored, rubbing and causing pain anymore. Any destruction with P3 is permanent. The horse is designed this way and this is the only way I've ever seen any changes in improvement to bone....freeing the hoof up and giving it back to the horse. Likewise, when balance is found and tension relieved, things tend to heal, which may have her really laughing in face of it. Inflammation is the enemy to bone and a definite priority when thinking of supplements. I found a gem. Move-ease by mybesthorse.com. It wowed me so much that I threw my Bute in the garbage.

If this hoof were in my hands, I would shorten the toe and bring the breakover back, make the heels face the ground and if sore, I would boot for a couple of months starting with a half pad from 9-3 o'clock, back to and including the heels. If I felt more height in the heels would help or more comfort, I would add another full pad on top of that for now....then move to develop and fight thrush like there's no tomorrow. (there's my egg bar shoes, only I can check the trim, fight thrush on a daily basis and make adjustments as they are needed....much more proactive....and listening, not dictating.

Your homework is important. A good balanced trim with comfort and made to move to work that trim. There should be no central sulcis crack, only a mere thumbprint depression on the top surface of the frog, so if there is a crack, go after thrush and keep after it, including cleaning to the very bottom of that crack and any others. Nothing can develop if its being eaten away. Copper and zinc are star players in hoof health and strength, so trace minerals, fed, not just blocks. Flax for the omegas and inflammation. If there is any supplement to be bought, look to the "zines"...the action guys.... like lysine, leucine, methionine. For example, Lysine balance is tied to protein. If you have no lysine to process the protein, the protein is wasted. A horse could be showing symptoms of excessive protein, but it also could be a deficiency in lysine and not excessive protein. Biotin is another, but will take awhile and show up on new growth.

If you are using her for a broodmare, I imagine she'll be fat and heavy in 9 months or so. With the right protocols in place, you could definitely have a better foot by then, that's able to do the job in the face of it. Otherwise, the thought of eggbar shoes on a broodmare out to pasture is a silly expense to me, among other things.

Hope this helps....

Edited by missyclare

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Jubal, she WAS on a pasture when we picked her up. Grass is dead but still, she was out on it. She is in a dry lot at home right now, covered in snow none the less, but no grass. That might be a huge component.

Very helpful MC thank you!! Her frogs are actually in good shape. Like I said, those rads are 2+ years old. The first thing I noticed what that the angle was off and I'm sure the bottoms of her hooves were ragged as all get out. I can't wait to see what the vet has to say tomorrow. Pray the SO doesn't get called in to work tonight. If he does we will have to post pone the appointment a week.

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My horse never leaves the barn, winter or summer, without his grazing muzzle. I've kept him from getting laminitis for seven years now. By the way, he was diagnosed with navicular by x-ray right before he foundered, seven years ago. He's not lame. If you want to read the story it's here.

With my horse, I had him xrayed to begin with because he had stumbled badly twice, going to his knees.The second time, I broke my collar bone. He was xrayed and the same day, had a West Nile vaccine and two tranq shots to get him to drop for sheath cleaning. They didn't work and the vet tried to clean him anyway which really stressed the horse. He also had been put into a grazing muzzle two days earlier and that stressed him badly too. Then he was shod and two days later was down in his stall with laminitis. Any of those things could have caused it, I guess. He rotated and so I layed him off for a year and meanwhile, learned the barefoot trim from Pete Ramey's book and this web site. After about four months he was not lame any longer, but I was still hesitant to ride him. When I did start riding again, it was only pleasure riding and lower level dressage because he still stumbled occasionally and I was afraid of him falling again.

Fast forward to two years ago. He came up lame with a big knot over the annular ligament in his left front. The vet said it was old because it was cold and hard but I knew better because I handle his legs every day. Anyway, . Did xrays and ultrasound. Showed nothing and the vet didn't think the annular ligament was causing the lameness. I waited five months and he was still lame so I sent him to the clinic for surgery to cut the annular ligament. The surgeon called and said he was going to do an MRI while he was out because he had noticed puffiness in the fetlock and he wanted to make sure the joint capsule was not compromised. The MRI showed a ganglion cyst within the annular ligament. They cut it out when they cut the ligament. He came sound after the surgery and I started riding him this past spring. He has never stumbled badly since and both front feet started developing in the heel after the surgery.

Soooo.... My horse is sound and doesn't have navicular disease. The navicular bones look the same on xrays as they did when he was six.

I think the cyst was there all along and pressing on the tendon periodically causing him to stumble,but I'll never know for sure. Veterinary medicine is not an exact science.[/i]

Read more: http://forums.horsecity.com/index.php?showtopic=47100448#ixzz3Reen4RtS

Edited by jubal

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GRRR, my post just went into cyber space, so I will be briefer

Before shoing this horse, esp if heel wedges are suggested, I would really read up on navicular syndrome and some to the research work by Dr Robert Bowker

Navicular syndrome is just pain at the back of the foot, and soft tissue damage always comes before any bony changes. Some horses with bony changes are sound, while some with clean x-rays are not

I would rather see hoof shots of this horse, and if barefoot, allowing the back of the foot to become healthy and functional, makes the horse sound, who cares about the x-rays

Here is a link, where Dr Bowker answers some questions on navicular disease

Standard shoing methods for navicular often sends a horse down the road of no -return, where d e-nerving becomes the final option for a few more possible years of working soundness

http://thenaturallyhealthyhorse.com/dr-robert-bowker-navicular-disease/

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I will get hoof shots soon. We are in sub zero temps right now and I'm not messing with it till it breaks in a few days. She is due for a trim, but I'm not going to mess with trimming till we've had her feet looked at. The heels look good actually. Frogs are nice and wide and healthy.

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I wouldn't think Navicular if she has wide healthy frogs. Horses with heel pain land toe first and the back of the foot deteriorates.

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I wouldn't think Navicular if she has wide healthy frogs. Horses with heel pain land toe first and the back of the foot deteriorates.

Agree

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Sorry gals, I've not forgot about getting pics of her feet. I just haven't done it yet cause we are still in the sub zero temps AND I threw my back out over the weekend. Bad enough bending to pick up feet is not an option right now. Shoot, bending isnt' an option lol.

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I agree that a qualified barefoot trimmer would be best. My horse Blue was diagnosed with navicular changes & side bone. After 3 trims he was sound as a dollar.

The only thing I see (unless it's an optical illusion) is her left front in the picture looks like it angles inward from the knee down but more so from her fetlock down.

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we sitll haven't gotten her to the vet and she's still sound as can be. Every time we schedule her an appointment we get snow and my SO has to go work. So we aren't gonna schedule it till June when we'll be clear of not getting more snow lol.

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Wohoo. She goes to the vet today finally. Will keep you all updated. For the record' she was sh!ttin and gittin the other night in the pasture on frozen ground. Not the least bit off. In fact she's not taken a lame step since we brought her home.

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One symptom of Navicular is they are usually more lame on hard surfaces. If she's comfortable running on frozen ground, I'd say look for a different cause of her lameness (which she apparently doesn't have now.) Good luck.

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Vet says (this was relayed by the SO rather quickly so I probably missed some stuff)

NO navicular.. just bad farriery. She has THREE milliliters of sole on her one foot and about 5 on the other. Vet said that's what he calls a "blood layer". Just enough sole to keep the blood in. She also has thin hoof walls. vet said her x-rays were really clean, the spot we thought could be a small bone spur. He says is a tiny start of arthritis. Otherwise with proper hoof care she should be sound as can be the rest of her life. He said shoe her and ride her.

Vet wants her in shoes with pads for at least two cycles to bring her angles back to where they need to be and to get her soles covered. SO and I will argue about this as I can keep her in boots with pads and do the same. But SO's best friend is a good qualified farrier, he is also client of the vet we went to and the vet uses him when the vet has a client that needs corrective shoeing. We'll see, according to the gal we bought her from she went dead lame after putting shoes on her. She said they tried several different kinds of shoes and all of them. With in a week two at most, the horse was dead lame with shoes on. So if that happens then we'll go my route and do boots and pads.

My back is out for any sort of trimming for at least a month. So we will do it his way for now and hopefully it works and she doesn't go lame. If she does, by that time my back will be back in action for trimming and I'll do it my way.

Either way, any suggestions for building sole?

Edited by journeysgirl

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A good barefoot trim is good for building sole. But since you can't do that, at least don't let the farrier touch her soles. And then good low sugar feed, a supplement with high copper and zinc, and plenty of exercise.

Glad you got a good report and a beautiful horse to go with it!

Edited by jubal

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well after arguing about it last night I *might* have got my way lol. He's old school and doesn't like the thought of messing with boots daily. The vet, our farrier and him are all old school. But when I made the point that if we have our farrier friend trim her to start out and then I put her in the boots that he will save money. That triggered something that I might get my way with what's best for her. When I also explained that I can adjust the amount of pressure on her soles with the boots and you can't with shoes he just waved me off. Typical response out of him when he knows i'm right but he doesn't want to admit it lol. So after some discussion I will just let him sit and stew about it and see what he finally decides. I do need to dig out my boots and measure her feet and look up what size my boots were to make sure they will fit. I would hate to make such a bit stink about it and then have them not fit lol.

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How far are you from New Carlisle? I managed to get my Favorite Trimmer back for Gideon's feet and I forgot how much I really do adore her work. She is amazing and capable, will shoe if necessary but does the best,most balanced trim I have ever seen.

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That's almost an hour and a half from us. We've got access to 4 fantastic Farriers. I've got it now to we are gonna have the one trim her then see what he thinks about shoes. The SO rode her again yesterday and she is sound as can be. Hopefully the shoes don't bother her.

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Update us please! I have been using a natural hoofcare trimmer for years. He has worked with Dr. Bowker. All the horses he has seen with supposed "navicular", have gone sound after he has trimmed them and worked with the owners. I've personally seen several horses over the years who have been shod according to the old methods, and most everyone of them has either been temporarily helped or has not been helped at all with the "corrective" shoeing. I believe correct trimming is the way to go, and if necessary, hoof boots used for trailing. It is important to trim regularly and at shorter intervals than a horse without these problems.

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She was shod last week with pour in pads on the fronts. Still sound as can be. We've started working her a bit harder. She's not taken an off step yet. We are so thrilled with how she's doing.

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