Navicular diagnosis -hoof shape not typical - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-16-2019, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Navicular diagnosis -hoof shape not typical

So our sweet mare was diagnosed with Navicular. Vet noticed low grade lameness during the lunging and we spent the $ for the X-rays to know for sure. She has the indications in the bone of the Navicular.

I was reading up and learning what i can as i contact farriers, but one thing is off. All my internet research shows a hoof shape with long toe and short heel, but this mare has been wearing down the toe and has a tall heel.

Has anyone seen this? Think special shoeing will be an option given this?
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-16-2019, 10:36 AM
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I am not sure that all Navicular horses have those classic signs. Remember Navicular just means heel pain. We have a Navicular mare and keep her barefoot the shoes and pads were not working for her. She needs trimmed (to keep her toes back) about every 4 weeks. We moved from Equioxx to Osphos and have been pretty happy.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-16-2019, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkIcan View Post
So our sweet mare was diagnosed with Navicular. Vet noticed low grade lameness during the lunging and we spent the $ for the X-rays to know for sure. She has the indications in the bone of the Navicular.

I was reading up and learning what i can as i contact farriers, but one thing is off. All my internet research shows a hoof shape with long toe and short heel, but this mare has been wearing down the toe and has a tall heel.

Has anyone seen this? Think special shoeing will be an option given this?

While long-toe-low-heel has been "known" to cause navicular, you also don't want tall heels. You need the foot trimmed CORRECTLY and BALANCED.



How old is your mare?


How long have you had her?


I have two horses with problems in their front feet. One (Dexter) could officially be said to have navicular as he does have mild changes in the navicular bone. The other (Red) doesn't technically have navicular as his x-rays are clean, but he does have heel pain that requires a lot of management. Hypothetically, Dexter should be more lame than Red because he is "more advanced" to have bony changes, but the opposite is true. Red is worse.



It comes down to the individual horse and what the individual horse needs. But again, you first need to have a correctly trimmed foot, no matter what. Red gets a 3 degree wedge pad with a shoe, along with Equioxx and either steroid or ProStride injections (tried ProStride this year but can't say it was worth the $$$). Dexter is only getting a 2 degree wedge pad, with shoe. For him and his individual x-rays and anatomy, neither my vet nor my farrier want to go any higher than 2 degrees for him. But he needs something. I have not injected him yet but I did put him on Equioxx as well.



So as far as what special shoeing your mare needs, it depends on her x-rays, conformation, discipline, etc etc etc. While wedging is somewhat common practice to "relieve" some of the heel pain, it is NOT the same thing as giving the horse high heels.

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-16-2019, 03:20 PM
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The jury is out on whether x-rays are all that accurate for navicular. For example, a gal I know bought a fabulous big Warmblood dressage horse for a song because his radiographs showed navicular, but he is sound as a dollar and has never shown any signs of soreness in the four years she's had him. I had an older gelding that according to x-rays should be suffering from navicular pain, and he never did, while a neighbor's horse shows very minimal changes on x-ray but his horse is lame and sore more often than not.


You need a balanced, correct hoof and then you treat according to the actual horse's symptoms. One of the first things veterinarians learn is to treat the animal in front of you, not the x-rays or test results, because those can vary. My mom has a cat, who, for all intents and purposes, should have been dead years ago judging by his kidney and liver values, yet he keeps plugging along and is fat and happy and feels great with none of the symptoms he should be showing.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-18-2019, 04:42 AM
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Hello, yes, that hoof confo is also common for 'navicular' horses. Any hoof confo can suffer from 'navicular'. They used to differentiate between 'navicular syndrome' & 'navicular disease' & there was little understanding about how/why it happened. 'Navicular syndrome' really just means chronic heel pain, for a variety of reasons and when it's 'confirmed' with xrays, that means that the original soft tissue damage has progressed to the stage of bony changes.

It is essentially about weak/damaged caudal hoof development. This is sadly common in domestic horses & can be due to many reasons. But combined with a 'broken forward' or 'broken back'(eg too long toe/low heel or too high heel) hoof/pastern axis, this can really effect the ligaments, bones, joints even more.

As for 'special shoes', I do NOT advise shoes for navicular generally. That's because shoes are palliative only. It used to be thought of as incureable and progressive disease, so there was nothing else for it but palliative. And bar shoes or such, which take weak heels further out of commission, then wedges which change angles & therefore pressure points, do indeed tend to be effective palliatively, for a time at least.

But these days, we know that when dealt with appropriately, the 'progression' can generally be halted at least, and usually the damage is healable, to a fair extent at least. And using conventional palliatives works against the foot, doesn't actually help heal anything. So... I advise saving 'palliative only' measures for when you've given rehab a really good go and decided the horse is 'too far gone' for anything else to help. BUT so saying, this is a quite slow progressing 'disease', so I wouldn't say it's necessarily wrong or too detrimental to use palliative shoes in the short term, while you do your research & decide on the most appropriate treatment.

hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com are 2 sites with quite a bit of info.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-19-2019, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'll check out those sites

The mare is 20. She looks fine in most instances, just lunging on the yard's hard surface (the dry clay ground is very hard here last few weeks) the Vet picked up on low grade lameness. X-rays confirmed Navicular bone changes. He recommended shoes and medication, but I think i am going to talk to the barefoot farrier and see she has any experience with this or would also recommend i go to shoes for her.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-19-2019, 11:40 AM
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Thankfully I have never had personal experience with navicular.

Sadly however, I have more experience than I want with founder.

My sincere advice is that you can find a therapeutic farrier with the education AND the instinct to treat what I call "Special Needs Hooves", regardless what that need encompasses.

I found out the hard way, great farrier's with healthy hooves are not so great with special needs hooves if they do not have the extra education.

Simply put, I would not want an optometrist performing cataract surgery on my eyes -- I would go up a few steps to an opthamologist who is also an MD and has had the training to perform that surgery:):)

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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-19-2019, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post

Simply put, I would not want an optometrist performing cataract surgery on my eyes -- I would go up a few steps to an opthamologist who is also an MD and has had the training to perform that surgery:):)

This is clearly off topic but, do you know the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?


(Hint, I am an optometrist myself.)




Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkIcan View Post

I was reading up and learning what i can as i contact farriers, but one thing is off. All my internet research shows a hoof shape with long toe and short heel, but this mare has been wearing down the toe and has a tall heel.


The mare is 20. She looks fine in most instances, just lunging on the yard's hard surface (the dry clay ground is very hard here last few weeks) the Vet picked up on low grade lameness. X-rays confirmed Navicular bone changes. He recommended shoes and medication, but I think i am going to talk to the barefoot farrier and see she has any experience with this or would also recommend i go to shoes for her.

I think it would be perfectly reasonable to get her a better farrier first, and keep her barefoot, and see how she does, considering her age and that you haven't noticed anything "off" yourself. (since you say she has tall heels currently)
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-19-2019, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
This is clearly off topic but, do you know the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?


(Hint, I am an optometrist myself.)

Yes, I do, lol

Simply put:)

I went to optometrists for years -- and years, who are trained to diagnose various eye issues.

Now I visit an opthamologist, who is generally an MD with more training than an optometrist to qualify that person to perform eye surgery on the diagnosis the optometrist might have made

If I need cataract surgery, which I'm sure I do by now, I'm going to the opthamologist

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-19-2019, 06:10 PM
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^Reminds me of a Tim Minchin song, featuring an omnipotent opthalmologist... that I shall not post a link to here!
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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