Navicular Disease Horses

Horse Drawing
Horse diagnosed with the navicular disease

Navicular Syndrome

is often called Navicular disease, is a syndrome of soundness problems in horses. It most commonly describes an inflammation or degeneration of the navicular bone and its surrounding tissues, usually on the front feet. It can lead to significant and even disabling lameness.


The Navicular Disease Can Be Treated


There are thousands of track athletes that have been diagnosed with bad feet; however, the diagnosis does not end their career. They only need to how to manage the condition. This involves proper diagnosis, treatment and exercise required. When everything is done as expected, the athlete can go to their previous level of performance or even perform better in a matter of time. The same case goes for a horse diagnosed with the navicular disease. The horse owner needs to give it a proper treatment and it can be able to perform as it previously does. As opposed to the way many people think, this syndrome is far from terminal.


The first phase in the management plan is a proper diagnosis. This is achieved through several clinical tests and radiography. It all starts with physical extermination where the clinician (veterinarian) examines the horse with the objective of determining if some specific signs are shown.


The clinical signs that the veterinarian look for in the physical examination includes a history of lameness in the front leg (typically of gradual onset), both front legs affected in most cases, stumbling is common, and an uncomfortable gait is shown in most cases. Even though all breeds of horses can be affected, the disease mostly affects the thoroughbreds and quarterhorse breeds as they are associated with big body to small feet ratio (massive bodies resting on relatively small feet).


The radiographs (x-rays) alone cannot be used as a conclusive diagnosis given that several horses show changes in the navicular bones yet they never suffer from this syndrome in their lifetime. As such, the radiographs can only be used when the clinical tests have been completed with the sole purpose of ruling out any other cause of lameness.


After the clinical extermination, the cause of lameness may not be conclusive. Radiography (x-ray) images are used to confirm diagnoses. In these images, the vet looks for changes in navicular bones. It is important to note that several horses have shown similar changes in the said bones without ever suffering from the navicular syndrome in their entire life. This is why the changes alone without clinical test cannot confirm the diagnosis.


When it comes to treatment procedures, the vets can use different therapies depending on different conditions. The common ones include the use of different corrective shoeing techniques such as the shoe trimming and the heel correcting. In addition to this, different drugs are also used. The need to improve blood circulation is commonly addressed by Isoxsuprine injection that helps dilate blood vessels and thereby boost blood circulation.


The blood circulation is also improved to the foot with exercise that is also a common form of therapy. This may take the form of 30-60 minutes riding session at least 6 times every week. This is not just a normal ride, it is more structured to ensure that more weight is borne on the hind legs and the horse is worked at a canter or trot.


Other than improving blood circulation, the corrective shoeing is the other common treatment technique. This involves trimming the shoe back to the required size or correcting the heel. In extreme cases, the vets may resort to surgery methods such as neurectomy and desmotomy or used chemical blockage technique. The success in most cases requires that the vets and the owner use a comprehensive approach that combine drug therapy, correcting shoeing, and exercise regime to help the horse recover.


If you are searching for information concerning navicular syndrome, you should pay a visit to our web pages online here today. Additional details can be seen at now.


Navicual Disease


By Suzanne Banks


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Last update: 1`:00 ET, Monday July 31, 2017