At present, the exact primary cause of Navicular Syndrome is not known. Damage to the navicular bone may occur due to interference with blood supply or trauma to the bone. Damage can occur to the deep flexor tendon, navicular bursa, or navicular ligaments all resulting in pain and lameness.
Poor hoof shape is usually inherited, although poor shoeing and trimming can contribute to these shapes. With the long toe, low heel conformation can come contracted heels (narrowing of the heel) which further compresses the navicular bone along with sheared heels adding more stress to the tendons and navicular bones.
Because it has no cure, prevention is ideal. Maintaining a regular trimming and/or shoeing schedule with a skilled farrier keeps the horse’s hoof in the correct proportions. “The best way to prevent it is to have a farrier that can put the best foot on that horse,” Turner says.
Lameness is the classic sign of navicular syndrome. This can appear suddenly, but a more common pattern is mild lameness that becomes progressively worse over time. A horse with navicular syndrome feels pain in the heels of the front feet, and its movements reflect attempts to keep pressure off this area.
This disease is believed to be genetic but can occur due to the conformation of the distal limbs. Structure associated with Navicular syndrome includes excessively long toes, under-run heels, and a “broken back” hoof-pastern axis.
Nonsurgical treatment of navicular syndrome consists of rest, hoof balance and corrective trimming/shoeing, and medical therapy, including administration of systemic antiinflammatories, hemorheologic medications, and intraarticular medications.
A horse with navicular syndrome feels pain in the heels of the front feet, and its movements reflect attempts to keep pressure off this area. At rest, the more painful foot is often “pointed,” or held slightly in front of the other forefoot, thus bearing little or no weight.
Summary. Navicular disease results in a chronic, progressiveforelimb lameness that is usually bilateral. Although many different horse breeds can be affected, Quarter Horses and Warmbloods appear particularly susceptible.
Navicular can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Trimming and shoeing techniques are paramount, so a farrier trained in recent advancements is crucial.
Navicular Disease – no longer a death sentence. Before the days of the barefoot movement, navicular disease in horses used to be seen as an incurable disease. However, there are now many horses who have been completely restored – being fully sound and leading fully productive and more importantly, healthy, lives.
Navicular disease is a progressive syndrome with limited chances of full recovery. Unless you’re in the business of rescuing animals, then you should always buy a healthy horse. … Horses with foot issues will likely need special shoes and require more farrier care than unaffected horses.
Can a horse with navicular be ridden? Depending on the severity of the disease, it is possible to ride a horse with navicular, as long as your vet okays it. Pharmaceutical agents which can help alleviate pain and control inflammation such as Previcox and Tildren can be administered.
How do you tell if a horse has been nerved?
Lameness in one or both front feet. Horse walks toe-to-heel instead of heel-to-toe. Shifting of weight from one front foot to the other. Horse no longer wants to move out.
The telltale signs include:
- Intermittent forelimb lameness. Sometimes the horse seems sound in the pasture but is clearly lame in work.
- Short, choppy strides. …
- Pointing a front foot or shifting weight from one foot to the other when standing.
- Soreness to hoof testers over the back third of the foot.
What is an egg bar shoe?
By definition, an egg bar is a shoe where the branches are connected to make a horseshoe look like an egg. There are two major reasons for using this shoe: Provide more posterior support. Add more posterior flotation.