Navicular Syndrome

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Navicular Syndrome

This is a discussion on Navicular Syndrome within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    04-29-2011, 10:47 PM
Unhappy Navicular Syndrome

My horse is a 14 year old appendix quarter horse. He was diagnosed with navicular syndrome for about a year now. If anyone has any advice on treatment please tell me what you have tried withyour horse. I don't know what to do with him. When he was diagnosed no one really explained to me what navicular syndrome meant but with alot of research I now know what it is but I don't know what to do to make it better. I just don't want him to get to the point where he can't walk and where he is always in pain. Every once and a while he looks a little bit off but I have stopped riding him and stopped jumping him and I don't know if that will help of if it will be better for him having a little bit of excercise. If you have any ideas please let me know. Thanks!!!
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    04-29-2011, 10:52 PM
The term navicular syndrome is a blanket statement that altho it refers to the navicular bone and surrounding tissue, it says nothing. Xrays may or may not help as it doesn't always show. Was he diagnosed by a farrier or vet? Definitely no jumping until you have concrete answers.
    04-30-2011, 01:12 AM
I don't have any personal experience rehabbing a horse that had navicular. But here's some links to some good reading.

New Page 15

Here's some rehabilitated pictures of hooves. Some of em had navicular.
Pete Ramey makes healthy hooves on barefoot horses heals founder in horses

You can also google; barefoot + navicular
    04-30-2011, 01:52 AM
You need to find a VET who specializes in lameness issues. Get some radiographs done. Use nerve blocks to isolate the lameness. Then make a plan from there, in regards to farriery and drugs, if necessary.
    04-30-2011, 02:44 PM
I was pretty tired last night so I only gave those links. I'll try to give a little more info today.

You can also google James Rooney and Dr Robert Bowker you may need to add the word navicular when you search those names to help refine the search.

Here's a few links to people with success stories regarding navicular.

Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance
Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance
Beau, A “Navicular” Story
Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance
Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance

All those links came from just this one site. healthyhoof So there are lots more success stories out there.

In a nutshell, to bring a horse comfort and stop the damage of navicular, the horse needs to have heel first landings to develop the rear of the hoof. And that's a bit of a catch-22, cus how do you get a horse that's avoiding the back of it's hoof to land heel first......

Really it's not that complicated. Proper barefoot trim, get rid of any/all thrush, and set the horse up in boots AND pads. The boots are great, but the real magical worker to get the horse to use the back of it's hoof is using pads in the boots.

Using boots and pads will make the horse comfortable enough to have proper heel first landings. And with lots of heel first landings the hoof can begin to rehabilitate and develop the back of the hoof. Once the horse is having proper heel first landings the lateral cartilages and digital cushion will begin to "grow" to the size and density it needs to be. Once the back of the hoof begins to develop into what it should be for an adult horse you can begin to transition the boots and pads out.
    04-30-2011, 03:41 PM
Total freedom,
What type of boots are you referring to? He is bare foot and I just switched farriers. He was diagnosed by a VET by taking x rays. I don't want to nerve him because they loose all feeling in the foot. Meaning the could damage the foot even more and knowing my horse he would probably break his foot and I also don't like that he wouldnt be able to get turned out and be able to be a real horse.
    04-30-2011, 03:48 PM
I like the easyboot epics from easycare. I've only used the regular easyboot and the epics though so I can't comment on any of the others.

Here's a link to their site. EasyCare Inc. | The Leader in Hoof Boots and Natural Hoof Care

They can send you some "blanks" so that you can figure out what size and style of hoof boot is the best fit for your horse too.
    04-30-2011, 04:14 PM
I forgot to mention about pads.

You can buy the boot pads or you can make your own. I had bought some of the thinner variety cus that's all they had at the store. I don't recall how long they lasted but I wasn't impressed with it. It seemed like I only got one or two rides out of before they were what I would call trashed. I don't know how long the thicker ones would last cus they didn't have any.

So I made my own pads using one of those roll up mats that I found in the camping section at cal-ranch. I only got one ride out of em. But the cost of the whole mat was less than the cost of a set of pads....if I'm recalling correctly. And with a mat you can get quite a few pads outta it.

I've also heard people using gym mats that can be found at sports stores.

A little off topic, but not much.... If you wanna learn about barefoot trimming then I could definitely recommend a dvd set called, "Under the Horse" which can be found at Pete Ramey's website. I bought it quite a while ago and I'm still happy for the purchase I made. I would also suggest reading all the articles at his website if you are interested.
    04-30-2011, 04:20 PM
Bute powder.
It's an anti-inflammitory, may help to reduce his pain.
Yucca powder might be something to try as well...
keep him barefoot... find a farrier who is good at barefoot trims.
    05-01-2011, 09:27 PM
He is barefoot now and I just got a new farrier who has alot of experience. He came out yesterday and trimmed him. He said his feet looked really good but he has bruising in his toes which he said is normal for navicular horses. And thanks total freedom for all of your advice!

caudal heel pain, navicular, syndrome

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