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Navicular

This is a discussion on Navicular within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        02-01-2014, 11:30 AM
      #21
    Yearling
    Quote:
    I disagree with your comments Patty, about the wedging of heels having no 'side effects'. I do agree that *much* of the issue is about *correct* application & I know that it can indeed make the horse feel better, in the short term at least.
    I know some (not a lot) of navicular disease horses who literally can not walk without their wedges. After years , even though they have minimal bone pathology present. WHY? Because the natural angle of their coffin bones was negative naturally due to weak digital cushion, and will not ever be correct without the wedges.Ad they suffer NO long term negative effects. NONE. No contracted heels, no thrush, no unhealthy frogs. And some navicular disease horses have bone deterioration so severe to begin with that they MUST have the relief that the wedges provide for the long term. I am not saying weghe every horse with navicular problems, no way. Most just need the right hoof balance and yes that can be done barefoot but SOME need wedges long term and if done correctly there are absolutely NO negative effects. And given the stance of the OP horse, she is screaming "trim my feet correctly AND give me wedges, at least for a while" .
    Quote:
    But the simple mechanics of rotating P3 & putting the horse even more on his toes
    Wedging correctly *when needed* does not "rotate P3. It puts it just up to a NORMAL ANGLE becuse it was not thee to begin with, In most cases, wedging is used to ALIGNS the formerly misaligned (broken back) coffin joint that cause the navicular issues in the first place.

    And even if we wedge a horse slightly beyond aligned, to create a temporary 'broken forward' alignment , it is done just long enough to allow the inflamed tissues to "quiet down". And doing that is TEMPORARY anyway. .
    Quote:
    is generally unhelpful in the long run - unless perhaps there is no 'long run' & the condition is too far past hope of rehab, so palliative measures are best.
    Yes, as stated above. Some horses just have too much pathology, as the stance and history of the horse in the OP suggests may be the case. Even though this is a young horse she could have something like congenital bipartate or tripartate navicular bones or some other abnormality.
         
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        02-01-2014, 11:40 AM
      #22
    Yearling
    Does this foot look all that unhealthy to you? Mapped and trimmed for a reset after 10 weeks (she lives in the mountains and I couldn't get to her on schedule) and mapped. How long do you think she has been in that size wedge pads?Take a wild guess. She is 30 years old.
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        02-01-2014, 12:14 PM
      #23
    Super Moderator
    At what point do you decide you need a pad? Why choose a pad over a bar? How high would you go with the wedge before moving to the next step? Is it ok to wedge one hoof over another?

    If you go with a barefoot attempt, how many months could it take to see if it will actually work?

    What are thoughts on isoxsuprine and how many pills per day?
         
        02-01-2014, 06:34 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    Quote:
    At what point do you decide you need a pad?Why choose a pad over a bar?
    If you mean a wedge pad, any time the angle of the coffin bone needs to be raised for any reason. I never use a bar shoe for navicular. They never work as well in the long run as a good trim with a properly set shoe designed to eases breakover, on a mapped foot , wedge pad as needed, with customized frog support and a medicated fill , or supportive fill as needed underneath. There is no one formula for treating a navicular syndrome horse, but bar shoes are not included in my tool box. Ever. Bar shoes DO cause secondary frog and heel problems.
    Quote:
    How high would you go, with the wedge before moving to the next step?
    It's not how high to go it is how little can get the job done for that case that day. The next step after wedging is to begun reducing the wedge as the horses comfort increases. The HORSE tells me how much wedge he needs and there are lots of factors including his stance , footfall, amount of lameness. There are also adjustable shoeing systems for the more serious painful cases where the wedge can be changed (usually that means reduced) as soon as it needs to change,even in between shoeings. And the horse's movement stance and footfall tells the farrier when to do that. Treatment guidelines are customized for that horse that day.
    Quote:
    Is it ok to wedge one hoof over another?
    Sure, if needed. Usually the low foot on a "high low" or club footed :horse gets the wedge because usually that is the lame one , and one that needs a bit of wedge to achieve joint alignment in navicular issues.
    Quote:
    If you go with a barefoot attempt, how many months could it take to see if it will actually work?
    I would only give a proper balanced barefoot trim barefoot a week or so if the foot had been badly distorted before and thw trim corrected it. The reason for only a week? I can place a correctly customized therapeutic shoeing package on it, get the horse IMMEDIATE mechanical relief and increase the function and circulation in his foot by assisting him to move more and get a heel first landing. That gets the healing 'jump started' and he can then maybe go barefoot later without having to endure a painful transition. IMO it is just cruel to force a horse to endure unnecessary pain for the sake of barefoot or boots when a lot of things can be treated just as well (or better) with the right kind of shoes, and not cause the horse pain in the process.

    Quote:
    What are thoughts on isoxsuprine and how many pills per day?
    I think isoxuprene is a waste of time and money. Poor trimming and poor shoeing is what causes poor circulation in the foot. Pills don't fix that. Get those things fixed mechanically and the foot can get all the circulation it needs. Even many vets do not think that isox does much, but they sure sell a lot anyway .
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        02-02-2014, 12:25 AM
      #25
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patty Stiller    
    I know some (not a lot) of navicular disease horses who literally can not walk without their wedges. After years , even though they have minimal bone pathology present. WHY? Because the natural angle of their coffin bones was negative naturally due to weak digital cushion, and will not ever be correct without the wedges.
    OK, firstly I agree it is frequently an effective & sometimes necessary palliative, which can make an otherwise lame horse comfortable. Which for one reason or another, may be the best option. Secondly, seems like we may be thinking about different specifics & I agree there is a big difference between wedging to *correct* neg angles and in 'jacking up' heels to 'relieve' navicular, over here at least. It's commonly done regardless of P3 angles. When it stops working, the hoof is jacked up higher, which will often give further relief for a while. When it's deemed they can't be raised any more & the horse is again hurting, denerving is then considered. So far as I've heard, it is not considered a temporary measure which can aid improvement. Not uncommonly, this wedging causes the horse to effectively suffer mechanical founder.

    Even with need to correct P3, I think it's better to be done with pads/boots *if possible*(I acknowledge not always adequate, practical...). Because the premise that a weak DC cannot be improved is incorrect IME, but I don't know how much it can be improved with shoes/conventional wedges. I have a fair bit of experience with horses treated as such, but no experience of improvement in the state of affairs. 'Navicular' is generally still thought of over here as incurable & degenerative & if conventionally treated, that seems to be the reasonable prognosis.

    IME neg or ground parallel P3 also tends to go with crushed heels(walls & DCs), of which are best relieved, so padding under the frog but not walls is helpful IME. Because to grow strong it must be used. The catch is, to be used it must be comfortable, but IME frequently they can be with frog support pads.

    Quote:
    Does this foot look all that unhealthy to you?
    I don't get the point at all of asking me to guess how long horse has been shod like that - it can only be a stab in the dark. Assuming by your comments it's a long time, so I'll take a punt & say 20 years.

    That hoof looks relatively normal IMO. Not at all terrible but not great. I'm assuming the shoes didn't cause the narrow heels in the first place. I can't see the pics ATM while typing, and it could of course be camera view that gave me the idea, but I wonder about her toes being a bit stretched & toe sole/frog apex appearing quite shallow? Again, may be purely camera angle or the way horse is standing, but in the shod/wedged pic, she looks to have quite high heels, if we're talking about wedging to balance P3(?).

    Quote:
    At what point do you decide you need a pad? Why choose a pad over a bar? How high would you go with the wedge before moving to the next step? Is it ok to wedge one hoof over another?
    I would, as previous discussion, consider pads &/or *frog* wedges, when there are weak heels, discomfort without, &/or P3 misalignment. I would consider conventional wedge pads/shoes, in the above situations, when it is deemed a temporary or permanent palliative measure is necessary, or due to circumstances, other options for the horse's comfort weren't possible. Over here at least, they do often choose a bar shoe as an early measure for 'navicular' pain. I think this is due to reduction in feeling & covering/taking the weak frogs/heels out of commission further. When that ceases to be effective, the heels begin getting jacked up. Bob Bowker's theory of why this generally works temporarily is that it shifts the point of pressure in the centre of the hoof slightly.

    Is it OK to wedge one hoof over another? Yes, if only one of a pair is neg angle, then it's important to correct this. But whether it's 'natural', such as a clubbed hoof, or made like that with high heeled shoes, I think it's generally best to consult a good bodyworker too, if considering/making changes.

    Quote:
    If you go with a barefoot attempt, how many months could it take to see if it will actually work?
    Depends on too many factors to say really. Depends whether you're talking keeping the horse completely bare or using padded boots or such, depends on your environment, depends on damage & age of horse, etc. But generally, you should be able to see at least some improvement immediately or very soon, whatever your approach, or IMO you should probably reconsider that approach. Eg. IME you can usually get a horse comfortable with padding(tho you might have to play around with thickness, density, etc), but as Patty said, some may just be 'too far gone' or some such, perhaps too old to worry about anything more than palliative, & in that case, you do whatever is necessary to make/keep them comfortable IMO.

    .... & I just read Patty's last post above. Pretty much agree, but as said, have had no experience whatsoever, with shoeing/wedging actually improving 'navicular', except in the palliative sense, so would love to learn more about that.
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        02-02-2014, 09:51 AM
      #26
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Does this foot look all that unhealthy to you?
    I don't get the point at all of asking me to guess how long horse has been shod like that - it can only be a stab in the dark. Assuming by your comments it's a long time, so I'll take a punt & say 20 years.
    The reason I asked was to point out how properly applied wedges really don't cause the crushed heels ,thrushy frogs or mechanical laminitis etc that happen with improperly used wedges on improperly trimmed feet. That's all. Just wanted to illustrate that.

    Your punt was pretty correct....about 15 years in wedge pads without a break. With Me shoeing her the last 11, and someone else before that. And These are frog support NB pads BTW, so the frog 'gets to the ground' via the pad and gets stimulation .
         
        02-02-2014, 10:01 AM
      #27
    Yearling
    Quote:
    That hoof looks relatively normal IMO. Not at all terrible but not great. I'm assuming the shoes didn't cause the narrow heels in the first place.
    The heels are not al that narrow. It's an illusion in the trimmed foot because the foot is a little elongated so it causes the appearance. If you look at where the shoe is going to set, the whole foot looks more round and the hee.s look wider in proportion.
    Quote:
    I can't see the pics ATM while typing, and it could of course be camera view that gave me the idea, but I wonder about her toes being a bit stretched & toe sole/frog apex appearing quite shallow?
    Yes her toes were a bit stretched this shoeing mostly since she went ten weeks . This mare does tend to get a stretched toe on this foot however all the time even with the shoe set back off it and her heels trimmed back every time. SOme horses just do, even barefoot.

    In reality her soles are actually quite concave, not flattened. It's the 2D photo making that hard to see. The frog support is what helps the sole be concave and the frog healthy.
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        02-02-2014, 10:11 AM
      #28
    Yearling
    .
    Quote:
    ... & I just read Patty's last post above. Pretty much agree, but as said, have had no experience whatsoever, with shoeing/wedging actually improving 'navicular', except in the palliative sense, so would love to learn more about that.
    I can not speak in regards to bone lesions and healing as in the mare I posted.However a lot of " navicular " as we know is mostly soft tissue inflammation particularly in the impar ligament and deep flexor tendon attachment under the bone . MRI research has proven that.
    Therefore reducing the tension and resulting stress those tissues can help them heal. A couple of vets I have worked with in the past are capable of doing ultrasound exams on the impar ligament (VERY difficult to do ) and have noted healing in follow up exams , so shoeing is more than palliative. I have seen it.

    If someone is doing MRI follow ups on these it would be an interesting study to compare actual healing of tissues in barefoot compared to *correct* therapeutic shoeing. But I don't think anyone has done one yet. So I have to go by what the horse says and if the horse is a lot more comfortable , moving more and using his frog and heels correctly then I have done my job to help him heal more quickly. (and maybe get back to barefoot some time....)
    loosie likes this.
         
        02-02-2014, 10:52 AM
      #29
    Green Broke
    Patty, did you rasp back that toe after taking the last picture? Or did you leave it? I'm so novice on shoes. I know what my farrier would do, just curious what another would do.
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        02-02-2014, 03:41 PM
      #30
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    Hey roperchick, why has your horse got a bumper bar on his nose??
    Because he's an ugly jughead cuss and that's the only way to make his head look smaller
    loosie and morganarab94 like this.
         

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