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talk to me about navicular

18 replies

chocolatecakeystuff · 21/07/2013 21:57

Looking more & more like one of my mares has navicular.

We had a few months of being sound & now she's crippled again.

Farriers tried some special shoes today & vets coming out tomorrow.

OP posts:
Littlebigbum · 22/07/2013 00:34

Hope you find the root of the problem soon

dappleton · 22/07/2013 09:30

I had a pony with suspect navicular, vet diagnosed with nerve blocks, he came sound after about 2months and has not been lame for the past 3yrs - so it clearly wasn't navicular- you still have hope. However, if it is navicular then your farrier will be the best person to help.

CountryGal13 · 26/07/2013 11:41

Hi Chocolate. Yes, unfortunately I've owned two horses which were diagnosed with navicular...

The 1st was diagnosed with navicular changes to the bone when she was only 7! It started with slight lameness in one front leg and then gradually progressed to both front feet. She kinda had a straight legged, choppy movement when she trotted. The vet did all the treatment they could as she was insured and then a year or so later we let her go as a companion. (she was only ever supposed to be a project to sell) However, a couple of years ago I came across a photo of her online jumping out on a hunt!! As you can imagine, we were very shocked but we're hoping this means that she's now recovered! Tried everything to find her new owner but no joy. She looked amazing :)

Then, I bought myself an ex-racehorse back in 2007 and 7 months later she went horrendously lame in her front feet. It looked like severe laminatis and was treated as such but she would recover quickly, to perfect soundness, and then a few weeks later she'd be so lame she'd be unable to walk in from the field! The bouts of lameness would come on literally overnight with no warning. She went in to horsepital for x-rays/nerve blocks and, suprise suprise, she was diagnosed with navicular. She did have changes to the bone but her lameness was completly different to my other horses. 3 months of boxrest later and after all the treatment the vet could throw at her... She went lame again :( Vet said pts or try a further 6 months boxrest...we decided on the boxrest and she came out of it sound, and she's still 100% sound over 3 years later in regular shoes and no meds

The same blacksmith shod both of these horses and when the remedial looked at my thoroughbred he said that her feet were horrendous! (i asked my usual blacksmith every time how her feet were and he always said 'they're fine, she actually has good feet for a thoroughbred'!!) The reality was that she had very collapsed heels and one of the bars near her frog had gone. I think his poor shoeing had lamed both my horses. In conclusion, I think it took all those months of boxrest and correct shoeing for her feet to recover and surely if the navicular diagnosis had been correct then neither of these horses would have ever recovered...

I'll try and find and post you a link to an article written by a barefoot trimmer re navicular disease. He says that most horses over the age of 12 or those who have done lots of jumping ect will have navicular changes to the bone and it doesn't mean the end.

Btw, the remedial shoes mad my thoroughbred worse and eventually, against the advice of the vet, she went barefoot which helped a lot.

Sorry for the essay but navicular is like opening a can of worms. Please feel free to ask me anything and I'll try and find you that link. Really hope she makes a speedy recovery xx

willyoulistentome · 26/07/2013 12:04

My 21 year old has navicular in one front foot more than the othre. She has slighly odd confirmation in front so one foot is worse. Had it since about age 10. She would go intermittently lame when the ground was hard. She would go pottery, then be lame for a week or two , then go sound again. We tried rubber pads under the soles, which was extortionate, and not that effective.. She was on navilox (vasodilator for feet) and bute for years, and would go lame whenever we tried to come of it. However, they have stopped making navilox earlier this year. The vet recomended something called Crysanphyton (sp), which also improves circulation to the feet. It's a plant extract. She is now on about 1/2 a bute a day and a fraction of the recommended dose of the crys stuff, and is shod with natural balance shoes. She has been fit and sound for months now, even through the hard ground this summer. At her age ( and my lack of time) we just happy hack nowadays, but she is doing miles better on this than she did on navilox.

chocolatecakeystuff · 26/07/2013 12:24

Thanks guys,, nice to see they've come sound its giving me a bit of hope, shesthe same will come sound, potter about, then be cronically lame for maybe a week/ two then comes up sound again.

She's 13 & a good mare, but had a hard life before I got her.

Just so confused about what to do. She obvouisly can't continue to be as lame as she is currently (looks like laminitius but isn't) but really want to give her the chance to pull through

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CountryGal13 · 26/07/2013 12:55

How are her feet? Do you have a great blacksmith? I'm convinced that my thoroughbreds problems were all caused by her colapsed heels and then it took a long time for all the internal damage it caused to heal. (It really did look like severe bouts of lami)

The 1st mare I mentioned had the opposite problem - Her fetlocks were extremely short and upright and she had high heels. I've since read that this also caused navicular symptoms due to the concussion and something about the heels pinching and needing to be trimmed in a certain way. I'd already rehomed the horse by then though so never got the chance to try...

willyoulistentome · 26/07/2013 13:15

I bought my ned when she was 3. She had awful feet when I bought her. The previous owner had let her feet get way too long and played/split. I am convinced this is the root cause of her problems. the lack of proper trimming well, from a foal really, led to her having one lower limb ever so slightly twisted in. Led me to fall out a bit with the friend who owned her actually. I suppose I shouldn't have bought her really, but I had known her for ages and I just loved her. It wasn;t a bad buy in the end as I have had 18 years of good riding/competing with her.

It definitely seems to rear its head when she is due for shoeing I make sure she is shod every 5 weeks, otherwise she can get a little sore when her feet are getting longer in week 6, so I also believe keeping the feet in the best possible shape is vital.

chocolatecakeystuff · 26/07/2013 21:47

I'm not 100% about my current farrier, he leaves her feet very long, but she's very collapsed at the heel when she's due for trimming, even a week over & she's lame. If I can figure out how on my mobile I'll try put a picture up.

My usual farrier has been off sick, but have booked in with a different one for the next lot in 6 weeks time.

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chocolatecakeystuff · 27/07/2013 22:35

There's now a picture on my profile... the day begore she was trimmed

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WanderingGecko · 28/07/2013 11:23

I got my TBx Connemara as a "free to a good home because he has navicular and is a nutter." The second claim is quite true Wink but the navicular I think was false as he has been sound for the three years I've had him (other than an odd abscess). I was told that he had had scans confirming his navicular, but I suspect that he had inflamation around the navicular bone, possibly due to being over worked and schooled as a show jumper so putting an immense amount of stress on his feet. He was lame, before I got him, for a very long time and was helped by navilox but of course he would be for any complaint which benefits from increased blood supply. With rest and more sympathetic riding he came sound and has stayed sound since he came to a "retirement" home with me. He actually does full day rides over the Cumbrian fells with me and yesterday we were having a burn through Grizedale Forest along very rough and undulating tracks (of course only fast work where safe before anyone has a go).

I think that navicular is often wrongly diagnosed and that there is a difference between having inflammation around the navicular bone and progressive navicular where the bone degrades and crumbles. My friend has a horse with progressive navicular. He is still in work but has to have periods off. He very noticeably "points" one front foot and then the other when resting in his stable.

Good luck and I hope that the diagnosis is positive and something that can be managed.

chocolatecakeystuff · 31/07/2013 19:35

We've been confirmed as having navicular today, going to give the steriod jabs a go, and upped her bute.

Have booked in with a different farrier to get straight bar shoes with rolled toes

Fingers crossed....

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WanderingGecko · 02/08/2013 15:27

Sorry to hear that. Good luck, hope it is manageable x

chocolatecakeystuff · 02/08/2013 23:22

Thanks wandering,

She seemed to be back to herself today for the first time in a while (recently she's been moody, highly strung & a nightmare in the field, so different from the lovely dope on a rope she usually is)

Bute must be kicking in as she's a lot more comfortable, and i'd say very nearly sound this evening.

she's on two bute a day (proper bute not danilon) & vet recomended to give her as little as we can manage with (was 4 a day for first 36 hours) not going to have the steriods untill after she's been shod (vet said wait till she's due but thsts 4 weeks away so rather get them done now) on Tuesday, and see how she goes.

Still got all fingers & toes crossed she'll come sound eventually.

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Loshad · 02/08/2013 23:53

I had a TB mare with navicular many moons ago, and she had surgery and wore eggbars after diagnosis. She became sound enough to return to 2* eventing but then developed ringbones (side effect of the surgery?, would have happened anyway? who knows?)
These days if i had a horse with navisular i would have no hesitation in whipping their shoes off and returning them to work shoeless.
I am not a member of the barefoot mafia in any sense but have heard so many success stories with this method.
My own current event mare had intermittent lameness for months and months, and was again in eggbars with wedges and was just about sound. At the end of August that year her feet were so awful the blacksmith (very respected master farrier, trainer, and so on) insisted i removed her shoes and turned her away for a few months as he had nothing to nail onto. He and the vet then basically persuaded me not to have her reshod and she has remained remarkably (eventing ) sound every since (though it doesn't stop her being a part timer with pulling stunts such as autoimmune skin diseases and RAO Hmm )

WanderingGecko · 03/08/2013 13:07

Hope she continues to improve. Definitely agree with your vet over as little bute as poss. If she burns around on her foot while it is trying to repair because she is not feeling pain it wont do her any good at all; plus of course bute can have side effects, especially in long-term use. Navilox does seem to work well too.

Your mare did very well to return to high level eventing Loshad. Do you think that it was inflamation of the navicular bone rather than the progressive type then? Just interested about what Danny's future might be. He is good at pulling stunts to get out of work too Wink His lastest was burning around the field like a loon, ripping off his shoe and taking half his hoof with it! Hmm

chocolatecakeystuff · 03/08/2013 16:57

Wandering, my mares very good at that too.... last time she antagonized my pony & got a nice kick to her knee for the trouble!

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Loshad · 04/08/2013 17:30

Wandering, no the xrays showed a progressive deterioration, and horrendous (to my untutored eye) nuclear bomb type degeneration of the bone. She was a great mare bless her.

WanderingGecko · 05/08/2013 09:52

Very sorry to hear that. Well done keeping her fit and active as long as you did. Took Danny round a small XC course yesterday, he's showing no signs of slowing down despite being 19 now with such a chequered past of injuries! Still, I daren't let him do too much: I'd rather he stayed sound and happy for as long as possible than push my luck!

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