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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
To start with, i am not an expert in horses, i only been riding for past 2 and half years and I bought my first mare a TB 7 months ago, she is 7 years old, and since i got her she didn't like cantering on the right lead, I consulted multiple vets to check her, and they kept saying that all horses are like that, by time i noticed she is not taking the right lead while lunging, at first i thought it was balance issue but was surprised how persistent she was specially that she will do everything else i ask her to do, she is so sweet, after a month or so she lost her right hand shoe, while waiting for farrier to come i was surprised that she started cantering on the right lead while turned out, and even did fly switches, so my trainer asked farrier not to trim her hoof too much, they left it long and she immediately started cantering on the right side on request with no refusal but weak canter, yet way better no refusal, by time i started feeling that she is getting better on the right canter lead but she is not happy on the left canter, might been me or that she is not comfortable on her left hand as well, anyway next farrier visit he trimmed her hooves and she started having pain again couldn't even put her right hand (it is always the same hand) on the ground, they soaked it in warm water and salt thinking might be abscess and she was fine in couple of days, couple of months later same thing happened but this time i asked a known vet to come to us and do x-rays as i was sure there is something else going on and they didn't have x-ray locally.

Vet did the x-ray and advised me that she has navicular disease and there are some costly medication and a special shoe for her, i am waiting for more info from his side which he will send in couple of days, but now i tried reading online about this disease and not sure if i am reading it correctly, is she done ? i bought her for jumping but will not want to risk her health so i guess this mean this horse should be retired early and maybe used for breeding assuming that this is not a genetic thing that will pass to foals ?

i attached the x-rays, not sure if someone can check it to confirm if vet is correct as well how severe it is and if anyone faced this with any of their horses before please share the story to understand probability of cure and what to expect sooner or later.
 

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I'm taking it you did not get a pre-purchase exam with x-rays done before purchasing her?

I will let others comment on the x-rays and her prognosis, though the most important person to consult with is a lameness specialist that can physically see her.

However, if it does come down to her being unfit for the level of activity you wish to do with her, it is vital that for future horses you may want to purchase that you get a pre-purchase exam done. The money you would have saved by doing a thorough pre-purchase exam and not purchasing this horse compared to having to pay to now manage the navicular...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm taking it you did not get a pre-purchase exam with x-rays done before purchasing her?.
Unfortunately that was the case, as i purchased her from owner of the academy, he is a very decent person so had no doubt, he was not aware of this as well to my knowledge but lesson learned!.. i am just so sad about the mare, she is such a beautiful and smart horse.
 

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Unfortunately that was the case, as i purchased her from owner of the academy, he is a very decent person so had no doubt, he was not aware of this as well to my knowledge but lesson learned!.. i am just so sad about the mare, she is such a beautiful and smart horse.
I'm surprised no one else has chimed in yet...of the navicular horses that I know, some are only pasture sound and some are riding sound. Hopefully others will see this thread soon.
 

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Hello, & welcome,

Firstly, check out any other threads on the forum on 'navicular' as there is a lot been discussed previously. This 'disease' still has a lot of confusion and contradictory info surrounding it as, until relatively recently it was considered a bit of a medical mystery and incurably degenerative. Only in recent years have many had success in halting further damage & also rehabilitating these horses, rather than just palliative measures, and we have the studies to show the causes and effects so it is no longer a mystery. Not all vets, farriers & the likes are up to date on this though.

The rads...
I wonder, why did vet take 1st shot? Worried about something higher up, or proximal sesamoid damage? There's a bit of a... Divot on the front of that joint, but not sure that's abnormal or just angle of pic. Also appears some lumps on the front surface of P2.

2nd pic shows horse has a very long toe, appears slightly 'broken back' hoof/pastern angle & ground surface of P3 appears pretty ground parallel(didn't measure but should be raised at the heel around 3-5 degrees). The joint spacing between P3 & p2 confirms this imbalance, being very uneven, wider at the back. This sort of imbalance is indeed one of the common causes of 'navicular' and so well balanced trimming is SO important.

Appears the extensor process at top front of P3 has worn some damage into the distal cartilage of P2 there, which would indeed be causing pain, will lead to 'low ringbone' - osteo-arthritis/ossification of the area. The strain of this joint imbalance is also effecting the ligaments joining the distal sesamoid/navicular bone, hence the cloudy appearance just above it & at the back & below, where the deep digital flexor tendon attached & will be pushing/rubbing against the navicular.

3rd pic appears not good lucency to tell anything much. Tho I'm no x-ray expert.

So... Basically you can choose between conventional palliative methods of treatment, such as injections, special shoes, raising heels etc, which won't fix anything, but are designed to keep the horse as comfortable as possible as long as possible, while further degeneration & damage happens - unfortunately it won't help pain from the P3 extensor region. Or you can take the rehab route which is unfortunately incompatible with conventional palliative treatment, so you can't have 'best of both'. In such a young horse especially, with as yet not extensive damage, I'd absolutely try rehab - save the palliative for old horses & cases which are 'too far gone'.

No. 1 priority would be to get the shoes off, get him *well* trimmed - find a hoof care provider who can trim him in a way to ensure bone/joint balance is kept optimal, and get him some hoof boots to protect/support his hooves as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@loosie thank you so much for the long reply, that is very kind of you. it was quite illustrative and helpful, though it felt as if I was getting cut by knife but hey truth is always painful right!, i bet that is why vet didn't want to give more details, as i am very attached to her, but you know i want to do the right thing for her, that's all that matters now. I am very thankful for all the details you gave, i will start with getting her shoes off and trimming asap, though am not sure how rehab works and how long it takes.
@SocialGadfly I can never do that, not an option for me.
 

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@SocialGadfly I can never do that, not an option for me.
It was merely a suggestion. I try to be mindful of the fact that not everyone can afford to keep a horse that can't be ridden and that others may not have the funds to spend on treatment for a chronic health condition. I just like to put out reminders that euthanasia is just as valid of an option as selling or treatment is.

I meant no offense. You clearly care deeply about this horse and are committed to her, so good for you! I'm sure that you'll do right by her in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It was merely a suggestion. I try to be mindful of the fact that not everyone can afford to keep a horse that can't be ridden and that others may not have the funds to spend on treatment for a chronic health condition. I just like to put out reminders that euthanasia is just as valid of an option as selling or treatment is.

I meant no offense. You clearly care deeply about this horse and are committed to her, so good for you! I'm sure that you'll do right by her in the end.
Thanks, I totally understand your point, i didn't mean to judge you as well. I am just quite attached to her so can never take that decision, but I understand that sometimes you have to take that decision especially if horse is in deep pain with no hope for recovery.
 

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i will start with getting her shoes off and trimming asap, though am not sure how rehab works and how long it takes.
Look up Equine Lameness Prevention Organisation and study what you can there, as to trimming for correct balance. Where abouts are you in the world? General country/region will do, no need to tell specifically. That may be relevant to what/who you can get for help. I will PM you with some more info - don't worry that if you're a new member here you won't be able to reply to my PMs yet tho.

Unfortunately, can't give any time frame of rehab, or of how great an improvement/return to soundness, as 'it depends' is the only real answer. If she is paddock sound, or sound for light riding ATM, that's a good sign that it will hopefully not take too much to get her comfortable for more. However, high impact stuff such as jumping may not ever be great for her, as this is hard on joints anyway.

@SocialGadfly I can never do that, not an option for me.
Yeah, I think most of us, to whom horses are more than a means to an end, understand your feelings totally, and I'd say there's no need to consider this at present, as I reckon there's a very good bet that you can at least get this horse comfortable & sound for trail riding, etc, if not for more, without too much time & $$. But the reality is, if the horse were to be suffering constantly or very long term &/or you couldn't afford to do what it takes to get her comfortable, then euth. may be the most humane option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks a lot, i am in Egypt. At the moment i am mainly concentrating on how to get her comfortable again with no pain, from past experience it normally easy out as her hoof grow, hoping this time will be the same. Thanks a lot for the PM, will take a look.
 
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