As many have said, navicular is not completely understood (but certainly better than some on here would have you believe. I think they may be confusing laminitis with navicular).
Good posts Maura & Tealamutt! Agree fully, inc with the above. If you were including me in the 'some on here', it was that I was speaking about the general horse community(& some vets it seems
) still being largely in the dark about it, despite researchers such as Dr Bowker for eg. Having brought understanding forward in leaps & bounds, on general hoof health, not just 'navicular'. I recommend people look at & consider his findings. Interesting point about confusing with lami, as it seems that some conventional treatments of NS/D can also lead to lami & ‘rotation’.
A horse can be very lame/affected and have minimal changes to the bone or could be sound and have dramatic changes. The degree of correlation may also be the reason others have stated that the disease is not well understood.
Something to ponder; why
is it that cadaver specimens studied so commonly show degeneration/changes to P3 & nav. Bones to different degrees, as to be classed as ‘normal’, leaving clinical diagnosis of ‘diseases’ largely down to symptoms? Could it be because sound horses are rarely put down/donated for study?
is there really any way to change a horse's inborn conformation, especially to any sort of high degree? If conformation were so malleable, it wouldn't be a high consideration for breeding....and we know that that's not the case. Both structural flaws and exemplary conformation breed pretty true.
Sorry that I’m not better at explaining things. I’m not at all doubting that genetics can
of course be a problem. What I’m questioning is the assumption that many ‘flaws’ are ‘obviously’ genetic. For eg. When it’s been shown that environmental factors play such a large part in development and horses on stud farms & conventional establishments are kept, fed, brought up in largely the same manner, could the assumed ‘innate’ conformation not be more to do with that? And I’m not doubting ‘conformation’ can
be unchangeable, but that’s not at all necessarily the case either, or as above, necessarily genetic.
But I'd still think it would take several years of such abuse to show significant changes, unless they were being ridden so hard that no sensible person would ever treat them that way. This would have to be well beyond normal, accepted training practices, I would think.
That is a much rosier view IMO than what seems to be the case. I think this is greatly underestimating the effects of more ‘normal’ apparently ‘sensible’ management. I think that is partly why conditions such as ‘navicular’ are so prevalent.
I don't know that it's factual; but I don't know that anyone has proven otherwise, either.
I don’t know if research has yet ‘proven’ otherwise either & I don’t know how much evidence needs to be collected for it to be considered scientifically ‘proven’. But absence of proof is not proof of absence and that is what I’m trying to get at – that it shouldn’t be assumed it must be one way just because it hasn’t yet been proven otherwise.
But if/when horses do recover--some can, some can't--it's nearly always with some sort of therapeutic intervention in the form of specialty shoeing or trimming (either that, or "cheating" by masking pain through drugs or other means)
Conventional ‘intervention’ such as above tends to be purely palliative & I’m not sure that ‘specialty shoeing’ is any less ‘cheating’ than drugs, as it doesn’t do anything to halt the progression & often worsens the mechanics, just (usually temporarily) relieves the symptoms. Therefore that’s not what I’m considering ‘cured’ and IME true recovery is often about absence
of conventional ‘therapeutic’ treatments.