Crooked joints in a 7-yr-old? Possible navicular changes???
 
 

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Crooked joints in a 7-yr-old? Possible navicular changes???

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  • Navicular changes

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    07-02-2013, 12:54 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Unhappy Crooked joints in a 7-yr-old? Possible navicular changes???

***sigh*** I swear I've had nothing but bad luck with horses lately. Here's something else to add to the mix.

I purchased my horse Red last year in May. He is 7 years old this year. In January, he got into the fence on his hind left leg which put him on stall rest for a month. When he was ready for it (probably was end of March), my vet did a annual health exam on him which included a lameness eval. He checked out fine.

Been riding him since then and training him for barrels (recent video here .... Critique VIDEO - barrels and poles which we have a lot of work to do!!!) For the last few weeks, his trot has sometimes felt "off" to me in that I'd notice a head bob every now and then. I know his trot is not real balanced at this point (according to the reining trainer I took him to in May) so I kinda chaulked it up to that, since he just had a lameness eval in March. Well my mother had the chance to ride him last weekend and she commented on it too. I thought well if she noticed it, then it must really be there.

I took him to the vet this morning.

He has good feet. He has pretty good looking legs, besides being a little bit pigeon-toed on the front. But overall, his conformation isn't too bad at all. She thought he looked worse on the left front, although possibly sore on both front feet. She did a nerve block on the heel area of the left front. He was then perfectly fine on his left side, but then worse on his right. She did x-rays on his left front. There *may* be some slight navicular changes .... but maybe not. Nothing that she thought would be causing his lameness. He also has the side bones coming off his coffin bone (now I may be mis-quoting that as far as medical terms) that she said some horses can get points on, and they can break off and cause lameness, but Red's are pretty symmetrical on each side and they are rounded and not seeming to make any contact with anything.

But even though he looks fairly balanced from the outside, we can see that his coffin bone joint and the pastern bone joint are both crooked. And actually opposite in direction of each other. So this is what she thinks is giving him the soundness issue. Because his physical joints are crooked, it's putting weird stress on the joints.




So our plan of action is to do some corrective shoeing. Her husband is a farrier so he looked at Red on the spot (he didn't have time today to work on him, but my vet here is very capable of doing it and has worked with this vet a lot). He even said himself that he absolutely hates to put a shoe on him because he's got thick sole, a good heel, and great looking feet. But clearly, his joints are crooked and he needs something. We might try just a regular shoe, or may try a very low wedge shoe. Give him bute for 5 days after he's shoed, and then give it a few weeks to see how he does. And of course it may take some trial and error to find something that works.

Worst case scenario if the shoeing does not help, she may have to inject him. But she doesn't want to jump into injecting him unless he absolutely needs it, because he is only 7-yr-old. And I have his long-term livelihood in mind.

Has anyone had experience with a horse with crooked joints?

What did you do?

How long did the horse last for you?
     
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    07-02-2013, 01:07 PM
  #2
Banned
Well it's such a broad subject, I've seen some horses will terribly crooked front legs be lovely movers and never go sore or lame and I've seen others with a slight crooked leg or turned in toe and be seriously lame....it's really a very individual thing....good luck:)
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    07-02-2013, 06:29 PM
  #3
Yearling
Show us the Xray a the feet attached. Looking balanced from the outside means zero.
     
    07-03-2013, 05:28 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
Show us the Xray a the feet attached. Looking balanced from the outside means zero.
I know.

But he's crooked on the inside. According to my vet, that's much worse than being crooked on the outside. There's not much you can do to "fix" the inside (and not that you'd want to because you'd make things worse.)

Here are the xrays. The first one shows the uneven joint spaces the best, around the short pastern bone.





     
    07-03-2013, 05:54 PM
  #5
Yearling
The navicular changes I can see are minor. I just went through, well, 7 months ago, the whole navicular x-ray game; I don't think navicular is the issue. Given the crookedness the corrective shoeing may help. I can see the farrier trimming slightly higher on the inside (If that is what is to the left in that first film) to raise that area in order to straighten up the angle, or maybe just add a wedge pad..I am not a pro farrier by any stretch of the imagination but I went through several variations of corrective shoeing for the navicular. Hopefully the shoeing corrects the issue.
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    07-03-2013, 06:31 PM
  #6
Yearling
You need a second opinion IMO. I disagree with the vet. The uneven joint to me signifies the hoof is not being trimmed properly for what it needs. I can clearly see the flare on that side that is not allowing the leg to break over to the squashed side as easily. See how the wall is flaring on that side? More pressure. See the taller side bone on that side? I say trim problem. You should get the opinion of Patty Stiller. She's on HGS more often. Post there and see what you get.
     
    07-04-2013, 03:44 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlkng1    
The navicular changes I can see are minor. I just went through, well, 7 months ago, the whole navicular x-ray game; I don't think navicular is the issue. Given the crookedness the corrective shoeing may help. I can see the farrier trimming slightly higher on the inside (If that is what is to the left in that first film) to raise that area in order to straighten up the angle, or maybe just add a wedge pad..I am not a pro farrier by any stretch of the imagination but I went through several variations of corrective shoeing for the navicular. Hopefully the shoeing corrects the issue.
Yes, the vet said there was very minor navicular changes, but of course what we'd like to see (but can't) is what the soft tissue is doing around everything.

And yes, I am very much hoping my farrier can come up with something that will work for Red. I'm sure it's going to take a few months minimum to see if we can figure something that's going to work, through trial and error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
You need a second opinion IMO. I disagree with the vet. The uneven joint to me signifies the hoof is not being trimmed properly for what it needs. I can clearly see the flare on that side that is not allowing the leg to break over to the squashed side as easily. See how the wall is flaring on that side? More pressure. See the taller side bone on that side? I say trim problem. You should get the opinion of Patty Stiller. She's on HGS more often. Post there and see what you get.
Red does tend to wear the outside of his front hooves quicker than the inside because he is slightly pigeon-toed. I wonder if the constant pressure on the outside has something to do with this all?

Yes, he is over-due for a trim right now. Things just get too nuts around the 4th of July. I did trim that inside just a tad a couple of weeks ago. But he was going through this lame spell long before that.

For right now, I'm just going to wait and see what happens. I don't feel the need to get a second opinion at this point (although I do appreciate the advice) because I greatly trust both my vet and my farrier. They are both very good and I have never heard one person speak poorly of either of them. Not saying her diagnosis can't be wrong, but I'm going to run with it for right now to see what we can do.

My farrier already has the x-rays (the vet emailed them to him on the spot) so now that we know what is going on on the inside, hopefully we can trim or shoe him appropriately to help him land and load better.

Sidenote .... what's HGS? Who's Patty Stiller? Is she a vet?
     
    07-04-2013, 06:47 PM
  #8
Yearling
Shes a farrier. A very experienced one much more up to date than many vets and most farriers. HGS is he horse grooming upplies forum. She posts there. Id still get an opinion from her. She may be able to point you in a better direction.
     
    07-04-2013, 06:47 PM
  #9
Yearling
Page 1
     
    07-15-2013, 12:16 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Took Red to the farrier on Thursday last week.

He decided to try a low wedge shoe (2 degrees) with a matching low wedge pad. Just on the front feet. He also slightly off-set the left front shoe a tad bit to the outside to help him with his landing/loading, since that foot is a little worse.

I will be giving him a week off with 2 grams daily bute (per the vet) and then seeing how he is.

It may take a few months to figure this out, I'm sure. I'm really discouraged Red is having problems with only 1 year of solid riding under his belt, and I realize that barrel racing is probably not going to be his career due to the stress on the joints ...... but I guess I gotta try! He's got potential there to be a very good barrel horse; that's for sure. If I need to re-home him with a different career, so be it, but I'm going to give him a good year to see if we can help him.
     

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