HELP Expert advice - navicular cysts, osteophytes RTG X-rays - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 58 Old 01-01-2014, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don’t know why I insist on leaving him barefoot. Maybe because:

- I read that barefoot trimming is a new, successful and fruitful way to manage (and possibly “cure”) navicular
- I was told and I read that shoeing a horse is bad. Shoeing a navicular horse is even worse as it only worsen the condition in the long run.
- They are humans who benefit from shoeing not a horse that they want to use.

I wonder if it would be a better idea to follow ideas suggested here and shoe him to correct the negative palmar angle immediately.

Concerning all the things said here I think I am closer to shoeing him. In summer, the farrier told me that he is too sensitive and shoes could help him but I was told (again) that it is his business to shoe a horse.

The stable owner decided not to reshoe his S P O R T horses till February which means I will have to call the farrier to come to my horse only. There is one more farrier that I won’t call – he’s got a nickname “slaughter-man” and I don’t think I have to explain why . Believe me, there is a shortage of farriers and trimmers and I think I would have to call the same that I used to before.

I paid for another interpretation of x-rays (I sent them to one of the best equine sports medicine vets in Poland). Unfortunalety, he confirmed the diagnosis. He didn't write navicular disease or sydrom. He answered that he can see a cyst on navicular bone and that such a change is a serious risk and most often the source of lameness. The prognosis is guarded.

Vet 1 recommended wedge pads and egg bars
Vet 2 recommended egg bars
Vet 3 recommended jmd bonapartix first and later NBS
(BTW Where can I buy these if I can’t even find them?! I am sorry for being such a laywoman... )

I asked the vet no. 3 some more questions and this is what he replied: He contradicted the theory that the osteophytes are inborn. He said that they manifest the early stage of degeneration within the joint and until the balance of the horse is restored, the process is going to progress. He wrote that Tildren is a good drug. Accoring to him, HA acid is beneficial when injected into navicular bursa with the help of rtgs. And something which made my day: Such horses can be ridden as pleasure horses and do some small jumps if proper shoeing and treatment is provided.

I can’t find appropriate information about wedge shoes. Are they wedge pads? What shoes then?

Can you help me again go through “choosing a shoe” process? I would be grateful if you could post photos or links. And most importantly: Shall I leave him barefoot and do his feet every 4 weeks or shall I put on shoes as vets recommended?
Any thoughts are welcome.
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post #52 of 58 Old 01-02-2014, 06:47 PM
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I feel so bad for you and your horse! I had a horse on trial for two weeks, fell in love with him, and then got xrays that said he had navicular syndrome. The cysts, osteophites, etc. I ended up not buying him, but only after doing a ton of research to see if I could rehab him. It seemed like except with very few exceptions, going barefoot was the answer. Here are some sites I went to when I was researching:

Welcome (a place that rehabs horses with nav syndrome, laminitis, founder, etc.)

Pete Ramey's website: Articles

Rockley Farm: Reversing navicular bone damage

Rockley Farm: Rehab FAQs

Physiological trimming for a healthy equine foot — College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University

Hope this helps!
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post #53 of 58 Old 01-03-2014, 09:12 PM
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I am a pro-barefoot type of person, but in this case, just gut feeling if it were my horse, I would go with shoes and wedge pads to get his palamar angles back to a normal angle.

Barefoot is great and I'm all for it, but it's like telling someone in a wheel chair that they should be out jogging. Jogging is healthy and great but if you can't even walk....... You should worry about walking before you take up jogging.

I don't know if that is even a good analogy, but it's the best I could come up with at the moment.

I dunno. It's a tough call. But I think getting the proper bone alignment is of utmost importance at this moment in time. That could be the root of all his troubles. Or perhaps not, but it's the first and most obvious thing to try. Get him sound and comfortable and then, in the future, you could always look into barefoot again.

I keep and ride my horses barefoot and so do many of my friends. Barefoot is generally the best way to keep a horse, in my opinion. So I am a firm believer that barefoot did NOT cause this....horses were born to be barefoot. HOWEVER, right now I think he could be helped best by shoes and wedge pads to get his bones aligned. That is of more concern right now than following a "barefoot ideal."

Like others said, for a navicular horse with narrow, contracted feet and high heels, they could benefit from barefoot. But your guy has the opposite problem, feet that are too low (at least on radiographic image). (From the photos, his feet actually look pretty good to me.)

So I don't know what it's worth, I am a layman and not a vet, but that's my humble opinion. If he were mine, I would go with shoes with a wedge pad and shoes that enable break-over.
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post #54 of 58 Old 02-23-2014, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update:

That's my horse in shoes, 4 weeks after.

His movement on concrete, barefoot, 5 weeks ago:

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post #55 of 58 Old 02-27-2014, 02:07 AM
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Wow. That's a tall horse. :) How's he doing now?
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #56 of 58 Old 02-27-2014, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
Wow. That's a tall horse. :) How's he doing now?
Thank you :) He is fine. He loves his shoes. However, I am not sure whether he is lame or not. The farrier told me I should ride him but the vet told me to wait and take rtgs in May.
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post #57 of 58 Old 02-27-2014, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
Barefoot is great and I'm all for it, but it's like telling someone in a wheel chair that they should be out jogging. Jogging is healthy and great but if you can't even walk....... You should worry about walking before you take up jogging.
I think that's a great analogy actually! People often also talk about 'transitioning' a horse to go bare on rough ground without first considering getting feet healthy beforehand too.

BUT I do still think shoeless - ie. bare & booted or otherwise protected where necessary is generally best, especially for sick feet, especially for 'navicular' & the likes. One of the perceived glitches is the neg plantar angle, as it's not generally acceptable to have horses booted 24/7 & it is vital to fix that alignment. Upon speaking to people with lots of experience rehabbing this problem though, it does seem that half-time booting, with wedge pads, is indeed enough, and improvements still occur & horse is able to go without wedges reasonably quickly. Especially if they have rest areas to stand bare, with 'pea gravel' or other supportive but yielding surfaces.

OP, seems you've made your decision, but for what it's worth of shoe choices, on a palliative level - ie just making the horse more comfortable - the bar shoes may work better, but if you want to actually build strength in the back of the foot with a view to actual rehab, avoid bars, but ensure frog is padded/supported from underneath... or avoid shoes & go the boots.
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post #58 of 58 Old 03-09-2014, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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I am a bit curious person and I have came up with another question :)

My horse seems not to mind trotting. He is willing to move faster than walk. When I look closely at his legs I can notice that he has improved (longer stride, confidence) but he frequently bobs his head. When he forgets (is excited or in a new place) he doesn't do it. He does it when he starts trotting and then stops or the other way round. One day more, the other less. Just wonder, is it possible that he remembers the pain? or is he showing me the pain again?
I called equine massage therapist and she is going to visit us on March 24.
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