my horse and his navicular

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my horse and his navicular

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    09-01-2011, 10:22 AM
Thumbs down my horse and his navicular

So junior has had navicular for about a a year and a half now. I gave him a full year off. Took his shoes off. Turned him out to pasture. (as the vet suggested) then after a year the vet came back out. Did a lameness exam and found that the navicular is not effecting both front feet. A year ago the navicular effected his front right and not so much in the front left. Now, a year later, the left is much much worse than the right. The vet blocked his nerve in his left foot to see how bad it was in his right and he was only 1.5/5 lame in the right and about a 3/5 in the left. The vet suggested bar shoes, with 1 degree wedges with full pads. So I put those on my horse (junior). He gave me isoxsuprine. (it is in powder form) and he gets one scoop 2x/day. The vet also suggested bute. I did not want him to be on bute 24/7 because of the risk of ulcers and my horse is getting a little bit older so the vet suggested previcox. Which he said was origionally a pain killer for dogs. So he gets one of those at night. But its somewhat expensive so im switching back and fourth between bute and previcox. I started a therapy program with him as well. I started off trotting two minutes and then add a minute everyday. Once I get to 25 minutes I can start to canter. Starting with 2 minutes and adding a minute every time I ride. Then once I get to 25 minutes of cantering I can start jumping him.( of course I will be taking walk breaks). Im just really excited to get to be riding him again. He is my only horse and I will never get rid of him even though my parents really want me to. But the day I got him I promised him I would never give up on him. So im not getting rid of him. Since my parents don't want me to keep him, I have to pay for everything (i am 17 and a senior in high school) as a result of my horse having navicular it has inspired me to become a vet. If anyone has any advice about anything please let me know
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    09-01-2011, 11:26 AM
I don't think I'd be jumping a horse with Navicular, or any other taxing type of riding/discipline. Other than that I don't agree with shoeing and wedging a heel up to treat navicular symptoms. Just sayin.. There have been great strides made with correct barefoot trimming(not just pasture trims) in horses with similar diagnosis'..
    09-01-2011, 11:38 AM
I just had the vet out last week to do xrays because I suspected navicular. He was clear BUT I did a lot of research beforehand. I agree you definitely need to have correct trimming and I think that adding bar shoes is a good idea along with the the trims, HOWEVER, it's imperative that the farrier is trimming him correctly. Did your horse have shoes before? Incorrect shoeing, a lot of times, causes caudal heel pain bc the shoes are too short in the back. But I definitely agree with Appyt that I would no be jumping him. There is a horse at my barn who had it and is jumping 3 ft now...I would give your horse a long recovery time and have xrays done again before you even think about putting him over adds even more force onto their front feet and he could potentially be in a great deal of pain, and it could undo all the work you've put into it thus far.
    09-01-2011, 11:40 AM
My thoughts exactly Appy.

Jrcci - I admire your devotion to keep going with him, hang in there. I am not a navicular expert but did have a horse with navicular. I think you can make him a comfortable trail horse. Jumping seems to be tempting fate. My vet really pushed for a bar shoe and pads as well but I found an a great barefoot alternative and have been trimming horses myself since. (NOT suggesting you run out and trim him yourself, I am suggesting a good barefoot farrier.)
    09-01-2011, 01:38 PM
I had him barefoot for a year. With a good farrier. I since changed farriers who is better with shoes. My farrier is great. He does a great job. Right after he put the shoes on wheni started riding him a few days later I was just barely off. I could only fell him being off when we went down a little hill or if he turned sharp and wasnt very collected. As far as jumping him... I am barley jumping him. And I can tell when his limits are. Mainly the only person who is riding him is my little sister who I am trying to teach to ride and she is going to show him next season. But anyways she just started to trot him over poles and it will probably be nothing then over 2ft. I can see when my horse has reached his limits and trust me I am not going to push him. As far as everyone saying I should do barefoot. I did for a year. He actually got worse. Here is the thing with navicular... it depends on the horse. It depends how bad their navicular is, how long they have had it, their conformation, and their body weight. There are many factors that can effect the horses navicular. Once I feel that he is at the point where he can't jump I will stop but its not like he is jumping 3 ft I wouldnt do that to him
    09-01-2011, 01:53 PM
I phrased it wrong, I meant it in a good way!! The horse at my barn is doing so awesome that they ARE able to jump him 3 feet and he's doing wonderfully! Just being optimistic for you :)
    09-01-2011, 02:09 PM
Barefoot is definitely not the answer for all navicular horses. I may very well help some, but depending on exactly what is going on and how advanced the syndrome is, barefoot can actually be quite harmful. Every horse is an individual, and if your vet and farrier are experienced in this regard, I would trust their judgment (with the caveat that not all vets and farriers ARE qualified, and it's best to look at their track record in treating similar horses as well as their general experience, knowledge, and openness to trying new things if the current protocol is not working). Are they having you put any kind of cushioning pad underneath the bar shoe? That may or may not help, but again, they've seen and know the horse.

I would also caution you against jumping, unless you have the vet's 100% approval (and s/he is not of the mindset that "horses are for using, so use them up," as many vets are). Since your horse requiries maintenance to maintain an adequate level of soundness, I would really think that concussive riding force like this may not be the best idea.

Bute, giving a gram or two a day long term, is definitely not ideal, but it's also unlikely to all that harmful, particularly with an aged horse. Weigh the costs and benefits. Many horses are on daily bute, and live that way for years.

Other options to look at, should the necessity arise, are joint supplements, coffin bone injections, navicular bursa injections, Adequan/Legend, or Tildren.
    09-01-2011, 05:07 PM
One other thing to talk about with your farrier is backing up his toe so he breaks over quicker. Those natural balance shoes are good for that. If your farrier is good enough with shaping shoes, he can do that with a regular shoe and save you a fair bit of money. My old guy Flash was diagnosed as a 5 year old but with meticulous hoof care, he went on sound for riding until he was 23 (and it was arthritis that got him, not Navicular).
    09-01-2011, 11:38 PM
Bubba, yes he has leather full pads on. And the vet did give me approval to jump him. And I know he will not necessarily be able to jump like he used to and I am accepting that fact.

Smrobs, im glad to hear about your navicular horse being able to have a great life!

And my vet is great. His name is Dr. William Lukens if anyone wants to know. (were in ohio) he is great I reccomend him to everyone. He specializes in lameness. He is very familiar with navicular as well as my farrier, Scott Gregory who has had alot of success with navicular horses

Some sad news.

Today I went to do my evening feed. It was around 8pm and it was starting to get dark. I had wanted to ride but I was running late. As usual. Some of the other boarders were at the barn standing outside with the horses. And they had noticed that my horse (junior) was stopping at the flies alot and that when he stompped his right foot he would "wheeze" so I led him around and watched him walk and at the walk I didnt see anything too alarming. Then I checked to make sure that his shoe wasnt loose. It then I got on him to trot and he took one trot step. I immediatley got off. I could tell he was really really lame. I led him back into the barn and felt for heat and pulse. He had a strong pulse in his right and a light one in the left. He cannot be abcessing because of the full pads on his shoes, right??? He had a little heat in his front right but nothing to bad considering he was out moving around.

And he has not been ridden in four days so he can't be sore... or atleast that sore and have it be 4 days later.

The only thing I can think of is abcess, or his navicular is flaring up. If he is still in that much pain tomorrow when I get out of school I will be calling the vet.

Let me know why you think its flaring up.
    09-01-2011, 11:46 PM
Could be an abscess, or thrush, even. A strong pulse sorta sounds like an abscess (or laminitis, which seems unlikely).

I guess Scott Gregory doesn't have any relationship to Chris Gregory?


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