NAVICULAR...or something else?! What do you think? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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NAVICULAR...or something else?! What do you think?

I have a 6 year old ISH that was diagnosed with Navicular Disease last Friday. He was hoof tested, flexed, and nerve blocked and the vet said "I don't want to say it's Navicular but all the signs are there". Both front feet have calcified lumps on the coffin bones so he injected both front (tons of fluid=inflammation when he injected too).
He was on bute through Monday, pretty sound Tuesday and then almost 3-legged on the left front today. He was in noticeable pain as he was really hesitant to put weight on the front left.
Farrier is coming next week to put eggbars and wedges on, he is on Isoxuprine , and the injections are good through March but what concerns me is that he is not sound yet (vet said he should be sound and exercising by day 5-today).
Is is still Navicular? Could it be something else instead or in addition to? I am planning on having x-rays done next week but I am sort of stumped right now.
For the 20% of horses with Navicular that don't respond to injections, what are the other options?

Thanks in advance...Happy new years!
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 10:55 PM
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Idk what to tell you! Im so sorry he is felling bad though! I know what having a sick horse does to you. I literally went into shock after I learned I could lose Blue through a TB disese Ariel had brought in. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope he is better soon! PLEASE tell me how he is when you can!!!!!!!!

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 01:12 AM
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Could give some more specific suggestions if you wanted to send pics of his feet & info about his diet & management.

Basically I would definitely keep him bare & frequently *well* trimmed. I would use hoofboots, possibly with pads as well, rather than shoes, to provide support & protection to the whole foot(rather than just the ground surface of the hoof walls), to allow him to exercise and use his heels comfortably - because that is one huge key factor. The more exercise the better, so long as the horse can be made comfortable to do it and his feet can begin to work correctly. That done, he *should*(always exceptions unfortunately) be on the road to rehabilitation.

A diagnosis of 'navicular' without an xray basically means unexplained heel pain. I don't think there's any less to worry about tho, as to whether or not the horse has reached the point of bone degeneration. It is thought that damage to the navicular bone is most likely caused by toe first landings, causing the whole impact of each pace to meet the top of the navicular bone. This happens when the horse's heels/digital cushions are too weak - often due to lack of use(soft paddocks, high heels...) - to support him comfortably, so he begins to land toe first. Of course this takes the heels further out of use and therefore further from rehabilitation.

The bone deformations that have occurred may or may not become 'repaired'(calcification can be worn away again once the horse & his feet are moving correctly), but that doesn't necessarily mean the horse can't become sound again regardless. I would think a 6yo horse should have a good chance of a sound life with the right 'treatment'. Ie hoofcare & management.

Pete Ramey hoof care heals founder in horseís navicular disease farrier is a great site with heaps of well researched info & I can highly recommend Pete Ramey's book & DVDs too. While as with every subject there are different opinions & approaches, and I don't necessarily agree with some of the details of their approach, I think Treating Founder (Chronic Laminitis) Without Shoes--Home Page is still a great site to learn from, with heaps of info too. There are many other great sites, with many 'case studies' of lami, 'navicular', etc too.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-04-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you loosie for all the good info! I am going to go the barefoot farrier route first and try to fix the problem. After reading all the articles on Pete Ramey's site, I have a good feeling that it is his digital cushions...Also, going to have x-rays done tomorrow and will take some pics then and post them when I can.
Thanks again and I will keep yall updated-
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Update: x-rays were clean! Nothing that would indicate navicular degeneration or anything bone related besides the sidebone, but he has had that so long (atleast 2 yrs) it is doubtful that it is causing the lameness.
He is still really lame on the front left and goes sound when his ankle is blocked out so the vet is hoping it's a soft tissue injury...stall rest and hand walking for a month. He is going to see the barefoot farrier this week and we're going to get him into some hoofboots with a wedge and see how things go.
I attached a picture of his front feet. These are probably not much help but you can see the sidebone that he has always had (forgot to get more recent ones)

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-08-2009, 11:17 AM
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BRAVO Loosie! Thank God for the likes of Pete Ramey and Ove Lind. You also might want to check Ove's website for information on incapsulate thrush on how to heel his digital cushions and actuall trimming guidelilnes. The digital cushions are compromised because of the thrush. No wedge unless it's only for frog pressure which will help clear the thrush out, looking at these photos the horse's heels are already too high.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-12-2009, 12:22 AM
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Those pics are rather small for much detail - not sure if they're meant to be bigger & I can't do it for some reason. A variety of views, to look at the sole, heels, etc would be helpful for more info.

What can be seen tho is that he has rather highish heels and long, separated toe walls. It appears the heels may be contracted & underslung also.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-12-2009, 10:58 AM
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I had a mare with chronic pedal osteitis and I found that bar shoes were helpful, for what it's worth.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-12-2009, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by edozier1 View Post
stall rest and hand walking for a month. He is going to see the barefoot farrier this week and we're going to get him into some hoofboots with a wedge and see how things go.
Sorry, just noticed the stall rest bit. I'd advise against that bit. As much exercise as possible, *so long as he's comfortable* is best. If he's sore, he's not about to go gallivanting around a paddock anyway, but he can move freely when he is willing & able. Of course, don't just take my word for it, but by the same token I wouldn't just take your vets word for it either, without learning more. It sounds like he's not all that sure of the right approach anyway - having a bet each way with box rest and hand walking. I'm sure that if the barefoot trimmer is any good, they'll recommend the same & get the horse started on the road to recovery.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-15-2009, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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I will be out tomorrow with the barefoot farrier and will get more pictures to post. I wasn't completely sold on the stall rest method either so I have been trying different things.

a) On Monday he was a bit better (maybe a 6 instead of a 9) and felt like walking so we spent about 30-40 minutes in the pasture hand walking and then Tues/Wed he was almost dead lame I think the stall rest is helping.

b) he has a very narrow crevice behind the bulbs which I have been treating with triple antibiotic and athlete's foot, cotton wool, and vet wrap (bc he is standing in a stall)-changing daily. It does not extend to the frog-just behind the bulbs, does not smell, and is not very ouchy, but I (and the barfoot trimmer after explaining over the phone) think it could be central sulcus thrush...How could my vet have missed that though? He doesn't have a crevice on the other front so it is kind of obvious!
question: if it is thrush, could I use an easyboot or something to keep everything dry and more comfortable while he heals?

vent: I will not gripe about the x-ray costs because of the piece of mind it has given me, but Depo & HA injections on both front feet (at over $300)? I feel a little taken advantage of as that is the first thing the vet recommended and said it would be the most efficent and least costly option. arrrrgh.

And thanks for all the help thus far!
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