A couple years ago I had my vet x-ray my mare, Cat, when she randomly went lame in her front leg. It ended up just being from a hot nail, but my vet coincidentally found navicular changes in the x-ray. He told me that the changes were not significant enough to worry about, but to keep them in mind if she went lame in the next few years.
Well I had the vet out last Saturday to do shots and had her re-x-ray Cat to see how/ if the changes were progressing. Come to find out, they ended up having gotten a lot worse since the last x-rays. The vet had us lunge Cat to check for lameness, and she ended up being lame on her left front leg. (She had been lame for the past few weeks, but I thought that it was from an old abscess that had grown out and was making her hoof crack.)
Anyway, between the x-rays, Cat being lame (as well as her stout yet large stature all on very small feet (size00 shoes)..) my vet decided to go ahead and treat her for navicular. My vet told me to have the farrier to put egg-bar type of shoes on her and to give her an Aspirin tablet (60grains) once a day, and 15 Isoxsuprine Hydrochloride, USP (20mg) tablets twice a day for a month and then once a day after that.
My farrier came out today to look at her. He ended up putting on heartbar shoes and putting equipack in the soles of her two fronts. He told me that if he owned Cat, that he would just see how the heartbars helped her and stop using the Isoxsuprine and Aspirin for the time being. He said that heís dealt with many navicular horses before, and he thinks that the vet is just going to try and get as much money as they can before we eventually end up having to denerve her. He said that he knows many top roping and cutting horses that are in their mid twenties and have navicular, and that their owners just put these types of shoes on them and give them Bute every day to keep away the pain. He recommended trying this with Cathorse for as long as possible and then consider denerving her when the shoes and then Bute (if necessary) arenít enough anymoreÖ Any thoughts on this approach?
What would you guys do? I would really appreciate any advice you guys may have on which route to try. Iím personally thinking that Iíll see how she does with these new shoes and wean her off of the Isoxsuprine and aspirin just to see if the shoes alone are enough for her right now. If she shows up lame again, Iíll put her back on the Isoxsuprine and aspirin and just leave her on it until she gets ouchy again and then call the vet back outÖDoes this sound like a reasonable plan of attack?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Iíve looked through navicular threads on here and other sources online, but it's still stressing me out. I just want Cat to be as sound and pain free for as long as possibleÖ I should be getting x-rays on a CD in the mail soon too, so Iíll post them when I can. Iíll also post pictures of her new shoes and the equipack if you guys want... Iím just going to have to get my sister to help since I only have one useable arm right now from shoulder surgery a few weeks ago.
Thanks so much!!