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nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:53 AM
Last September I bought my first horse in a very long time. A 10yo Appendix. Was to be my dressage horse. Had him vet checked, specifically asked if I should have x-rays done. Vet said, "I wouldn't".

He came up lame a month later, took him to another vet within the same office. He nerve blocked him and took x-rays, came back with a tendon injury diagnosis and recommended I put him on stall rest for 8-10 weeks.

I did.

He was still off, so I took him to another vet office on Monday. $1,000 and 90 minutes later I was told that my boy has Navicular, arthritis, bone spurs, and the beginnings of ringbone. He had so much inflammation in the hoof that fluid spurted out when they nerve blocked him. The vet said his Navicular was a 4 or 5 out of 10 with 10 being the worst.

The doctor gave him HA and steroid injections in both front feet and told me to put him in aluminum wedge shoes. He'll need another set of injections in 3 to 6 months. The vet told me that if all goes well, he should be sound for a couple of light trail rides a week.

Still waiting for a farrier to get back to me - most are either out on a trail ride or on vacation.

He looked better yesterday when I visited him. His strides were much longer. When the treatments stop working and he gets to be in too much pain in the pasture, I'll have him put down.


Anyway, he's on a good quality feed (low NSC, fixed formula, high fat, medium protein) and he's on 24/7 turnout. Could anyone recommend a good supplement that might help him?

I know there's some debate over whether oral HA supplements work...

I found Recovery EQ on SmartPak and it seemed to have favorable reviews. They also have a more expensive version with HA in it, which had good reviews, too.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.

These were taken two weeks ago: http://picasaweb.google.com/nervousalter/Heath?feat=directlink

appychik
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:11 AM
So sorry to hear about your boy. Like they say, hindsight is 20/20 (or something like that). It's too bad that things weren't found on the PPE, but I was in the same boat a few years back. No x-rays and a couple months later had a lame horse who had fractured his coffin bone (old fracture too, btw). But whatever... that's in the past.

I've been using Recovery Eq on my old Gus, who has a CCL injury that's healing (bad stifle, really bad). It seems to help make him more comfortable, but is spendy because I did one month at the loading dose (so two scoops a day). What really worked best for him, a year back, was Legend injections. It's an IV injection and well, ran about $100 month to have my vet do them, but were SOOOOO worth the money. I think you can get the 'script cheaper... but I haven't got a clue as to how to do an IV injection. Sadly, I haven't had much success with the Legend in recent months. So we're sticking to doing the stifles as needed (hopefully not again until June or so).

Otherwise, I have used Smartflex Senior and it seemed to help a bit, for a while. Pretty palatable. Used MVP's Matrix 4 years back and loved it, but I think there are better products on today's market.

FWIW, I'd be sure he's on a good dose of MSM (like 10,000mgs at least). That helps IMMENSELY with inflammation (as me how I know). Otherwise, they say after an injury has set in, HA is your best friend (along with the aforementioned MSM). Everyone has different remedies as to what works and what doesn't. You make need to experiment.

Best of luck to the both of you. Like I said, I'm in the same boat with one horse (though both are no longer "usable" for their original purpose) and I'm just enjoying each day I have, taking it one day at a time.

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:22 AM
Let me guess - right front?

vxf111
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:13 PM
Let me guess - right front?

Don't you have, like, a 50% chance on that guess?

Are we doing this like a cold reading?

"I am getting a vibe from your horse that he's got pain in his right front."

And then if you guess right, you say "whee! I am psychic" and if you guess wrong, you say "well he's putting more weight on the LEFT because of the underlying problem on the RIGHT. Look harder at the right and you'll see I'm correct.... whee! I am psychic!"

nervousalter, I would be fairly peeved at the vet who didn't think X-rays were prudent, but at the end of the day it's the client's decision whether to do films or not. Now you've just got to manage what you've got as best as you can. I would take the horse to a really good sports medicine vet and see if there are any therapies/management practices that make sense, aside from what you're already doing.

In terms of supplements, I've tried Recovery Eq and didn't see any effect. I have had excellent results with BL Solution. I always think you get more bang for your buck with Adequan/Legend, as opposed to oral supplements, if you are willing to try Adequal/Legend.

Good luck!

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:17 PM
Don't you have, like, a 50% chance on that guess?

Are we doing this like a cold reading? Yeah, that would solve a lot of problems for me..... I go by hoof shape. I looked at his photos :lol:

vxf111
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:18 PM
No silly, I go by hoof shape. I looked at his photos :lol:

How your guess about which foot has navicular useful information when nervousalter has already been to the vet and has films?

How can you even really see this horse's feet in those kind of dark, somewhat blurry, far away pictures anyway?

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:31 PM
From experience I know that it usually is the more upright, non-dominant front hoof that is affected, which, if not trimmed correctly, generally leads to toe loading and heel contraction. In this case is it appears to be the right front.

For further info on the subject see here:


All horses with heel or navicular troubles can be seen to have deformed hooves to some degree…these deformities arise through improper hoof care and lack of exercise
http://www.easycareinc.com/Education/articles/hooves_in_trouble.aspx

deltawave
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:35 PM
And this helps the OP and her horse HOW?

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:42 PM
Uhm, that trim changes could possibly make this horse a lot sounder?!

vxf111
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:48 PM
You can tell that a horse needs a different trim, and has navicular affecting him more on one foot rather than the other, based on 4-5 artsy far away photographs of a horse, taken at dusk, that you saw on the internet? You should take this show on the road! Who needs vets, radiographs, medicine etc. when a few quick glances at a blurry photo online can get 'er done?!

Don't you think, if there's an issue with trimming, that BOTH front feet-- no, that ALL four feet ought to be assessed and trimmer properly? So how is it at all helpful to say "lemme guess, right front?" in this situation?

deltawave
Feb. 25, 2009, 12:50 PM
I'm sort of surprised the photos were even necessary. :)

To the OP, he looks like a sweetheart. I've personally got something only very slightly more than zero faith in supplements, nutraceuticals, etc. for chronic mechanical problems.

By all means I'd enlist the help of an expert farrier, and I even think that trying barefoot sounds very reasonable, if there is no other compelling reason to shoe him, especially if he's going to be given some time to adapt and reshape his feet.

In the end, if he just can't be made comfortable, a neurectomy can be a humane solution.

nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:13 PM
Thank you, Appychik & vxf111.

I'm so sorry about your guy, Appychik.

vxf111, I started to kick myself about not having gotten x-rays, but then realized that the PPE vet works under the vet I took him to in October and he missed it then, so I can't be sure he'd have caught it before I bought him. I'm trying to stay positive - it could be worse. He's alive and comfortable right now and I love him to death.

His injections ran $360 on Monday. The vet gave him 2mL of HYVISC (11mg/mL Hyaluronate Sodium) in each foot, plus the steroids. He does seem high - my friend had her gelding's knee injected with steroids and he charged her $100 for the injection. Looks like Legend would be cheaper, but I can't give the injections myself and I don't know if he'd write me a Rx for the Legend to bring in to him.

This new vet is a sporthorse lameness expert.

I'll try as many supplements as possible to find one that helps make him comfortable.

BorntoRide, unfortunately, he has it in both feet. He was showing more pain in the right front, possibly due to him being more upright on that foot (he was being trimmed to try to correct it - when I bought him, his hooves were extremely short, so it's taken time), but the x-rays were equally bad in both. They were really hard to look at. I'll flat out admit it: I started crying and had to leave the room for a moment, before the doctor continued with the readings.


DeltaWave, the photos weren't for diagnostic purposes, just to show my sweety. He's an exceptionally kind animal. I rode him 4 times before he started showing lameness and the photos of him from two weeks ago, marked my sixth ride (a walk around the pasture to check on his 'tendon injury' recovery). He didn't bob, but he was stumbling.

He's been so clumsy with his feet, that a neurectomy scares the hell out of me.

Whispering Oaks Dressage
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:20 PM
I understand what you are going through. I have a 22 year old, 18 when he was given to me, that came to me with ringbone and supposedly riding sound. He went lame about 6 months after I got him. Well three vets, lots of $$$ and many months later Ohio State University Vets found that he did not have ringbone. he had a tendon injury, many years ago, that caused rotation of the navicular bone, scar tissue and pain. Poor horse was being used as a lesson horse before i got him with this injury:eek:

Best thing we ever did for him was the aluminum wedge shoes. About three weeks after putting them on he was pasture sound and down to one gram of bute every other day, he was on 2 grams a day when I got him. He now only gets bute when needed and goes on short trail rides a few times a year. I also started him on daily oral MSM. I noticed a huge difference. If your vet recommends injections they will help. They did not help my guy in the beginning but in conjunction with the shoes they work great.

Make sure you have a good farrier. The aluminum shoes wear down fast. I have to replace mine every other time, every 12 weeks. Make sure you stick to a 5-6 week shoeing schedule. Keep your boy out of the mud and watch when the ground gets hard. I notice my guy gets very sore on hard ground. But turnout is very important he gets stiff standing around.

Give him time. It took 6 months for my guy to be back to where he was. He is now happier and in less pain then I have ever seen him.

Tom Stovall
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:21 PM
BornToRide in gray

From experience I know that it usually is the more upright, non-dominant front hoof that is affected, which, if not trimmed correctly, generally leads to toe loading and heel contraction.

Silly me, I've always made it a point to have the attending veterinarian inform me of his diagnosis and his prescription for treatment. Did you decide to skip this step because of your "experience"?

In this case is it appears to be the right front.

Do the diagnosis of pathologies affecting the hoof fall within your purview as a trimmer? (As someone has already pointed out, if it turns out to be the left, you can always say, transference from right to left was the culprit.) Whatever your layperson's opinion, the diagnosis of pathological conditions remains the vet's call, not yours.

For further info on the subject see here:
http://www.easycareinc.com/Education/articles/hooves_in_trouble.aspx

LMAO! Tesky as a viable resource? You're kidding, right? What will you tout next? Strasser's 30º hairline? Bowker's heel whacking? The Feral Follies?

Think! If the many pathologies associated with the distal sesamoid and distal interphalangeal joint were readily apparent on visual inspection, there would be no need for diagnostic tools like hoof testers, nerve blocks, radiographs, MRIs, and similar stuff - a vet could simply look at a hoof and say, "Yup, looks like navicular to me."

Druid Acres
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:25 PM
OP - so sorry to hear of your troubles - it seems like we just have to learn things the hard way sometimes. I can certainly identify with what you're going through.

Has anyone suggested shockwave? I had good results with it on my ringbone horse. Other than that, my suggestions would be to find an excellent farrier and perhaps consider neurectomy as a last resort.

You can experiment with joint supplements but I wouldn't hang all of my hopes on them. I've also seen horses go sound after a year of turnout, but I realize that isn't an option for everybody.

Best of luck!

caffeinated
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:41 PM
OP- best of luck to you. I don't think my situation is exactly like yours, but wanted to let you know there's some hope.

My horse was originally diagnosed as a navicular case- bar shoes with wedges recommended. After a little more investigation, though there were "navicular changes" we found the actual inflammation/pain was in the coffin bone. Not that that's relevent to you, at all. The part that is relevant is that after getting initial injections done, and following the protocol set by the vet (a top sporthorse lameness vet, btw, who is wonderful and I adore him in every way), I changed farriers.

The original farrier went ahead and did the bar shoes, and the pad (the vet did not advise wedges, but a pour in pad instead). Things were a little better but not perfect, and though the grade of lameness was much reduced it was still there and making me frustrated.

The new farrier immediately brought my horse's heels down. He obviously did more than that, but that was the main, first, most important thing. We kept up with the bar shoes and pour ins for a while, but for the last cycle new SuperDuper farrier said if it were his horse, he'd go back to regular shoes and no pads. So I did.

The difference since I've had the new farrier has been night and day. We have some back end hitchiness now, probably due to lack of work, but the front end lameness is imperceptible. Can't see it, can't feel it, there is no more head bobbing or lugging. He is throwing his feet out there with confidence and is HAPPY to work :)

Moral of the story- find the very best farrier you can. I don't know what area you live in, if you're in my neck of the woods I would wholeheartedly recommend mine. In all seriousness, my horse walked off a million times better after the first shoeing. It almost made me cry.

Your guy sounds much more serious than mine, lameness wise- so I'm not sure why I'm going into this detail except the initial suggestion from one of the first vets to look was to try wedges, etc. But his actual problem was too-high heels to begin with.

Anyhoo if you're in my area and need a farrier recommendation, feel free to PM.

mypaintwattie
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:44 PM
Sorry to hear about all of your issues- he looks to be a very sweet boy.

I went through the same thing a few months ago- bought a horse, no ppe x-rays. She came up lame over the summer, she would be fine one day and dead lame the next. My vet did a flexion, she came back positive on both her hoof and fetlock. He blocked her, still positive on both. X-rays revealed that she has deterioration in her fetlock joint and 'navicular changes'. She is 6.

We put front shoes on her (she had always been barefoot) with wedge pads. I also changed her supplement from Platinum Performance to the new Platinum Performance CJ because it has glucosamine, HA, cetyl-M, MSM, and more. Knock on wood she has been sound with this set up. I am working very closely with my farrier and having her reshod every 6 weeks.

Best of luck in finding the right setup for your guy.

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 01:44 PM
BorntoRide, unfortunately, he has it in both feet. He was showing more pain in the right front, possibly due to him being more upright on that foot (he was being trimmed to try to correct it - when I bought him, his hooves were extremely short, so it's taken time), but the x-rays were equally bad in both. They were really hard to look at. I'll flat out admit it: I started crying and had to leave the room for a moment, before the doctor continued with the readings.

Good, I am glad it is being addressed already. Make sure that there's nothing else hiding in those hooves that could be a contributing factor, like frog infections.

If this was my horse, would also not shoe this horse with metal shoes because of the possible increase of concussion from the metal, nor any wedging. Instead I would make sure that this horse is trimmed correctly and balanced to internal hoof structures and to encourage heel loading at all times. Use hoof boots if necessary for riding.

Best wishes!

hunterhorse22
Feb. 25, 2009, 02:07 PM
So sorry to hear about your horse. I have a gelding with navicular and I've found a few things that have helped. His current shoeing regumine consists of steel bar shoes (my farrier fabricates the shoes so that the bar is placed farther forward rather than on the heel) with a 3 degree wedge pad. He gets shod every 6-8 weeks depending on how his feet look. The wedge pad really helps. I tried to take them off completely after dropping it to a 2 degree then a 1 degree over time, but he did best on a 3 degree. He is a big guy (17.2H warmblood) and would wear through the aluminum way too fast, in fact my farrier won't even put aluminum bar shoes on any of his horses because they just don't last and are not economical. I can usually get a reset out of the fronts too which is great. He is also getting Isoxsuprine (30 tablets 2x/day). Some vets and horse people don't think it has any benefit, but it seems to help keep him going. I also give him Adequan every 4 weeks religiously- you can tell when he hasn't had it. Initially, I gave him 1 dose every 2 weeks for the first two months to build it up in his system and then I did the 1 injection every 4 weeks for maintenance. I've found that he also moves a lot better when the ground is softer- he stiffens up quite a bit when the ground is hard (more so than the average horse). I've also found that keeping him moving is beneficial. Doesn't have to be real "work" but any movement, even a walking trail helps him. He really likes to work though and doesn't seem to be in any pain- it may be different in your case. We discovered his really early on and have been taking appropriate steps to keep him going. On his bad days, I'll give him 1g bute with each feeding. I still show him and ride him on a regular basis, so it is possible to keep them going.
I hope you're able to keep him comfortable. Definitely get yourself a good farrier- they are invaluable, especially when dealing with something like navicular. Good luck!

BornToRide
Feb. 25, 2009, 02:22 PM
I would like to add that it is quite possible to heal navicular with correct trimming and creating heel loading. Ringbone is a different story, but even that can and has improved by making sure the hooves are trimmed balanced to internal hoof structures. Navicular is no longer an issue for Pete Ramey: http://www.hoofrehab.com/end_of_white_line_disease.htm#Navicular

Most likely management practices as outlined above will eventually lead to further breakdown of what is already going on, as it so happened with a horse belonging to a friend's client. Also diagnosed with navicular, was eventually put in natural balance shoes and recently re-evaluated. Horse is now more sore than ever. :(

nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 03:11 PM
Whispering Oaks, I'm sorry to hear about your guy. I'll absolutely make sure mine's trimmed and shod on an appropriate schedule and I'll keep him where he's at so that he can be out 24/7. He stocked up horribly in the back when kept in a stall with 12 hours of turnout and I know that being able to move about will help with the arthritis.

Tom, I spoke to you yesterday. Thank you for the referral - the vet had mentioned two farriers, but the receptionist only gave me the number of one. I'm pretty sure that Cam was the other.

Druid Acres, thank you, and I'll ask the vet about shockwave therapy. He didn't mention it to me.

Caffeinated, thank you for sharing your story, and I will definitely keep it in mind. He's been unshod on stall and pasture rest for about 18 weeks now with no improvement.

mypaintwattie, I'm genuinely happy that she's doing better, now. That's got to be rough at 6yo, though. :(

I'm going to try to pick up some MSM on the way to the barn this afternoon. The vet didn't respond to me when I asked if oral HA supplements would work (he gave me a suspicious head tilt), but everyone here has seemed to do well with MSM. I'll start there.

Hunterhorse22, was your vet at all concerned with the weight or concussion of the steel shoes? That would be my only fear with them. I'll have to ask mine if he said "aluminum" out of habit or preference.

McVillesMom
Feb. 25, 2009, 06:41 PM
How timely - we just had a lecture about navicular today. Apparently corrective shoeing alone will improve about 75% of horses. Our professor (a well respected boarded surgeon who has done a lot of research on feet) discussed egg bars specifically, and a 3 degree wedge (obviously this will vary with the individual horse), but didn't specify aluminum. He did say wide-web, however, which would indicate aluminum rather than steel. The most important thing is to correct the hoof-pastern axis if it is broken back, and to ease breakover. Which is pretty much what others have already said, but I thought you might like to know that most horses improve just with shoeing changes. :)

yellowbritches
Feb. 25, 2009, 07:50 PM
hmmm....I think you need to take him to a better practice. I have dealt with several horses with varying degrees of navicular issues and they have ALL followed the same diagnostic pattern at a top notch lameness practice. Your guy sounds like he's been looked at by less than stellar vets ("I wouldn't" is NOT the answer a good vet would give during a PPE. I've never heard of a tendon injury being diagnosed via x-ray- always ultrasound or ultrasound after bone scan- and there are SO MANY treatment options available to a horse with navicular issues, even severe navicular, that your guy should get a second chance).

SO, this is what usually happens at the practice we use. Usually the horse comes in with some type of general NQR. Sometimes we KNOW it is the front end, other times we can't tell (one of our guy's with issues always feels hitchy in his stifle). We do a moving exam, hoof test, they often will test sore on the heels, and we will block. If they block in the foot, we proceed to x-rays, which will then show any bony changes. In the mildest of cases, the horse will get its coffin joint(s) injected, and maybe a recommendation on a shoeing strategy. If we've got bigger issues then that, we often ultrasound to get an idea of the soft tissues in the foot look like (things like the deep digital flexor tendon, collateral ligament, and navicular bursa). This is a useful tool, but not great. If we are dealing with a bad case, they are sent to the nearby vet hospital for an MRI, which gives a very clear picture of what we are dealing with, both in the bones and in the soft tissue. THAT is how you diagnose a navicular horse.

Treatment wise, you can do a variety of things, depending on the severity of the case. Coffin joint injections, navicular bursa injections (which should be done AFTER and MRI and with the help of digital x-ray in a very sterile environment by someone who really knows what they are doing), proper trimming and shoeing, Tildren treatment. Those are the realitively easy things that most horses respond very well to and go on leading happy productive lives. The last ditch effort that CAN be done is nuerectomy or nerving. This is a very serious thing and should not be taken lightly at all. And it should only ever be considered as a last resort AND the horse should not have any soft tissue damage if it is considered.

So, with all that being said, please, please, please don't write your horse off as a pasture puff yet. Write that freakin practice off, but not him. Get him either to a good university hospital or a good practice or vet that SPECIALIZES in lameness, and get him looked at properly using all the diagnostics that are available to us. Your horse may just need something simple to get him comfortable and back on the road to dressage land!

Of my worst cases, only one was so bad that he needed to be put down, and that was because that horse was so stoic and had such a huge heart, that we didn't even know he had an issue till he developed an absecss that would not go away. By the time the MRI was read, his navicular bone was so ragged and fractured that we were risking it severing the DDF. :cry: Most of the others are still running and jumping, or at the very least, happily doing dressage and trail riding.

dwblover
Feb. 25, 2009, 07:53 PM
I have a 14 year old warmblood who was diagnosed with navicular cysts and coffin joint arthritis in 2005. I had heard that Isoxsuprine does nothing, so I didn't even want to try it, but I did. It did nothing to help my gelding. I think I even posted on here once that Isoxsuprine did not work for my horse. So fast forward about six months. I'm totally frustrated and I ask vet for more Isoxsuprine, figuring it won't hurt. Vet tells me to up the dosage to 40 pills per day (20 mg each). He had previously been on 20 pills per day. OMG, the horse was sound within 24 hours. I'm not kidding. Sound. If I run out, he's sore within a few days. As long as he's got that Isoxsuprine in him, he's golden. There are actually numerous studies showing that Isox. reduces lameness, they just can't prove HOW it reduces lameness so they say it does nothing. Well, it does do something for my guy. It's not expensive, so you might want to give it a try.

yellowbritches
Feb. 25, 2009, 08:18 PM
I have a 14 year old warmblood who was diagnosed with navicular cysts and coffin joint arthritis in 2005. I had heard that Isoxsuprine does nothing, so I didn't even want to try it, but I did. It did nothing to help my gelding. I think I even posted on here once that Isoxsuprine did not work for my horse. So fast forward about six months. I'm totally frustrated and I ask vet for more Isoxsuprine, figuring it won't hurt. Vet tells me to up the dosage to 40 pills per day (20 mg each). He had previously been on 20 pills per day. OMG, the horse was sound within 24 hours. I'm not kidding. Sound. If I run out, he's sore within a few days. As long as he's got that Isoxsuprine in him, he's golden. There are actually numerous studies showing that Isox. reduces lameness, they just can't prove HOW it reduces lameness so they say it does nothing. Well, it does do something for my guy. It's not expensive, so you might want to give it a try.
That's interesting. I've never been impressed with the results I've gotten with isox. Good to know that maybe playing with the dose might be the key.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 25, 2009, 08:35 PM
Sorry to hear about your trouble, just wanted to add my experience with navicular.

My western pleasure gelding was diagnosed at age 14, through x-rays and nerve blocks, x-rays showed moderate changes to the navicular bones, one worse than the other.

Using the x-rays, my excellent farrier shod him with heart-bar shoes, set back from the toe to alleviate breakover. We also did a round of isox, not sure it made any difference, and put him on joint supplements and Legend injections - but those were more for his arthritic hocks.

After two months in the heart-bars, he was put in regular shoes, but always set back from toe - set more in relation to the coffin bone, and he has been sound ever since.

He is now 22 years old, and we pulled his shoes in November, and he is still sound.

I wish you luck in your quest to help your horse.

nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 09:28 PM
McVillesMom - very timely. Thank you. I'm cognizant of the breakover issue and had planned on working with the farrier to correct it (my boy clips horribly), even though vet #2 said that his x-rays showed a good angle, but we were waiting to get the okay from vet #2 upon the healing of his tendon.

yellowbritches, the vet I took him to on Monday (vet #3) is at a different practice and he specializes in lameness. The second vet (not the PP vet, but the one she worked under) that I took him to in October is actually a very well respected internist. I didn't realize that there was such a huge difference in specialties. If, God forbid, he colics, I'll take him to vet #2, but I'm letting the third vet handle his feet.

During that October exam, vet #2 nerve blocked the right foot (but not the heel) and said he was 80% sound. I disagreed and then he did, too. But he attributed the resulting lameness on the left to a problem with his left shoulder and possibly his left hind (which he x-rayed - came out fine). He never x-rayed or blocked the left front.

dwlover, I'll ask the vet about Isoxsuprine. Thank you.

MunchkinsMom, thank you for sharing, as well. Every encouraging story helps.

Bought the MSM this afternoon.

To make all of this a bit worse, I saw my boy on Saturday night - took a blanket out to him, because the temp dropped from 75 to 39. He was fine. Didn't see him Sunday, went out on Monday morning and he had a nasty cut making a half circle around his left eye orbit. Cleaned it out as best as I could, took him to the vet for the lameness check, and they cleaned it out much better. They told me if I'd gotten him there Sunday, they'd have stitched it. The girl who feeds on Sundays didn't notice the cut. If I'd been able to make it out on Sunday, he'd have had his stitches.

Fortunately, I have a good friend who has been going out to help me clean and treat the cut. A good horsey friend is priceless.

yellowbritches
Feb. 25, 2009, 09:31 PM
yellowbritches, the vet I took him to on Monday (vet #3) is at a different practice and he specializes in lameness. The second vet (not the PP vet, but the one she worked under) that I took him to in October is actually a very well respected internist. I didn't realize that there was such a huge difference in specialties. If, God forbid, he colics, I'll take him to vet #2, but I'm letting the third vet handle his feet.

During that October exam, vet #2 nerve blocked the right foot (but not the heel) and said he was 80% sound. I disagreed and then he did, too. But he attributed the resulting lameness on the left to a problem with his left shoulder and possibly his left hind (which he x-rayed - came out fine). He never x-rayed or blocked the left front.
ahhh...I seemed to have missed that it was a THIRD vet (yuck. That sucks). The funny thing is, that a lot of navicular horses who look off in one foot will get blocked in that one, then be off in the other. Block them both, and they go sound. Very, very typical. So, anyway, sorry I didn't read more clearly, glad you had a third vet take a look, and, upon re-reading, saw that he also was injected. Do consider some of the other stuff, though. An MRI might be a real worthwhile endeavor. There is so much else you can do before giving up hope, however, it can be costly.

EqTrainer
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:00 PM
OP - first, let me tell you how sorry I am that you and your horse are going thru this. He looks like a love bug.

I hope this does not seem like a hijack to you, but I read this and started thinking about all the questions *I* would have if I were in your situation. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask some of them and see what the people who have had experience w/this, including the farriers and trimmers, have to say. Let me know. If you'd prefer I did not, I'll start a new thread.

cloudyandcallie
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:03 PM
I know you are going to have to make hard financial and other decisions with your new horse that you did not imagine having to plan for.

However, I once boarded at a barn where the BO purchased a large pony for one of the kids, and the pony, Benjie, ended up having navicular changes. He moved to another barn with another farrier and he got his first shoes, first BO did not recommend shoeing, and of course he was diagnosed with navicular at the 2nd barn. He was able to continue showing and jumping, just the little 2 ft jumps, but he did well for several years. He was already in his late teens when he was purchased, so when he got too arthritic and his navicular changes prevented him from continuing, plus his owner grew taller, Benjie was given to a wealthy woman here for her grandchildren to ride.
She put him on supplements, paid for same farrier to continue shoeing him, and each summer took him to NC in the summers and her grandkids were showing the pony just a few years ago. I presume he's still doing well, as he's still with the last family last I heard.

So there is hope. You need a good farrier and a good vet. Good luck.

takeflight
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:20 PM
I am sorry about what you and your horse are going through! Do not give up hope, though :)

My beloved TB gelding was diagnosed with navicular disease last fall and I was absolutely devastated. I am lucky to have a wonderful vet helping him and he is currently doing very very well.

Here is what we are doing. My vet first injected the coffin joints in both front feet. This made an immediate difference. We then changed his shoes from regular shoes to t-bar shoes http://www.well-shod.com/index.php?category%5B0%5D=Horseshoes-Aluminum has some pictures of what they look like-- basically a wide-webbed aluminum shoe with slightly raised heels and rolled toes. We are also using the pour in pads.

As far as medication, he is on Cosequin ASU, devil's claw (anti-inflammatory), and isoxuprine. Some horses respond to isoxuprine and some don't-- my vet says that she sees about a 60% response rate. It is not expensive so maybe it will be worth a try.

We are going to change his shoes to something more normal this month (he has been in the t bars since September). The plan is to go to a wedge with the pour in pads.

My horse is currently being ridden 4-5 times a week on the flat for about 40 minutes at a time. We are probably going to try jumping again after he gets shod this month. He may or may not go back to his previous career (Training level eventing and hunting) but I am happy that he is ridable and comfy.

You will need to keep a close eye on his shoeing. My guy will get sore if his toes get too long and so we have to stick to a strict shoeing schedule. I also do not ride if the footing is too hard.

I hope that things look up for you. Navicular is not a death sentence and there are MANY things you can do to help your horse. The initial diagnostics and stuff are expensive, but maintenance is not too bad. Good luck with everything.

vxf111
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:37 PM
Sorry to hear about the eye injury, when it rains it pours-- huh?

Did your horse, when blocked on one foot-- come up lame in the other, and vice versa? I think the "N" word gets throw around a lot anytime there is: roughening on the film; and not-easy-to-diagnose lameness up front. I had New Bolton, probably one of the best practices anywhere, tell me one of my horses had "navicular." They were DEAD wrong. DEAD WRONG. He wasn't even lame in his feet, not really, although he presented that way. He broke his wither and his entire body was screwed up and painful because it went undiagnosed and untreated that it made him appear to be lame in all four legs. It's been 3+ years, took those films to a top, top, top lameness specialist and he can't figure out why New Bolton EVER said the horse had navicular, at least based on the films. So don't give up hope.

Do the best diagnostics you can, treat what you find, start with the least invasive and go from there. If there's heel pain, shoeing/trimming to get the pressure off that area can help a LOT. Injections can give some relief. I have not had personal experience with Isoxsuprine but that seems worth a try. I think, if you can afford it, Legend/Adequan would be worth trying. I don't have any experience with Tildren but from what I have heard, that is an excellent avenue to explore if you can afford it. Last case scenario but still a possibility is partial nerving, it's NOT necessarily a death sentence or an end to all usefulness.

I am sorry you're going through this. Your horse is lucky that he has an owner savvy and able enough to work through the diagnostics and treatments.

Go Fish
Feb. 25, 2009, 10:58 PM
It sounds like you are getting good advice...Pete Ramey (farrier) is also a good resource. Google him. Just wanted to send you good thoughts...what a bummer for you, new horse and all. Good luck! :sadsmile:

lolalola
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:08 PM
Check out www.escobuff.com He is a master farrier who has had excellent results treating navicular.

nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:11 PM
EqTrainer, first thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them. He is a lovebug and he has the kindest soul I've ever encountered.

Trainers at his previous barn were warning me about getting back on him. They said his 'mind would be gone'. They scared me so badly that his 10 weeks of complete stall rest stretched into 13. One day I got up my nerve, threw a saddle on him and it was like he hadn't had any time off at all. A complete saint.

Anyway, back to your question, I'd really rather not have this turn into a natural trimming debate, if that's what you mean. I've read them before- read one before I started this thread, in fact - and they just get ugly.

This is an extremely sad thread for me and I'm guessing for everyone who's shared their experiences. I don't want it to be a place for popcorn and insults. I'm so stressed, that I'll stop reading the thread, and I need to keep reading it, so I can hear other people's stories.

If that's not what you meant, by all means, ask away! I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

cloudyandcallie, you're absolutely correct. I gravely feared that he'd suffer a bad colic or traumatic injury, but did not foresee this at all. I hope the pony is still doing well.


takeflight, thank you very much for the link. I'm very happy that your gelding is doing so much better.


It's a downpour, vxf111. He came up lame on the left both times his right was blocked. When the 3rd vet blocked the left, he went completely sound. He showed significant heel pain when his feet were tested. The first and second vets saw that too, but just told me to use Durasole, which I did.

I asked the 3rd, most recent vet, about Adequan when he told me he was going to inject him. He said that Adequan was like bricks, the straight HA (Legend by another name) he was going to inject was the brick wall. I'm in Texas; that's how we talk here.

Go Fish, thank you.

My wish right now is that the treatment will work for my guy and that he'll be comfortable in the pasture and maybe even be okay taking an easy ride around a trail every now and then. Today he was walking around the pasture like a prince. Beautiful long stride up front with his back swinging. He tends to follow me around and I kept turning back just to watch him coming towards me. It was lovely.

It's been so strange. He's been off for 5 of the 6 months I've owned him, so he's bonded with me as his buddy, but not his rider. When I approach him with any type of tack, most recently to try the fit of several western headstalls, he does a double take. He'll walk right up to me in the pasture and will lower his head to take the bit readily, right out in the field, but it's always with a, "Really? You going there, today?", look about him.

vxf111
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:19 PM
I asked the 3rd, most recent vet, about Adequan when he told me he was going to inject him. He said that Adequan was like bricks, the straight HA (Legend by another name) he was going to inject was the brick wall. I'm in Texas; that's how we talk here.

I think the vet thought you were referring to Adequan IA. You can also, in ADDITION to IA injections, use Adequan IM. I've had excellent results with it for all my horses. But it sounds like you're on the right path, at least for now, with what your current vet is suggesting.

How is the horse since getting (I assume both) navicular bursa injected? Any improvement?

EqTrainer
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:28 PM
Oh, I am definately NOT interested in a barefoot/farrier brouhaha!

I was thinking more on the lines of trying to get some answers about how the amount of wedge diagnosed is decided upon, does it depend on if the horse currently has underrun heels? Long toe low heel syndrome? Do they only recommend wedging if the horse's joint spaces and angles are misaligned on radiograph? If they are not misaligned do they recommend wedging anyway? If so, what happens then... if done, how is this helpful? If conversely, the horse has *high* heels, how/when/why would you decide to lower them? Radiographs?

How does an owner, going into this, know how to judge the shoeing decisions/shoeing package performed? Does the vet need to review it? More radiographs?

As you can see, I am full of questions :) but I can easily copy this and take it to another thread.. it's just easier with all these navicular diagnosis referenced on this thread.

nervousalter
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:34 PM
vxf111, he's been doing much better, I'm just hoping it lasts. I'll ask the vet about Adequan IM in addition to the HA injections.

Oh and, yes, both feet were injected.

lolalola, didn't see you there when I posted. Thank you for the link.

EqTrainer, consider your questions asked. If I were thinking more clearly, I'd have asked the same questions. Thank you.

FatPalomino
Feb. 25, 2009, 11:34 PM
To the OP, he looks like a sweetheart. I've personally got something only very slightly more than zero faith in supplements, nutraceuticals, etc. for chronic mechanical problems.

By all means I'd enlist the help of an expert farrier, and I even think that trying barefoot sounds very reasonable, if there is no other compelling reason to shoe him, especially if he's going to be given some time to adapt and reshape his feet.

In the end, if he just can't be made comfry , a neurectomy can be a humane solution.

I concur ;) Your horse looks like a doll.

I have seen an older, very crippled mare with adv. navicular come riding sound. It took an amazing vet/farrier team and time.

The "Fat Palomino" probably has navicular along with his list of other problems. We have not x rayed to confirm (it won't change what we are doing). He is sound in Epona shoes (http://www.eponashoe.com/) ... which we picked after I commented on how much better he rode in soft footing. Footing in the arena may make a huge difference.

We also use Adequan. I fed Cosequin for years and never saw a difference and it certainly has not eliminated arthritis. We don't have enough x rays in a series to determine if it slowed down the degenerative changes.

We have found that our "Fat Palomino" is a lot sounder and happier when he is thin. Well, as thin as we can make a huge QH that lives off air.

Light, consistent work also helps our horse.

Drugs are given when needed (super hard, frozen ground, etc). He's gotten wise to our favored bute and we used Previcoxx/Equioxx. It's safer long term, easy to give ( a tiny tablet) and his lameness is minor, so it's effective. For serious lameness (knock on wood, has been longer than I remember) we did give him decent doses of bute.

Neurectomy's are not for every horse. I have seen many do amazing with them, and I would nerve my own horse (if needed).

Good luck and keep us updated.

J.D.
Feb. 26, 2009, 07:34 AM
I would like to add that it is quite possible to heal navicular with correct trimming and creating heel loading. Ringbone is a different story, but even that can and has improved by making sure the hooves are trimmed balanced to internal hoof structures. Navicular is no longer an issue for Pete Ramey: http://www.hoofrehab.com/end_of_white_line_disease.htm#Navicular

Most likely management practices as outlined above will eventually lead to further breakdown of what is already going on, as it so happened with a horse belonging to a friend's client. Also diagnosed with navicular, was eventually put in natural balance shoes and recently re-evaluated. Horse is now more sore than ever. :(

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11191614?ordinalpos=43&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

J.D.
Feb. 26, 2009, 08:13 AM
It sounds like you are getting good advice...Pete Ramey (farrier) is also a good resource. Google him. Just wanted to send you good thoughts...what a bummer for you, new horse and all. Good luck! :sadsmile:

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654355?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

tpup
Feb. 26, 2009, 02:15 PM
My older gelding flexed a "2" on front left during PPE. We xrayed, found "moderate" change in navicular bone. I bought him Nov. 07, removed his horrible shoe job (it was terrible - underrun heels to boot, infections in frogs.) Got a great trimmer from KC La Pierre's group (theperfecthoof.com) - did few rounds of Perfect Hoof Wear. Then to continued barefoot - was able to ride the entire time starting few months after shoes came off. One year later, flexes perfectly with different vets from the practice we use - top lameness vets in our area BTW, sound and rides barefoot all the time, including on the trails except for hard, dry summer ground when I use Easyboots.

So barefoot is an option - not the only one, but definitely one to consider. I would have absolutely used corrective shoeing if he needed it. But if you can find a good, barefoot trimmer who understands the function of the hoof and has nav. experience, he/she can be worth their weight in gold.

hunterhorse22
Feb. 26, 2009, 03:24 PM
Hunterhorse22, was your vet at all concerned with the weight or concussion of the steel shoes? That would be my only fear with them. I'll have to ask mine if he said "aluminum" out of habit or preference.

No, he wasn't concerned about the weight or possible concussion of steel shoes. Although the weight affects his movement slightly, he is sound, which is all I care about. If he had aluminum shoes, he'd move a 10, but with the added weight of the steel barshoes and the wedges, he moves an 8/9. His feet are structurally sound and he grows hoof, but perhaps with a poorer quality hoof steel would present a problem. The thing I like the most about the steel is that it takes A LOT longer to wear, which for him is better support wise during the 6-8 weeks he not being shod. I have a feeling he would wear right through aluminum, which in my opinion, would sort of defeat the purpose of fabricating shoes to support the hoof. If he wears them down to nothing, they aren't doing much good. He is a large horse, and tends to drag his feet some, so I probably wouldn't even put aluminum on him if he didn't have navicular! It also helps defray some of the cost for me since I can get a reset from the steel shoes. Talk to a good vet and a good farrier. My farrier checks back in frequently with my vet just to keep a line of communication going, which I greatly appreciate!

imapepper
Feb. 26, 2009, 06:18 PM
I didn't read all of the posts but I have been managing a navicular horse for the last 13 years. He is now 24 and still riding sound. He does light flatwork and is occasionally allowed to jump a little but I do not let him jump over 2 ft...he was purchased originally to be my DH's AO jumper and really thinks he is hot stuff when we indulge him and let him jump a little.

I would get a second opinion from another vet. Not so much for diagnosis but for alternate treatment options. I have had great luck with my guy by just having a competent farrier. He is wearing Natural Balance shoes and has stayed very sound and I am not maintaining him on any injections. He just gets a joint supplement that is probably more for my benefit than his. I have also had success in the past with neurectomy (sp?). We had a school horse that was particularly painful in one foot that retired happily with the neurectomy as my mom's trail horse. He was ridden once a year whether he needed it or not :rolleyes: He was very sound for the rest of his life and I constantly had to lecture my mom about letting a navicular horse get sooo fat :eek:

Good luck with finding some alternatives for your boy. It can be managed and he could come back riding sound....but will require careful maintenance.

BornToRide
Feb. 27, 2009, 11:54 AM
:rolleyes::rolleyes:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654355?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
Yes, and your point is?? Suppose those horses have a tendency to grow upright hooves and are not trimmed correctly, which seems to be a common problem among hoof care professionals worldwide, then that would cause the pathology and not the genetic predisposition.

Many horse care professionals have no clue what a healthy balanced hoof actually looks like!This study also never mentions the hoof form of the horses who participated in the study, which means important clues are potentially missing.

LD1129
Feb. 27, 2009, 12:42 PM
Sorry to hear about your boy. My Appendix I bought as an auction horse at 6 years old he was diagnosed with Navicular about 2 years later. We stopped jumping and took up dressage and gave him the drug Arquel which was amazing! After about 6 months his back got too bad and he was uncomfortable. I put him down May 2008, hardest thing I have ever done, he was the horse of a lifetime :sadsmile: Here are some things I tried.

1. Tried bar shoes, he kept pulling them off so then we tried wedge pads which we kept on.

2. lots of turn out, got so stiff in stall.

3. Arquel (drug) - its great and on bad days can be used with Bute. And legal to show on one or both (we did recognized dressage) as long as its the right amount.

4. I started him immediately on a joint supplement. I used the one from Springtime inc. however any joint sup should be fine.

5. His back was eventually injected as well as his hocks. We did not do Isoxoprine (sp??) in the joint the vet felt it would not help him at that time.


I spared no expense on treatments and worked close with my trainer, vet and farrier. Eventually he could not stay sound even in the pasture. At his necropsy at New Bolton they said he navicular was extremely severe and much worse then we all thought. At least at that point I knew I had done the right thing.


Good luck with your guy!

Petalstorm
Feb. 27, 2009, 10:33 PM
I am managing a horse that has navicular changes and mild ringbone. I emphasize the word "managing" because that is what you have to do with these horses. These are not issues that can be fixed, you help the horse by trying different things and you get them comfortable, so that they can do their job.

DO NOT pull his shoes. In my experience, the lack of sole depth that most of these horses have makes being barefoot a loosing proposition for these guys. My horse had been barefoot out in pasture for three years and it didn't solve his navicular pain. (and yes, his trim was just fine)

We now have him in (natural balance) PLR shoes (http://www.hopeforsoundness.com/edss/store/perfprod.html#PLR)
with magic cushion and pads. He gets done every 5 weeks.
This, along with 42 Isoxsuprine 2 times per day and MSM have done the trick.

My big boy is SOUND and happily doing his job; going hunting twice a week, covering about 18-20 miles per hunt.

Don't give up hope yet. Remember this is a management issue and stay open to trying different things until you find what works.

A good farrier is ABSOLUTELY essential.
It is make it or break it with these horses.
Do you have any Natural Balance farriers in your area?

J.D.
Feb. 27, 2009, 11:23 PM
Yes, and your point is?? Suppose those horses have a tendency to grow upright hooves and are not trimmed correctly, which seems to be a common problem among hoof care professionals worldwide, then that would cause the pathology and not the genetic predisposition.

Many horse care professionals have no clue what a healthy balanced hoof actually looks like!This study also never mentions the hoof form of the horses who participated in the study, which means important clues are potentially missing.


Not unlike yourself, i was just throwing out some "real" science into the conversation/read.:eek::yes:

Rick Burten
Feb. 28, 2009, 10:54 AM
...Pete Ramey (farrier)

Pete Ramey is no longer a farrier and has not been one for quite some time.

BornToRide
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:16 AM
DO NOT pull his shoes. In my experience, the lack of sole depth that most of these horses have makes being barefoot a loosing proposition for these guys. My horse had been barefoot out in pasture for three years and it didn't solve his navicular pain. (and yes, his trim was just fine)

I would question the lack of sole depth because navicular does not = lack of sole depth.

Lack of sole depth is usually created by a diet too high in NSCs and/or peripheral hoof wall loading, that makes the coffin bone hang more form the connective tiisue (laminae) and if those are weaker, the internal structures will come down along with the sole. The degree depends on the weakness of the connective tissue.

All the navicular horse I have seen did not lack solar concavity.

I would love to see the trim on the horse you mentioned and am also wondering if he had some additional or other problem, like an unrecognized frog infection and perhaps not true navicular as it is often a catch all term for all heel pain.

Patty Stiller
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:37 AM
Lack of sole depth is usually created by a diet too high in NSCs and/or peripheral hoof wall loading,that makes the coffin bone hang more form the connective tissue (laminae) and if those are weaker, the internal structures will come down along with the sole. Oh REALLY? I am so tired of some bare footers blaming all poor quality hooves on feed and shoeing. There is GENETIC factor in many cases of weak hooves and thin or flat soles. I have raised TB's with different parents side by side and had some with great hooves,nice concavity and thick soles but some with thin soles and flat hooves, raised at the same time on the exact same management, same diet, outdoors in the same field and ALL barefoot since birth with no "peripheral loading".
The degree depends on the weakness of the connective tissue.Yep, the potential quality of connective tissue they received when the sire jumped on the dam.
All the navicular horse I have seen did not lack solar concavity.You haven't seen or treated nearly enough navicular horses, then.

BornToRide
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:45 AM
Oh REALLY? I am so tired of some bare footers blaming all poor quality hooves on feed and shoeing. There is GENETIC factor in many cases of weak hooves and thin or flat soles.
And I am getting really tired of people bashing any possible contributing factor. And I did not say all - YOU did.

Of course there can be exceptions, but fact is that a very high percentage of horses are affected by what they are eating. And how do we know? Because they improve once the diet is managed better!



I have raised TB's with different parents side by side and had some with great hooves,nice concavity and thick soles but some with thin soles and flat hooves, raised at the same time on the exact same management, same diet, outdoors in the same field and ALL barefoot since birth with no "peripheral loading".
Perfect, that illustrates very well to me that you do not take into consideration possible individual digestive issues that might interfere with nutrient take up and thereby affecting hoof health.

If I had 3 horses and one isn't doing as well as others I would dig deeper and not just blame genetics for it, because usually there IS a reason for it. So far I have found one every time.



You haven't seen or treated nearly enough navicular horses, then.
Seems to me that I could say the same about you then.

Rick Burten
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:47 AM
Lack of sole depth is usually created by a diet too high in NSCs and/or peripheral hoof wall loading,

Balderdash! You keep making these pronouncements as though they were fact, when in fact, regardless of who or how many times it is requested of you, you fail to provide even one scintilla of substantiating/corroborating evidence of the same.


that makes the coffin bone hang more form the connective tiisue (laminae) and if those are weaker, the internal structures will come down along with the sole. The degree depends on the weakness of the connective tissue.

How does the coffin bone 'hang more from the laminae" than it otherwise would?


All the navicular horse I have seen did not lack solar concavity.

Your vast experience not withstanding, you need to see more horses.

Rick Burten
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:50 AM
You haven't seen or treated nearly enough navicular horses, then.

How can you possibly say that? :eek: After all, BTR claims to have a custom that is comprised of 65 +/- horses. And everyone knows that that is an astounding amount with which to gather information and do research. ;)

Rick Burten
Feb. 28, 2009, 11:53 AM
Seems to me that I could say the same about you then.

ROTFLMFAO!!!

You haven't a clue about that which you speak.

Sometimes, as the adage goes, "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt".........

Parker_Rider
Feb. 28, 2009, 12:42 PM
In addition to possibly helping your poor boy with corrective shoeing, we always put our horses in CO on isoxsuprine to increase circulation. Colorado is notorious for turning out horses with bad navicular and isox helps to mitigate some of those effects. You do need a prescription for it, but it's not too expensive. It could help in addition to other supplements, though it sounds like your boy is far along in the disease. Good luck, though, I hope you're able to help him get back to being comfortable and hopefully having a job!

411
Feb. 28, 2009, 10:15 PM
In addition to possibly helping your poor boy with corrective shoeing, we always put our horses in CO on isoxsuprine to increase circulation. Colorado is notorious for turning out horses with bad navicular and isox helps to mitigate some of those effects. You do need a prescription for it, but it's not too expensive.
Not trying to hijack but you are not the first to say isox isn't expensive. My navicular horse is on the liquid version which I'm paying $125 a bottle for from the vet. The cheapest source I've found is Rood & Riddle online for $90 (plus $15 or so shipping). Not my idea of cheap, given it lasts just over a month. Are the pills cheaper? As effective?

To the OP, definitely get with the best farrier you can find. I'm lucky mine works closely with my vet. We tried one other approach before discovering what worked for my guy -- bar shoes and pour pads. I too was devastated when I got my diagnosis but he's going incredibly well, is pain free and happy. Best of luck to you.

Parker_Rider
Feb. 28, 2009, 10:30 PM
http://www.smartpakequine.com/productclass.aspx?productClassid=497

411 - If you're on the highest possible dose of isoxsuprine, it ranges from $30/mo (pills) to $59 (powder), and that's in a SmartPak which is a little bit more expensive. There's also a 1000 pill bottle for $36... so yeah, if you can get it at the right place, it's relatively inexpensive as far as supplements go (considering a daily dewormer is closer to 40-45 a bucket, just as a comparison). It sounds like you should switch suppliers if you're paying more! :) We had good luck staving off navicular in my old horse with the pills, who was 15 and plugging (or rather, bucking) his way around the 2'6"-2'9" ring every weekend for two years. He had mild navicular, but it never progressed while he was with us and on isox pills. You might have to grind them up in a mortar and pessell (sp?) if your horse is a picky eater, though (rather than buy powder form which is more expensive).

411
Feb. 28, 2009, 10:40 PM
Thank you -- Parker Rider. I'll look into that! :)

Petalstorm
Mar. 1, 2009, 08:41 PM
411, The 1000 pill bottles are the way to go for Isox. A very economical alternative. Either grind it (use a blade type grinder, I burned up a couple burr types) or do what I do; wet the food down with warm water and the pills will disolve. Easy!

Stacie
Mar. 1, 2009, 10:55 PM
Is there a dosage where the Isox can be fed once a day?

Patty Stiller
Mar. 2, 2009, 10:25 PM
In addition to possibly helping your poor boy with corrective shoeing, we always put our horses in CO on isoxsuprine to increase circulation. LMAO! And the vet in your area who is spreading that junk and making a fortune selling whole barns on bottles of isox is SO off track on this one.

I don't care who he is (actually I know who he is) He says it is the "altitude" that causes it. :lol:
Think about this . You are only a mile high there in Parker. Big whoop.
I shoe lots of horses(as well as do many of my farrier associates) way up at 7500-8000 feet and NONE of the horses I shoe up there get navicular problems.
The real reasons that so many of the show barns in your area are afflicted with navicular type problems is the proliferation of long toe under run heel shoeing, (long breakover points in the hooves) , and in some barns a lack of enough turn out. THAT is why.
Colorado is notorious for turning out horses with bad navicular BALONEY.
and isox helps to mitigate some of those effects. It is not treating the true cause. But it probably makes the vet lots of money because of the volume he prescribes and sells.
Changing the shoeing should be the first line of attack in treating navicular syndrome and disease. Usually a correct shoeing and sometimes changes in management mitigates the issues enough that drugs will not be necessary.

caballus
Mar. 3, 2009, 10:30 AM
Baseline foundation for any issues is to ensure a correct trim for the individual HOOF on the individual HORSE ... shod or not. Chemicals, drugs, etc. will do nothing except hide or treat the "symptoms" ... the symptoms being the navicular and ringbone; they'll do nothing for the root cause of the issue.

The ringbone and navicular scream incorrect hoofcare for a long time. i.e. imbalanced and incorrectly trimmed hooves.

If this were my horse I'd pull shoes and somehow find a hoofcare provider, whether or not trimmer or farrier makes no difference but at least someone who has in depth knowledge of how to correctly trim individual hooves. Give him some time off ... do a lot of walking in hand everywhere, spend time with him and let him rehab a bit. Walking on a smooth, non-gravely hard surface (think road) will go a long way to helping his feet come back to a healthy state. At least 10 mins or more a day. The added non-stress time for you and him will also go a long way to helping create a wonderful partnership between the two of you.

Both ringbone and navicular can be helped in this manner. Get his hooves trimmed up correctly, keep up with the regular hoofcare and then just let him be a horse for awhile. Recheck in about 4 months or so and see how he's doing then.

Petalstorm
Mar. 3, 2009, 11:27 AM
The Isox "thing" is almost (and I emphasize, almost) as polarizing as the barefoot vs shoes issue. All I can tell you is that Isox has helped the horse that I am managing now and it helped a mare that I had several years ago. Both are OTTB's with very flat feet and navicular. They were both barefoot for a long time and had good trims ie. not long toes etc. Hey, I didn't want to spend well over 100.00 every 6 weeks for shoes. I am all for keeping horses barefoot IF they are comfortable doing their job that way. These two horses were miserable on gravel roads (even after years being barefoot) and hard ground and it was the right shoeing that got them comfortable and landing heel first.

BornToRide
Mar. 3, 2009, 11:55 AM
Baseline foundation for any issues is to ensure a correct trim for the individual HOOF on the individual HORSE ... shod or not. Chemicals, drugs, etc. will do nothing except hide or treat the "symptoms" ... the symptoms being the navicular and ringbone; they'll do nothing for the root cause of the issue.

The ringbone and navicular scream incorrect hoofcare for a long time. i.e. imbalanced and incorrectly trimmed hooves.

If this were my horse I'd pull shoes and somehow find a hoofcare provider, whether or not trimmer or farrier makes no difference but at least someone who has in depth knowledge of how to correctly trim individual hooves. Give him some time off ... do a lot of walking in hand everywhere, spend time with him and let him rehab a bit. Walking on a smooth, non-gravely hard surface (think road) will go a long way to helping his feet come back to a healthy state. At least 10 mins or more a day. The added non-stress time for you and him will also go a long way to helping create a wonderful partnership between the two of you.

Both ringbone and navicular can be helped in this manner. Get his hooves trimmed up correctly, keep up with the regular hoofcare and then just let him be a horse for awhile. Recheck in about 4 months or so and see how he's doing then.
Could not agree more.

Petalstorm
Mar. 3, 2009, 05:25 PM
Navicular horses ALWAYS feel better when they have time off.
That alone isn't going to tell you anything!

I myself have not so great feet after two kids, ageing, they were flat to begin with, etc..If I run around on hard tile floors all day with barefeet, my feet will ache. If I sit around all day and don't spend a lot of time on my feet, yes, my feet won't hurt, but I would have been sedentary all day, with all the negatives associated with that.

Navicular is a MANAGEMENT thing. It's about getting these horses comfortable WHILE they are doing a job! Yes, it would be great if every horse had perfect hoof care from birth and that there were not conformational issues that predispose certain horses to this problem but that is not the way that it is. I had a really good mare that I didn't know had Navicular issues when we bred her but later found out that she did. She was already bred so we hoped against hope that her baby would take after the sire. No such luck. The baby had thin soled, flat feet just like the dam . And sadder yet, had ugly x-rays and lameness by 2 years old despite great hoof care. We were EXTRA careful with her hoofcare. I really believe that someday a genetic componant will be scientifically proven regarding Navicular.

This is not a curable thing. It's a management thing. Maybe with some horses where the trimming/shoeing is way off and the toes are way too long, etc then merely getting a proper trim will help things, but most of us have educated and talented farriers that know better than to do that stuff. It takes finding the right shoeing, perhaps pads, perhaps a different job for the horse, being carefull about footing, medicine, supplements etc. A differnt RX for each horse.

Find what works for each horse to keep them comfortable and then let them do their job.

caballus
Mar. 3, 2009, 07:25 PM
Navicular horses ALWAYS feel better when they have time off.
That alone isn't going to tell you anything!

I myself have not so great feet after two kids, ageing, they were flat to begin with, etc..If I run around on hard tile floors all day with barefeet, my feet will ache. If I sit around all day and don't spend a lot of time on my feet, yes, my feet won't hurt, but I would have been sedentary all day, with all the negatives associated with that. Well, thank goodness you're not a horse cause a horse being a horse isn't going to sit around all day unless they've got their food, water, social life all right in front of them in a small area.


Navicular is a MANAGEMENT thing. Navicular is a *syndrome* ... a *symptom* unless the "syndrome" has been allowed to go on far too long without correct care and then with bone spurs, degeneration of the bone or calcium deposits it becomes more of a "disease". What most vets and others around these parts call "Navicular" is nothing more than what it is ... "Caudal Heel Pain" and that CAN be corrected.
It's about getting these horses comfortable WHILE they are doing a job! Yes, it would be great if every horse had perfect hoof care from birth and that there were not conformational issues that predispose certain horses to this problem but that is not the way that it is. I had a really good mare that I didn't know had Navicular issues when we bred her but later found out that she did. She was already bred so we hoped against hope that her baby would take after the sire. No such luck. The baby had thin soled, flat feet just like the dam . And sadder yet, had ugly x-rays and lameness by 2 years old despite great hoof care. Tell us a bit about how this baby was kept ... was he/she allowed to move around as much as he/she wanted? Out 24/7 on varied types of ground? or was she stalled much of the time with her dam in a "controlled" environment? Thin soles, flat feet do not necessarily spell out Navicular. Thin soles CAN be rectified with proper care.
We were EXTRA careful with her hoofcare. I really believe that someday a genetic componant will be scientifically proven regarding Navicular. Again, what was your 'extra care'? What did it involve? Navicular is not a genetic disposition. It is a mechanical failure.


This is not a curable thing. It's a management thing. Maybe with some horses where the trimming/shoeing is way off and the toes are way too long, etc then merely getting a proper trim will help things, but most of us have educated and talented farriers that know better than to do that stuff. Do what stuff? Giving a proper trim and managing the horse in a way that is beneficial to the most movement possible? Are you saying that your farriers "know better than that"? What, pray tell, would be better than proper hoofcare and well formed and functioning hooves?
It takes finding the right shoeing, perhaps pads, perhaps a different job for the horse, being carefull about footing, medicine, supplements etc. A differnt RX for each horse. While I agree about finding the correect mgt. for each horse I disagree heartily that Navicular cannot be remediated without shoes, pads, wedges, etc.


Find what works for each horse to keep them comfortable and then let them do their job. Again, I'll repeat ... the proper TRIMMING of the hooves for each hoof-in-hand on each horse is the base foundation for ANY hoof malady. ... shoes or no shoes. If the trim isn't correct then the shoes aren't going to correct the core root of the problem and will only hide the true issue.

We'll have to agree to disagree on most of this, I guess. :)

Tom Stovall
Mar. 3, 2009, 08:12 PM
caballus in gray, stuff deleted

Navicular is a *syndrome*.

Here in Texas, a "syndrome" is a group of symptoms associated with a particular pathology.

a *symptom* unless the "syndrome" has been allowed to go on far too long without correct care and then with bone spurs, degeneration of the bone or calcium deposits it becomes more of a "disease".

Most vets hereabouts don't use the meaningless term "navicular disease" anymore, they mostly call any toe-down-first presentation, "palmar hoof pain" as it's symptomatic of any number of pathologies affecting the navicular bone and the distal/palmar aspect of the distal interphalangeal joint. In other words, anything from a bruise to the navicular bursa to a fractured distal sesamoid to an exostosis on the bone.

What most vets and others around these parts call "Navicular" is nothing more than what it is ... "Caudal Heel Pain" and that CAN be corrected.

If palmar hoof pain is indicative of a fracture, bony changes, tendon, or ligament damage, Jesus Christ couldn't "correct" it if God was giving directions.

Thin soles CAN be rectified with proper care. Again, what was your 'extra care'? What did it involve? Navicular is not a genetic disposition. It is a mechanical failure.

LMAO! You're kidding, right? I can think of an entire breed of horses that is genetically predisposed to pathologies associated with the navicular area. By the way, that breed is the most popular breed in the United States in terms of registrations every year. Humongous bodies atop tiny feet makes for navicular problems looking for a place to happen. It has to do with volumetric capacity of he hoof capsule and the hydraulic redirection of forces - and it's damn sure genetic.

Again, I'll repeat ... the proper TRIMMING of the hooves for each hoof-in-hand on each horse is the base foundation for ANY hoof malady. ... shoes or no shoes. If the trim isn't correct then the shoes aren't going to correct the core root of the problem and will only hide the true issue.

Correct farriery presumes correct trimming - but when DNA deals the horse a bad hand, it's always a management issue, not a "correction" issue.

We'll have to agree to disagree on most of this, I guess.

No problem. I don't have any problem at all disagreeing with somebody who touts homeopathy despite being made aware of Avogadro's number. :)

J.D.
Mar. 3, 2009, 09:00 PM
caballus-Baseline foundation for any issues is to ensure a correct trim for the individual HOOF on the individual HORSE ... shod or not.issues are the point. issues are present/past event. in most cases with hoof care pros, it's a past event and therefore a management protocol.






Chemicals, drugs, etc. will do nothing except hide or treat the "symptoms" ... the symptoms being the navicular and ringbone; they'll do nothing for the root cause of the issue. "root cause" has already occurred. managing the issue(s) is the present problem


The ringbone and navicular scream incorrect hoofcare for a long time. i.e. imbalanced and incorrectly trimmed hooves. see above, can you change the past of a horse that was not under your care? i.e.-disruptive sidebone or navicular? more comfortable but no cure.


If this were my horse I'd pull shoes and somehow find a hoofcare provider, whether or not trimmer or farrier makes no difference but at least someone who has in depth knowledge of how to correctly trim individual hooves. yes, how about a good vet and some rads to help achieve balance beyond landmarks. thoroughness as a good hoof care professional






Give him some time off ... do a lot of walking in hand everywhere, spend time with him and let him rehab a bit. Walking on a smooth, non-gravely hard surface (think road) will go a long way to helping his feet come back to a healthy state. At least 10 mins or more a day. The added non-stress time for you and him will also go a long way to helping create a wonderful partnership between the two of you. no pea gravel? no enviroment induced change? oh, the one with the horse thing. one will still have the pathology whether one bonds or not.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Parker_Rider
Mar. 4, 2009, 12:18 AM
Patty Stiller... it has absolutely nothing to do with elevation. That's not even a factor. It's the hard and rocky ground that makes horses here foot sore. It's not just one vet, it's something I have heard my entire life (being around horses for ~20 years and a CO native) from every single trainer (h/j and saddleseat) I have been with out here, every single farrier and every single vet. Isox isn't used to cure the problem, it's used to increase blood circulation so that the horse can be more comfortable. It's not a cure-all and it's certainly not going to be useful on every single horse. But we've had excellent results with it on all our horses who campaign hard on the show circuit. It's worth a shot to anyone who wants to try everything that's safe and economically possible to keep their horses comfortable and in a job with navicular. I never discounted the fact that good shoeing is definitely a factor, either, because I <3 my farrier and have personally felt the difference between a great farrier and a lousy one.
And my vet is one of the top lameness vets in the country, who definitely doesn't need my money from a prescription of isox to keep his money rolling in. My lame horses do that for him ;)

Peter026
Mar. 4, 2009, 09:37 AM
Just for peoples. Info on Isoxuprine

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.

Isoxsuprine hydrochloride has been suggested for use in horses for treatment of navicular syndrome and laminitis. The drug has been shown to be a beta-adrenoreceptor antagonist with beta-adrenoreceptor agonistic properties, with both characteristics contributing to vasodilation and uterine relaxation. In addition, the drug is capable of decreasing blood viscosity and platelet aggregation. Studies have shown i.v. isoxsuprine to have a plasma half-life of <3 h with a large apparent volume of distribution. Cardiovascular effects resolve rapidly following i.v. administration, but are absent with oral dosing. Oral bioavailability is 2.2% with a high first pass effect. Isoxsuprine has an apparent affinity for melanin that may contribute to extended renal excretion. Clinical trials appear to support the use of isoxsuprine for treatment of navicular disease. However, poor bioavailability, lack of cardiovascular effects following oral administration, superficial support in clinical trials, and new evidence regarding the pathogenesis of navicular syndrome indicate that the use of isoxsuprine for treatment of navicular syndrome or laminitis is questionable at best.

Petalstorm
Mar. 4, 2009, 10:34 AM
"Isoxsuprine hydrochloride has been suggested for use in horses for treatment of navicular syndrome and laminitis. The drug has been shown to be a beta-adrenoreceptor antagonist with beta-adrenoreceptor agonistic properties, with both characteristics contributing to vasodilation and uterine relaxation. In addition, the drug is capable of decreasing blood viscosity and platelet aggregation. Studies have shown i.v. isoxsuprine to have a plasma half-life of <3 h with a large apparent volume of distribution. Cardiovascular effects resolve rapidly following i.v. administration, but are absent with oral dosing. Oral bioavailability is 2.2% with a high first pass effect. Isoxsuprine has an apparent affinity for melanin that may contribute to extended renal excretion. Clinical trials appear to support the use of isoxsuprine for treatment of navicular disease. However, poor bioavailability, lack of cardiovascular effects following oral administration, superficial support in clinical trials, and new evidence regarding the pathogenesis of navicular syndrome indicate that the use of isoxsuprine for treatment of navicular syndrome or laminitis is questionable at best."

This infoo has been out for awhile. All that I can tell you that this drug has helped my horses.

Blinky
Mar. 4, 2009, 11:11 AM
Wow-Not sure how all this infighting is helping the OP.

BornToRide
Mar. 4, 2009, 12:05 PM
Navicular is a MANAGEMENT thing. It's about getting these horses comfortable WHILE they are doing a job!
Absolutely wrong and unfair to the horse! True navicular CAN be eliminated with correct trimming unless the damage has advanced so far that the horse is crippled beyong repair. If you treat a navicular horse only by managing the symptoms rather than creating a consistently healthy heel loading hoof you are most certainly risking crippling this horse forever at some point later in life!

By holding on to traditional beliefs and treatment options when it comes to navicular syndrome, rather than giving the horse some time off barefoot with correct trimming, you continue to be part of the problem, and not the solution.

Rick Burten
Mar. 4, 2009, 12:42 PM
True navicular CAN be eliminated with correct trimming unless the damage has advanced so far that the horse is crippled beyong repair.
No, it can't. It never has and it never will. (Please reference Mr. Stovall's post #68, above)

OTOH, Caudal Heel Pain Syndrome(mistakenly referred to by some [apparently BTR included] as Navicular/Navicular Disease, can and usually is, remediated by proper management protocols, including trimming and/or shoeing.

Patty Stiller
Mar. 4, 2009, 12:51 PM
Patty Stiller... it has absolutely nothing to do with elevation. The oldest and most respected veterinarian who is saying this DOES say its the " Altitude".
That's not even a factor. And you are correct it is NOT that factor, but the vets SAYS it is.
It's the hard and rocky ground that makes horses here foot sore. Footsore from rocks has NOTHING to do with navicular syndrome. It does not involve the same part of the foot.
It's not just one vet, it's something I have heard my entire life from every single trainer and saddleseat) (being around horses for ~20 years and a CO native) It IS not anything I have heard except from trainers in your area, and I have been around horses 40 years, and a professional farrier for nearly 30 of that ,and here in Colorado for the last 7. And there are more sore saddleseat horses due to having LONG TOES and a LONG BREAKOVER POINT IN THE TOES than from anything else.

I have been with out here, every single farrier and every single vet. Isox isn't used to cure the problem, it's used to increase blood circulation so that the horse can be more comfortable. There is no scienitific consensus that isox actually increases blood flow in the hooves. However, poor shoeing and too much stabling can sure decrease it.
It's not a cure-all and it's certainly not going to be useful on every single horse. But we've had excellent results with it on all our horses who campaign hard on the show circuit. its the shoe shoeing and the excess stabling that is causing the problem in the first place. Those horses CAN be shod in a manner that does not detrimentally affect the hooves yet and still have the shoe movement but I don't see it in your area,. I see a lot of long toes without a roll, no frog support, obviously contracted heels etc. So go ahead, cover the shoeing problems up with drugs if you want.
It's worth a shot to anyone who wants to try everything that's safe and economically possible to keep their horses comfortable and in a job with navicular.Whats worth the BEST shot is proper shoeing.

And my vet is one of the top lameness vets in the country, There are some vets in your area who have indeed built a great reputation over the years, yet still have their heads up their butt when it comes to seeing improper hoof balance and shoeing as the etiology of the very problems they keep treating.
who definitely doesn't need my money from a prescription of isox to keep his money rolling in. My lame horses do that for him If you are spending that much money with the vet on your lame horses, then you maybe need to look for the true cause of all that lameness, instead of just treating symptoms.;)

Petalstorm
Mar. 4, 2009, 01:37 PM
BornToRide; Both of the Navicular horses that I have recently MANAGED were barefoot and were getting proper trims. Both were thin soled, flat footed OTTB's that we worked hard to improve sole concavity on but never got much in the way of improvement. BTW, My horses live outside and are on grass hay.

As soon as they were put into regualr work they got sore. Hoof boots rubbed the hell out of them and were never safe for jumping.
They could not hold up to working comfortably without shoes. Do you work your horses?
After shoes and isox , able to be ridden, without shoes and isox, not.
PERIOD. End of story

Parker_Rider
Mar. 4, 2009, 03:32 PM
I like how Ms. Patty didn't address the part of my post where I said that corrective and good shoeing and farreir work is definitely a part of the equation. Egg Bar shoes also helped out my navicular horse a while back. Farrier work - by a GOOD farrier - is important, no one is disputing that (all arguing over barefoot v. shoes aside :))! But OP, make sure your farrier is not just "a farrier" and knows what (s)he's doing, because nothing can escalate the problem/ruin a horse like a guy who treats every horse the same, or just isn't very good.
(And I know what the cause of my horse's lameness is... and it's not navicular. Too bad at this point there's no way to actually *treat* a torn collateral ligament in her stifle.)
To the OP, there's not just one cure-all solution to the issue (oh it would be nice if there were though!)... you'll probably have to try a lot of things, the first being talking to your farrier. The second is isox or another supplement could help. But time off, like many others have said, definitely works wonders with these guys, as painful as it is for us riders/owners. Aside from all the infighting (whoops!), you've gotten a lot of great advice from people on here, and any one of them could work for your boy - I hope they do!!
ETA: I was just reading that Colo. State Univ. is doing new research on the effect of Tildren on navicular. Tildren, as it is right now, hasn't been approved by the FDA, but is used in the US and can be approved by some insurance companies. Maybe this is a new treatment option? http://www.eq9vet.com/?p=18

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 4, 2009, 06:38 PM
I just thought I would post this very interesting article from The Horse on Navicular:

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12800

kidsncritters
Mar. 5, 2009, 12:03 AM
Sorry to hear about your guy. My daughters gelding was 4 when he was diagnosed with navicular bone changes in his xray. he was head bobble lame. The state vet school injected his foot and we had ti use bute just to keep him comfortable. We tried Gallium Nitrate because nothing else was working. It took 3 mo but he has been sound for over a year and a half. last summer he was ridden between 2 -3 hr 6 times a week. We swear by it now. Haven't used Bute since we put him on it. over the winter we have gotten Pete Ramey's DVD's and changed the angles on his feet and have gone with the barefoot trim. He has never moved better. He is also able to move over the frozen ground without pain. He couldn't do that 2 yrs ago. I would really recommend trying it. He is my daughter's dream horse and it initally broke her heart. He is also HYPP so we watch his diet like a hawk. Good luck.

Fharoah
Mar. 5, 2009, 01:40 AM
If you can afford it get an MRI. Knowing exactly what is going on is going to provide you with the best treatment also insuring the deep digital flexor tenton is intact. Coffin joint injections, IRAP into the coffin joint, corrective shoeing sometimes with wedge pads, barefoot, isoxoprine, navicular bursa injections, trildren, adeqaun, recovery eq ha, bute. It is all trail and error and what works for your horse.

Best Wishes!

cerigs66
Mar. 27, 2009, 12:51 AM
I am sorry about what you and your horse are going through! Do not give up hope, though :)

My beloved TB gelding was diagnosed with navicular disease last fall and I was absolutely devastated. I am lucky to have a wonderful vet helping him and he is currently doing very very well.

Here is what we are doing. My vet first injected the coffin joints in both front feet. This made an immediate difference. We then changed his shoes from regular shoes to t-bar shoes http://www.well-shod.com/index.php?category%5B0%5D=Horseshoes-Aluminum has some pictures of what they look like-- basically a wide-webbed aluminum shoe with slightly raised heels and rolled toes. We are also using the pour in pads.

As far as medication, he is on Cosequin ASU, devil's claw (anti-inflammatory), and isoxuprine. Some horses respond to isoxuprine and some don't-- my vet says that she sees about a 60% response rate. It is not expensive so maybe it will be worth a try.

We are going to change his shoes to something more normal this month (he has been in the t bars since September). The plan is to go to a wedge with the pour in pads.

My horse is currently being ridden 4-5 times a week on the flat for about 40 minutes at a time. We are probably going to try jumping again after he gets shod this month. He may or may not go back to his previous career (Training level eventing and hunting) but I am happy that he is ridable and comfy.

You will need to keep a close eye on his shoeing. My guy will get sore if his toes get too long and so we have to stick to a strict shoeing schedule. I also do not ride if the footing is too hard.

I hope that things look up for you. Navicular is not a death sentence and there are MANY things you can do to help your horse. The initial diagnostics and stuff are expensive, but maintenance is not too bad. Good luck with everything.

From someone who has been heartbroken by a navicular diagnosis - THANK YOU SO MUCH for encouraging words. It seems everything I read has been negative. Your comments have given me hope for the first time.

nervousalter
Mar. 27, 2009, 10:52 AM
Heath's lameness vet never got back to me on if I could remove the bar wedges and just leave him in rolled toe wedges. He's moving well, but they're just retaining dirt like mad and since getting those shoes, he's become extremely uncooperative in picking up his front feet, as in he absolutely refuses to do so. I'm seriously considering just going ahead and making an executive decision to try the shoes that have worked for takeflight. They're the Elite Naviculars, takeflight?

If they don't work, I'll go back to the bar wedges.

I'm also going to ask the vet who's treating his gash http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=196680, if he can prescribe isoxsuprine for him.

I'm also reconsidering the hoof injections. The vet who's treating his wound is the second vet who's told me they don't like them because of the damage the injections do to the capsule over time.

Right now, I've got him on MSM, a woman at the barn - an absolute angel of a human being - just gave me a jar of an herbal Pain Relief supplement from For Love of the Horse http://www.forloveofthehorse.com/proddetail.php?prod=NPR030 and I bought him Select The Best FM Solution (Yucca/Devil's Claw/MSM) http://www.selectthebest.com/FMSolutions_Gallon.pdf, yesterday. I'm not sure if he'll eat it or not.

Just called the farrier again, hadn't heard back from him about the pour in pads, but I noticed that Heath's toes are already looking long and it's only been 3 or 4 weeks. I can't see how it's possible.

Patty Stiller
Mar. 27, 2009, 01:26 PM
Just something to run by your farrier..... I am not a fan of pour in pads for part of a navicular treatment package because the material can harden over time and put too much pressure over the center of the frog.
That part of the foot lies directly under the impar ligament, which when inflammed, is a very common source of "navicular syndrome" . (It gets inflammed from long toes and misaligned coffin joints)
A full plain wedge pad with soft packing underneath (something that does not set up, like Magic Cushion or Hawthornes'"sole pack") would probably be a lot better .
The full pad would prevent anything from packing into the middle of the foot and would not put undue pressure on the frog.
The horse may be objecting to holding up a foot because the other one he is standing on is too sore from the packed in material.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 27, 2009, 01:28 PM
Just called the farrier again, hadn't heard back from him about the pour in pads, but I noticed that Heath's toes are already looking long and it's only been 3 or 4 weeks. I can't see how it's possible.

It is possible, some times of the year their feet grow faster than others. My navicular horses were on a 5 week schedule when I lived in CT and on a 4 week schedule here in Florida. Now that the gelding is retired, he is barefoot (and sound) and back to a 6 week schedule since he wears some of the hoof off himself with being turned out for 16 hours a day.

takeflight
Mar. 27, 2009, 02:21 PM
nervousalter, they are the Elite Navicular shoes. I was able to get 2 shoeings out of them which is nice as they cost a little more. The aluminum wears more quickly than steel, but my guy is out on grass and not hard on his shoes-- your results may differ.
We just switched my horse to regular shoes with a 3 degree wedge, and kept everything else the same. He has been doing well for a couple of weeks so I am happy. Patty, I do see what you mean about the pour-in pads and my vet mentioned that they would be the first thing to change if he became sore again. He is ok now so we are leaving things as is (plus they seem to help prevent thrush which is a huge problem here on the Gulf Coast!).
And Fharoah is right-- it really is a lot of trial and error. What works for one may not work for the other, which is frustrating-- it would be nice if all the navcular horses out there went by the book!
Cerigs66, I am glad that I gave you some encouragement. I hope that your horse does well. :)

CookiePony
Mar. 27, 2009, 07:54 PM
I have not read the whole thread, and maybe someone else has suggested this, but please, please consider an MRI!
See http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12800
and http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=7888
and http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=2295

nervousalter
Mar. 28, 2009, 01:30 AM
Not possible. Closest MRI is 5 hours away. I have no trailer or tow vehicle and the neither vet liked the idea of him standing in a trailer for 5 hours straight.

Plus, I doubt his insurance would cover it at this point, since the diagnosis is in. No longer have out of pocket money to throw at diagnostics.

lstevenson
Mar. 28, 2009, 03:40 PM
Just something to run by your farrier..... I am not a fan of pour in pads for part of a navicular treatment package because the material can harden over time and put too much pressure over the center of the frog.
That part of the foot lies directly under the impar ligament, which when inflammed, is a very common source of "navicular syndrome" . (It gets inflammed from long toes and misaligned coffin joints)
A full plain wedge pad with soft packing underneath (something that does not set up, like Magic Cushion or Hawthornes'"sole pack") would probably be a lot better .
The full pad would prevent anything from packing into the middle of the foot and would not put undue pressure on the frog.
The horse may be objecting to holding up a foot because the other one he is standing on is too sore from the packed in material.


I agree. :yes:

I find it a bit funny that some vets and farriers don't seem to realize that navicular horses usually do NOT like frog pressure.

My navicular horse was at his most comfortable in a type of glue on shoe that very few people seem to know about. The shoe is glued on to the bottom of the sole only, making it's own "pad" as it covered and protected the whole sole, but left the frog open and free from pressure. This is something that Paul Goodness in VA invented, and it works like a charm. And unlike other glue on shoes which attach to the hoof wall, the horse can wear them for years w/o as much of a risk of hoof contraction.

lstevenson
Mar. 28, 2009, 03:44 PM
Plus, I doubt his insurance would cover it at this point, since the diagnosis is in.


Without MRI you don't have a true diagnosis. You may know you have "navicular syndrome", but you don't know exactly what problem you have, whether it's bursitis, impar ligament, ddft, ect. And having that knowledge is the only way you can know for sure how to treat, or what the true prognisis is.

And in no way does a long trailer ride bother a horse with navicular.

nervousalter
Mar. 28, 2009, 11:07 PM
Without MRI you don't have a true diagnosis. You may know you have "navicular syndrome", but you don't know exactly what problem you have, whether it's bursitis, impar ligament, ddft, ect. And having that knowledge is the only way you can know for sure how to treat, or what the true prognisis is.
None of that makes money magically appear. I'm still waiting to be partially reimbursed for the $1262 vet bill from Feb 23rd, I need four new tires on my car, and his latest stunt has already cost me over $700 this week. I just don't have it.


And in no way does a long trailer ride bother a horse with navicular.
Both vets who have seen the animal disagree with you. He does not just have navicular, he has ringbone, bone spurs, arthritis and a possible ddft injury.

Androcles
Mar. 29, 2009, 12:12 AM
How does increasing blood circulation make the horse more comfortable? (assuming this drug actually does so).


Isox isn't used to cure the problem, it's used to increase blood circulation so that the horse can be more comfortable. It's not a cure-all and it's certainly not going to be useful on every single horse. )

cssutton
Mar. 29, 2009, 01:05 AM
I don't have any idea where you live, but if it is near NC, there is a really great vet for exactly your problem.

And a trailer ride is hard on a horse with navicular.

Even a trailer with a thick soft rubber mat.

I have been there, done that. I have seen 1 hour really hurt a horse.

CSSJR

Parker_Rider
Mar. 29, 2009, 01:17 AM
How does increasing blood circulation make the horse more comfortable? (assuming this drug actually does so).


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6349984

and


In one study isoxsuprine was shown to be helpful in the treatment of early NS. This has not been my experience and more recent work is having trouble finding a pharmacological response at published doses. On the other hand the medication is safe and low cost. Along with proper shoeing, isoxsuprine has an overall success rate of over 60%. Proper shoeing alone has a success rate of only 30%. This drug works by increasing the circulation to the bone, so that it may repair and remodel its shape to adapt to changing stress. from http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/health/tha-navicular.shtml

The results of isox are controversial (as this thread has shown...), but this article in the horse (http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=49) is pretty good. Hope that answers your (not snarky?) question.

lstevenson
Mar. 29, 2009, 03:14 AM
And a trailer ride is hard on a horse with navicular.

Even a trailer with a thick soft rubber mat.

I have been there, done that. I have seen 1 hour really hurt a horse.



I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. Have you ever stood in a moving trailer? They are really very smooth (as long as the driver is careful). There is no more 'concussion' on the legs than when excercising lightly.

And it's even more ridiculous to not take a horse somewhere where he can get the proper diagnosis just because you think a trailer ride will "hurt" him. If the OP can't afford it, that's one thing, and an entirely different matter. But they trailer horses with major broken bones and other catastrophic injuries to the help they need. And that's a lot more risky than a horse with navicular! A broken bone can shift. A horse with navicular is going to be exactly the same when he arrives. I can't imagine any vet worth their salt saying that the horse shouldn't be trailered to a place that is going to give them the complete diagnosis. You put on some good supporting leg wraps, and you go.

And btw, my top horse (now 20 yo) is retired from navicular, complete with impar ligament and ddft damage which only MRI can show. And I can tell you from personal experience that he was never any worse coming off of a trailer, no matter how long he was on there.

nervousalter
Mar. 29, 2009, 05:56 AM
fwiw, he'll be starting the Isoxuprine after his gash heals. 16 pills 2x a day for one week. Then 16 pills 1x day.

It was a surgeon from the lameness vet's office who gave me the Isoxuprine. He spoke to me about the gash and also offered to do Heath's feet (he's a farrier, as well). He has had good results with Equi-Pak CS and has not had any problems with it hardening (I asked based on this thread).

cssutton
Mar. 29, 2009, 09:48 AM
lstevenson:

Please point out where in my post I said not to haul a horse to the vet because he has navicular?

I did say that it does hurt and I have personal experience of my own. I have seen a horse with navicular, barely noticeable ride for 1 hour and get off looking like he was terminal.

I don't know that all horses feel it as much, but to say that it does not affect a horse at all is not correct.

To say that it does not hurt a horse with a broken bone is ridiculous (your choice of words, not mine).

If you ever had back trouble or a broken bone, you would have learned that even riding in an luxury automobile is no fun when so afflicted.

I would not have commented at all except that the comment was made that it can't cause the horse any pain, which is on the face of it not reasonable. Any activity of any kind causes an increase in pain when pain is there to begin with.

That said, I would haul the same horse to the same vet again should the need arise because he has equipment in the clinic that is not easily transported.

CSSJR

lstevenson
Mar. 29, 2009, 02:54 PM
I have seen a horse with navicular, barely noticeable ride for 1 hour and get off looking like he was terminal.



Navicular is a low grade, chronic pain. If you saw a horse with navicular go for a 1 hour trailer ride and come off with increased pain, he had some OTHER (MAJOR) problem.

And btw, I have a bad back and have had several broken bones in my lifetime. And the only thing that ever hurt more in a moving vehicle was when I had to drive with a broken tail bone. But that wasn't because of the vehicle, it was because I had to sit on it. ;)

nlk
Mar. 29, 2009, 03:33 PM
I would like to add that it is quite possible to heal navicular with correct trimming and creating heel loading. Ringbone is a different story, but even that can and has improved by making sure the hooves are trimmed balanced to internal hoof structures. Navicular is no longer an issue for Pete Ramey: http://www.hoofrehab.com/end_of_white_line_disease.htm#Navicular

Most likely management practices as outlined above will eventually lead to further breakdown of what is already going on, as it so happened with a horse belonging to a friend's client. Also diagnosed with navicular, was eventually put in natural balance shoes and recently re-evaluated. Horse is now more sore than ever. :(


I'm sorry if I am repeating but I read this and had to comment....Forgive me if I am wrong.

Isn't Navicular the deterioration of the Navicular bone? If that is the case how can it be cured? If the bone is deteriorating (for example the x-ray would present with holes in the bone) how would one go about curing that?

I understand that you can possibly stop the progress but cure?????

nlk
Mar. 29, 2009, 03:49 PM
ok I have another question.

With all this trimming theory going around it sounds like everyone is discussing not actual navicular (at least what I was always taught it was, by vets, who have treated several horses at our barn)

Sounds like everyone is discussing Navicular as pressure on the bone...not the deterioration of the bone....which is what I was taught Navicular DISEASE is. pressure that is on the bone from improper trimming is not a disease, it is pressure that causes soreness....

Did I miss something? Am I so far off base in this that I am that wrong?

and yes i realize that improper trimming/shoeing practices can cause pressure on the bone that then causes soreness

lstevenson
Mar. 29, 2009, 04:02 PM
The classic Navicular disease is the deterioration of the bone, but Navicular Syndrome is a multitude of problems in the Navicular area. Now that they have MRI available to diagnose, they are realizing that the majority of horses with Navicular issues have something other than the deterioration of the Navicular bone, with most horses having bursitis, ddft damage, or damage to the impar ligament.

nlk
Mar. 29, 2009, 04:39 PM
The classic Navicular disease is the deterioration of the bone, but Navicular Syndrome is a multitude of problems in the Navicular area. Now that they have MRI available to diagnose, they are realizing that the majority of horses with Navicular issues have something other than the deterioration of the Navicular bone, with most horses having bursitis, ddft damage, or damage to the impar ligament.

THANK YOU! I don't feel so lost as to the conversation now.

So to clarify did the OP specify if it was disease or syndrome?

could you say if this other issues associated with Navicular Syndrome are curable. I find that statement to be way off base. As I am not familiar with these other problems associated with the syndrome part of Navicular I am not sure if this is still logical.

Also could anyone say if the other problems listed by the OP are related to the Navicular? That would really help.

And for the OP to make this a contributing post.

I have seen success with both egg bars and aluminum shoes as well as wedges. I have also had a horse on long term use of Isoxoprine, I didn't know till later that the horse was being treated for Navicular. ( I was younger and working as a stable hand) He was sound (still jumped 2'6" - 2'9") as long as I knew him except the time or two the owners decided to try him with out shoes....

Hope something works.:D

Androcles
Mar. 29, 2009, 05:32 PM
again - how does increaseing blood circulation make a horse more comfortable.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6349984

and

from http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/health/tha-navicular.shtml

The results of isox are controversial (as this thread has shown...), but this article in the horse (http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=49) is pretty good. Hope that answers your (not snarky?) question.

lstevenson
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:15 PM
again - how does increaseing blood circulation make a horse more comfortable.


One of the theories of Navicular disease has been that the increased blood pressure in the area due to lack of sufficient circulation is what causes the pain. And increased circulation means healing of soft tissue issues.

That said, I think Isoxoprine is a hoax. I studied it for my Navicular horse, and found out that it's not been proven to do anything. Studies have even shown that when they give horses isox orally and then look for any evidence that it was given, that they can't find any. Seems like a waste of money. I did try it on my horse for at least 6 months, and saw no difference at all. I know some people swear that it works for them though.

nervousalter
Mar. 29, 2009, 11:19 PM
Thank you, Nik. Heath's navicular bone is deteriorating - over a dozen lollipops visable on the x-rays (which doesn't always equate to a lame horse) - and the edges of the bones in his lower legs are ragged, which is what's causing a great deal of the inflammation. I do not expect a cure. I'm hoping to slow or stop its progression.

And I am hopeful. The lameness vet said that because I've decided to just keep him as a pleasure mount, Heath will most likely die of old age. That was the best news I'd had.

I've spoken to 5 vets now about Isoxsuprine. Last one (treating the gash) told me that it was originally used to treat pregnant women with swollen ankles, he said that they aren't sure why it works in horses. The surgeon/farrier who works with the lameness vet said that the science would indicate that it should work better than it does (meaning, it should work on all horses). Each has said that in practice it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, but that it's relatively safe, so worth a shot.