Friend very foolishly (IMHO) bougth a very very cheap horse recently. She had been turned away for over a year and was lame in what looked like both forelegs. The vet said that he was pretty sure that she just had badly bruised soles after going unshod and untrimmed on very hard ground for so long. It's 3 weeks now, and she's still almost always trotting up lame on hard ground and on soft. Occasionally she's sound, but usually not. She's ben shod and the farrier said ther was definitley bruising to her sole - but if it was just tat wouldn't she A) be less lame on soft ground B) be getting better b now and C) be consistently lame?
If the vet and farrier say it's bruised then that it probably what it is. Bruises can take time to heal she may also be getting new bruises at the same time. Your questions A,b,c depend on how sore her feet our and how you are dealing with it. Is she been boxed rest? Does she have pads on her feet?
As for navicular you need to look at how your horse is standing but if your vet was worried about that he would have said.
Thank you. I'm really just thinking ahead because this horse has been bought for my dd's best friend, so we're quite involved in the whole process. It's reassuring to know that bruising shouldn't necessarily be getting better by now - but I'm still concerned that she's equally lame on hard and soft ground.
She's not been on box rest, just turned out with the others. Vet's coming again next week so we'll know more then.
I think most vets and farriers see enough navicular to be pretty good at diagnosing it. The vet can do nerve blocks to help diagnose - or at least that's what they did with one of my ponies - it acts in the same way as the op they can do to help relieve the pain if navicular is diagnosed. As for the bruising, one of my horses had that when he came to me and sole pads seem to help.
it could be pedal bone rotation from laminitis. if she has been left out on grass for a long time she could have had laminitis. a good farrier or vet shud spot the signs staright away, there usally is rings around the top of the hoof like ridges. my pony has chronic laminitis and pedal bone rotation, without shoes on her front feet the pedal bone puts 2 much pressure on her sole and she is constantly lame. front shoes lift the sole off the ground and shes sound. a common sign also of navicular is the horse pointing the toe forward when standing. good shoeing will rectify it and some drugs, a lot of horses are fine with the disease depends on what work load u want 2 do. good luck. i would try front shoes if does not work, nerve block then xrays but its quite expensive.
If it was laminitis your farrier would have told you instantly. Rings on the hoof can also be event lines - caused by changes in diet, or conditions such as the state of the ground. If the vet and farrier are worried they will suggest that you get this looked into more. So don't panic. (I hope she's insured). For some very up to date thinking on navicular and how to cure it, Google Rockley Farm and have a read.
Lameness in both feet is hard to see clearly, because there's no 'good' foot to lean onto. Also if it's been uncomfortable for a while she may be anticipating the pain when she takes a step. I'm sure the vet will follow up if he thinks it could be more... But laminitis would have other symptoms (hot feet, leaning back, ridges as mentioned, and usually very tender to walk at all if it's persisting. If the farrier has seen bruising you shouldn't worry more until that is gone... Good luck!