Desperately need encouragement - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New England
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Desperately need encouragement

My spectacularly gorgeous, sweet Paint has been diagnosed with navicular. He is not sound without bute every day. This came on so quickly and I've only owned him for a little over a year. I've had two vets look at him and both agree it's navicular. The second vet told me I should consider my safety first and foremost as he could stumble and go down, resulting in me being badly hurt. I'd been coming around to thinking that I should put him down after the summer but the thought is breaking my heart. I don't know if I can actually do it. I'm trying to keep him going with the eggbar shoes and bute. But he needs to wear bell boots to keep from ripping his shoes off. He got horrible sores from the boots 24/7, so I took them off. Sure enough he ripped off his shoe in turn out. What a mess! I don't know how to sort it all out. I work full time and so time is a premium with my horse addiction/hobby. In some ways it would be easy to put him down and get another, sounder horse that doesn't require all the extra time and fuss. But this guy has worn his way into my heart, and horses are living beings, not just dispensable machines for our pleasure. (WOW - I'm pouring out all my emotions, but this is so **** hard). I feel like I need to make decisions, but can't. I guess I'll just limp along week to week and see how he does. It's also frustrating as my farrier is in such demand that he may not get to our barn for 2 to 3 weeks after he's needed. With navicular, I don't think this is doing to work out very well. I'm getting really depressed about all of this.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 09:32 PM
Join Date: May 2009
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We had an old mare at my barn who was navicular for most of her life. She was shod with the egg bar shoe AND pads to keep her heels elevated. As long as she had the shoes on, she was rarely lame and rarely stumbled. We recently had to put her down at age 32 due to her having a stroke.

There is hope for your boy. I'd suggest finding another farrier, trying the pads under the shoes as well. Work with your vet/farrier. Your boy may not be able to be as active as he was in the past, but you certainly could still pleasure ride him.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 09:36 PM
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I'm praying for the dear horse and you! My second horse that I ever owned was diagnosed with navicular also(I was 10). He was getting a little old(13 to be exact), and after him struggling for a while, we decided to end his pain and put him asleep peacefully. Not saying this is the right decision for you, but just throwing the option out there.

I am truly sorry for you. I know how hard this is, and just know that we are all here to support you through your struggles.

Red Money Maker (Red) - 2004 Sorrel QH Gelding
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 09:40 PM
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13 is not old for a horse. ;)
Most navicular horses can be managed and lead long, productive lives. Now Laminitis is another matter completely.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 09:42 PM
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You might want to think about getting a different farrier. One that is more available and can get to you quicker. He needs good foot care because of the navicular. Remember you can't keep him on Bute forever. It isn't good for him. You could think about putting him on some supplements. I hear that Recovery EQ is good for navicular. You could consider surgery maybe.

What has your vet said to do? What does he think is your best bet? I would also do some research on navicular. Maybe become more educated and understand all of this. It is a lot of information to process.

I hope that you make it through this and make whatever decision is best for you and your horse. Good luck.

My heart goes out to you
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 10:34 PM
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Don't start fretting just yet, navicular is not the death sentence now that it was a long time ago. It is more understood now. My horse Flash was diagnosed with navicular at age 5 and after a bit of time off to let the inflammation go down and meticulous proper hoof care, he has led a very productive life and is now 26. He was retired 3 years ago at 23, he helped raise 2 kids (me and my brother), and helped my step-mom gain confidence with horses. I agree with finding a farrier that has the abilities to get there every 4 to 5 weeks and preferably, he should have some experience with shoeing navicular horses. Flash did well for many years with the natural balance shoes that squared off the toe a bit and made the breakover point a little farther back. As he got older, he needed just a slight wedge pad to keep him comfortable. The reason that he was retired is because he got arthritis in his knees, hocks, and shoulders (started at 18 mos and shown in reining and roping). Don't give up on your boy yet. He is still a youngster and with the proper care, can lead a very productive rest of his life.

Here is the site for the Natural Balance method. Many horses do amazing with a natural barefoot trim, you may look into that. However, if that is not an option, you may look into this.

Natural Balance Hoof Care on Television
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-22-2009, 10:46 PM
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Sorry for the double post but I thought I would go ahead and post some sites with wonderful info on Navicular and the causes/treatment of it. I would give him some time off and get rid of the bute as soon as possible, that creates more issues you really don't need right now.

Recovery EQ
The Horse | Hope for Navicular Horses
I really like this one, it is written by an actual vet.
Understanding and Treating Navicular Disease
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-23-2009, 06:20 PM
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Hello Monlight,
I have to agree with both 7ponies and smorbs on this issue.
The first thing I would do is get a different more suitable farrier as 7ponies stated. One who has the porper knowledge and the time.

I also agree with smorbs...Years ago this was the dreaded thing to hear about a horse but after recent research myself and then looking also at the links others have posted about hoof care and joint care, I do believe that some horses, with the proper shoes, and TLC can move on...

The one artice/ link that smorbs posted...(i think the very last one) had so much info in it.

My horse was long toed and low heels when he arrived here to me. He had been out to pasture for a few years because I was unable to ride. My parents had my horse at their farm and while he was sound there...once he came here, his feet were already a mess, and I had to basically start from scratch.

Yesterday he got shoes put on to help encourage heel growth and set the foot at a better angle..Now we will check again with x-rays and make sure it is all in alingment the way we want.
There are many new treatments and interventions out there.
My vet never even mentioned Navicular syndrome or disease...she just asked me what he had been doing recently. I told her not much other than eating and no exercise until he arrived here. There is on x-ray a difference in the bone density, but, the vet never even mentioned anything to do with navicular
Since he has been here with me, he is handled every single day. I do make sure to feed a suppliment for joint care and the reason is that sometimes when there are changes in the foint it can cause the joint capsule to become dry and not "lubricated" Even human need to have well lubed joints. Wehn we did an ultrasound to check the tendons the vet was actually shocked at the amount of joint fluid the horse has; she expected there to be less and also expected to see disruption of the deep digital flexor which......she did not see. Then we are talking a whole other ball game when the tendon has become affected with things such as leasions etc.
Please feel free to send a PM if you would like support with this journey to recovery and restoration.
Maybe a horse with these problems cannot be reversed, but they can certainly be helped to deal with them...
Please please don't feel it is the ultimate death sentence...Okay...
Hang in there and one thing at a time...
Half Pass
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-25-2009, 04:19 AM
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I completely understand the frustration of trying to diagnose and treat lameness in a horse, I have a mare that has frustrated both my vet and my farrier in her lameness and 'quirks'...she has the ability to move soundly one day and not so much the next. She has been retired to be a broodmare at the age of 8 as they believe her problems arise from a demineralized coffin bone and the sensitivity that brings...(and yes we had xrays done to confirm).

However, in trying to figure out what was wrong with her I did a LOT of research on navicular as I thought that was her problem. I had the pleasure of having a barefoot trimmer come out to assess Katie and her lameness (she never presented ANY heel pain or soreness, but an irregular gait and uneven action in her front). In order to keep her comfortable, I do HAVE to keep her heels kept low, and her toes squared off to maintain a good breakover.

I have a good link for anyone interested in the reading ...

I truly believe that general "unsoundness" has alot to do with the farrier and the understanding of proper hoof health, angles and well as the other joys that horse owners are dealt as far as injuries go. But as far as the actual hoof goes, alot of farriers that do the "pasture trim" simply knock off the toe and leave the heels to grow too long which leads to heel pain and at times, the horse being lame. There is more to trimming hooves than just cutting and rasping, some horses need a more detailed approach to maintain their hoof

I'm a true believer in natural hoof care, allowing the hoof to be balanced and maintained to alleviate stress and pain whenever possible. My horses who routinely do some serious trails do not need shoes, boots or anything else to keep them sound...but I DO have a farrier that comes out every 6-7 weeks (rain, snow or shine) to keep my horses trimmed and in balance.

I think regular trimming, even every 2-4 weeks for certain horses by a GOOD farrier would be much more beneficial than some of the supplements that are marketed....but again, that is just me and my limited opinion. I will ADMIT to buying supplements for my mare to help her but I have found the trimming did far more for her than anything else - but perhaps that is just my experience. I do know that my mare is FAR better with regular, balanced trims which makes me feel like I am doing what I can for her :).
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-26-2009, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New England
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Thank-you all so much

I just found all your responses when I clicked on User CP. I thought I'd posted a new thread and had been feeling so badly that I messed up and no one responded. Guess I was looking in the wrong place. But anyways, your expressions of concern and advice gave me a real boost.(0nce I found them!) I felt surrounded by your concern and love of horses. Thank-you, thank-you. This is really, really hard. Montana is a super horse and has become so loving and gentle towards me. He went from being a pushy brat when I bought him, to being an angel. I think he had a difficult history and has slowly learned to trust me and love his life that he has now. But the **** navicular! I wish you could all see him. He is a poster child Paint and could be on the cover of Paint Horse Journal. I think he started his life as a stallion in Florida before slowly making his way to the Northeast. Why this had to happen to him, I don't know. I now know that I can't pin a date on putting him down. I'll do all I can to keep him going. We had two long trail rides this weekend (with his best buddy, the little Icelandic) and he was super sound with his eggbars and bute. I know,I know, I worry about the bute too. But sometimes I think that it's better to just give it to him and enjoy our rides for as long as we can. He's so happy as a trail horse. I'm glad and thankful for every day that I get to spend with him. I really, really appreciate your comments and support. It means alot. Em
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