New Horse Owner - Hard Lesson Learned - Note to Horsecrazy84

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New Horse Owner - Hard Lesson Learned - Note to Horsecrazy84

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  • Navicular bone spurs cysts
  • I bought a new horse how soon will he know that i am his new owner

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    06-29-2011, 12:34 AM
New Horse Owner - Hard Lesson Learned - Note to Horsecrazy84

I was just reading a recent thread by Horsecrazy84 and searching for information on Navicular. This was my EXACT same story.

I bought a horse from the auction 4 months ago. I took an experienced horse friend with me to help me. Long story short, I bought a horse that seemed just perfect. We rode him before purchase, etc.... He came with a "Guaranteed Sound" certificate. About a month later I had another experienced horse rider ride Chip (his name) down to the stables where I boarded him and had a horse lesson. When the gal rode him down there I remember her telling me: "Something is just 'off' with this horse's gait" It wasn't severe, but perhaps a stone bruise. I sort of just brushed it off. I scheduled a lesson on his horse with a horse trainer and he too noticed something was just 'off' with Chip. Their exact words were: "It just seems like he is not tracking right in the back end. This did NOT show up on a walk, only at the trot and canter. No one thought it was bad enough to not ride him. The barn owner suggested perhaps taking off his shoes for a few weeks and see. He was still "off" but not enough to figure out what was wrong. We had the farrier come out again and do hoof tests. He was negative for pain. I only rode him very lightly in the arena for the next few months only 20 minutes at a time. A few more people noticed he was just not tracking right. Again, we had his feet checked and nothing came up.

Fast forward to TODAY: The barn owner thought perhaps he could use an adjustment from the chiropractor, so today the the chiropractor came out and adjusted Chip. He was sore in the neck and in his back hip. He told me Chip would be just fine after a few days rest. At this point I had been lying awake at night worrying, so right after the chiropractor was finished I hauled him in to see a vet. They took radiographs and then I got the most heart-wrenching call of my life.

CHIP IS COMPLETELY LAME!!!!!! I have been completely destroyed all day. The horse never complained one bit and tested negative with hoof testing by the farrier. Only a trained eye could see there was "something wrong with his gait". I never could tell myself and there were others who couldn't see it either. Chip has CHRONIC IRREVERSIBLE Navicular. He has severe navicular degeneration, bone spurs, cysts, calcification, and an old tendon tear that calcified. Chip is only 10.

I'm writing this because I noticed Horsecrazy84 for some reason doesn't seem to think a vet check is necessary. Please take my story into consideration before you dismiss the idea of having a vet check him. Chip is now so far gone that they didn't even recommend TRYING. He is in pain 24/7 and one would NEVER even know it because he's just a sweetheart horse that doesn't complain. I had professional horse people tell me yes he seemed a little off, but it's probably nothing, and being the worrier that I am I just wanted peace of mind from a vet. I'm grateful I did because Chip deserves to be relieved of his pain, probably by going to horse heaven. Not even the farrier noticed anything wrong.

Please get your horse checked if someone notices something is just "off". It cost me less than $100.00. Isn't your buddy who carries your bum around at least worth THAT? Do it for your horse, please. They so deserve it. I wish I had done it 2 months ago after the 2nd person mentioned he seemed "off".

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    06-29-2011, 12:37 AM
P.s. I also watched Horsecrazy's video several times and I don't see what's 'off', but I didn't see it in my completely lame horse either. :(
    06-29-2011, 01:32 AM
So, the vet didn't see it either, until radiographs were done? So, a vet check without the xrays would have been useless.

So sorry this happened to you and chip. I don't know anything about navicular. Had it been developing for a long time? Will you put him down?
    06-29-2011, 01:45 AM
The vet would have been suspicious by the way his feet looked (compressed hoof - slightly), and by his gait, but it was diagnosed via x-ray. The farrier did not catch it, even with his hoof stress testers. So yeah, it can be THAT bad and almost go un-noticed except by trained eyes that can see it and then a vet check for confirmation. Chip didn't even have a limp, just wasn't tracking right in the hind end. Chip NEEDS to be euthanized because even though he doesn't act like he's in pain, the vet said he is in a LOT of pain 24/7 because of the severe navicular bone degeneration. The guilt I feel for even riding him for as little as I did is tearing me apart. The man I bought him from is going to give me another horse, which is more than I figured would happen, but he can't fix my broken heart over losing a horse I had fallen in love with. I read the other thread I was talking about and I just don't understand why someone wouldn't rather be safe than sorry. :(
    06-29-2011, 01:46 AM
Wow. Don't be so negative there. You know, if the horse is just slightly "off" I seriously don't think he is forever LAME. He may be able to have some good years ahead of him if you manage him correctly.

Getting him landing heel first, making sure he doesnt have any thrush and his frog is wide and full and making sure his heels are not contracted is a great place to start for any navicular horse. Most of the time, navicular is caused my backwards hoof mechanism ( landing toe first due to heel contraction thrush improper shoeing etc)

Don't go the wedging route IMO. It always ends up with a horse having crushed heels and worse off than if he were just managed barefoot. You just keep going up and up and eventually have nowhere left to go. Your goal should be to ttry to get his feet as healthy and natural functioning as possible with very wide healthy heels. If you must shoe, try rubber horseshoes that absorb impact and allow flexability and stimulate the frog. I like Ground Controls myself.

Do you know if he has been nerved? That would change my opinion a bit perhaps, but I have seen horses with terrible X rays be sound enough to enjoy and ride for years and ones with mostly clean X rays be lame. I would certainly not end his life over an X ray when he is only just slightly off and you havent explored other options yet.

Id look into some alternatives for navicular horses and let him tell you when he is ready to never be ridden again. Imperfect doesnt mean end of life or even end of usefulness.
    06-29-2011, 01:48 AM
Oh and BTW, I have seen many cases of lame navicular go completely sound and stay sound for years with the right hoof care (barefoot typically and promoting a healthy wide heel with rubber shoes only as needed) don't loose hope.
    06-29-2011, 01:54 AM
I'm no expert, but this vet is very well respected in the area. The navicular bone is so degenerated, it is "irreversible" (per the vet). We did explore all options and the vet told me he would never be sound again no matter what we try. The horse has chronic pain, along with bone spurs, an old tendon tear, cysts, and calcification. He must have an amazing pain tolerance to not complain and only have an "off" gait, but he will only get worse, not better. I'm not selfish enough to let him suffer. If this was something he recently developed, then yes, I would try something different, but his problem has been ongoing for probably years and is now past the point of repair.
    06-29-2011, 04:57 AM
Yes. I don't doubt the vets credentials. But I have seen horses that vets have said were unsaveable indeed saved and made comfortable and happy and even rideable and showable. If you continue your research you will find story after story on this, particularly with navicular syndrome. The horse has an amazing potential to healing and function even when things arent perfect by definition. There are so many options to help these horses be sound now. Pity if you don't give him a chance.
    06-29-2011, 09:23 AM
I don't doubt you at all. I have found and read some of those stories and I appreciate the hope you are trying to give. The reason I ended up in this thread was because I was researching the syndrome trying to get info and ran across the recent thread by Horsecrazy84 wanting to know what breed his horse was. Several people noticed something was off with his horse and yet he insists nothing is wrong. Something was off with my horse too, although hardly noticeable, and I SHOULD have had him checked. There is really no excuse not to. If Chip had been checked several years ago perhaps the outcome would be different but unfortunately whoever had him before me decided he was fine and just blew it off. You can be assured that the next horse I get WILL be checked before he is brought home.

I hope Horsecrazy84 will do the right thing and get a very simple vet check for his horse. Perhaps there is nothing wrong, but wouldn't he just feel better KNOWING? Not only that but having radiographs on a sound horse will provide a baseline for any future problems that could arise and makes it much easier to see any bone changes later. It just doesn't make sense NOT to.
    06-29-2011, 10:28 AM
I'm sorry for all you are going through. Did you get a second opinion? I am not a vet, but I am a human doctor and one of the first things we learn is to treat the patient, not the xray. You say he is lame, but that he doesn't limp. You say he is in constant life threatening pain, but eats fine, goes outside, was being worked 20 minutes a day. It doesn't add up to me. He may be a tough guy who doesn't show his pain, but if it is that severe you would see signs other than a few people noticing that he is "a little off". Give him time. Don't give up on him yet.

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