I have a 7 year old mare who was diagnosed with 'palmar foot pain' over a year ago now. I had her on Navicon, which didn't seem to help, and she is currently in bar shoes. She hasn't been on the Navicon for probably 2 or 3 months now. It doesn't seem to matter what I do, nothing seems to change. I have been thinking about putting her on MSM or something of the like. Any ideas or opinions? I appreciate anyone's input, but please keep in mind, I am not going to be leaving her barefoot. It has been discussed with both farrier and vet. Thanks!
What else have you done?
Injected the coffin joints? The navicular bursa?
Did you take radiographs, or are you just diagnosing on the heel pain?
Isoxsuprine and Naproxin are of course the classic meds for navicular pain.
Have there been films done? We had a gelding with Navicular and it was well managed with wedged bars shoes and Isoxoprene (sp?). You have to keep up with the farrier work too and not let them get too long.
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason "Once you go off track, you never go back!"
I may not be reading this right....but, it sounds to me like you are taking one vet and one farrier opinion/option and accepting it. What makes you think that this is navicular...."palmar foot pain" could be a number of things...not necessarily navicular. While bar shoes have been the text book recommendation for navicular in the past, there are many other alternatives from rocker shoes to barefoot available now.
In general, "drugs" are not the answer to issues like this....most drugs do not improve the situation....drugs that are effective are simply pain relievers that make the horse temporarily comfortable, but in the long run do not address the cause and therefore allow the issue to compound itself while the pain relievers often cause issues of their own.
You can try joint supplements like MSM and glucosamine....but overall, they can't relieve pain caused by chroinic inflammation from misaligned structures within the hoof capsule.
In general, it is agreed that the primary cause of navicular is an incorrectly balanced/aligned hoof and that simply addressing this can often restore soundness and ensure a full recovery. However, it depends on how much damage has been done and what is reversable.
From my experience....many horses with navicular can benefit from concussion reducing shoes....but that is not the answer for all horses....each case is different and each must be treated as such....you need a progressive vet and farrier team that have more than the standard "text book approach" up their sleeves.
December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
My mare has navicular asw well, she has bar shoes is on isox, jello, and recovery eq, along w/ hylamotion for her hocks, she also gets apple cider vineger in her feed once a day, I know it seems like alot but she can be ridden w/out being buted, the only time is is buted is when we are competing she is a cutting horse....
My farrier specializes in navicular horses and before he started shoeing her she wasnt all that great!!!! It took aprox 6 months to get her feet and heel correct, and now she is fine, will never be sound, but can still compete and is only ridden 2-3x a week...
Let the horse go, get out of its way, it knows what to do...Stop pulling and keep kicking!!!!!!
You need more information, and meds are likely not the answer. "Palmar foot pain" and "navicular" can mean a lot of things - ligament injury, soft tissue inflammation, problems with the navicular bursa, deterioration of the navicular bone itself, etc . . . - and what you would do for treatment depends on what is actually going on.
As LMH points out however the foot has to be balanced/correct for starters, and then it is a question of what else you need to do in conjunction with or beyond that. When my mare was diagnosed with heel pain, it took a bone scan to tell us what the underlying repercussions were - radiographs won't show soft tissue issues. So, make sure you are getting the diagnostics you need to guide the treatment plan.
Perhaps the hoof is not balanced in which case no meds will fix the problem...
Yep. You mentioned bar shoes, and that you won't go barefoot (based on 1 vet and 1 farrier), but you mention nothing about the trim. Is there any way you could post pictures of her feet? The problem may be purely in how she is trimmed, in which case, as LMH said, no amount of "corrective" shoeing or medications will help, at least not in the long term.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
Thanks for the responses so far. To give a little more background. This horse showed up suddenly lame one day in April 05. I assumed she had bruised her sole somewhere, gave her some time off, nothing got better. Had the vet out. Lameness presented very strangely, looked off in the back end sometimes, off in the front other times. Vet blistered the stifle on the one side, waited to see what would happened. Hind end seemed to clear up, but now looked lame in the front end all the time. She looked good going to the left, but took lame steps going to the right on a circle.
Vet came back and took x-rays on the front feet (with her shoes on), diagnosed pedal osteitis. Tried shoes with leather pads, no improvement. Frustration level growing! Took her to lameness specialist clinic, had her looked at and ended up opting for nuclear scintigraphy, then nerve blocked her. I'm not at home right now, but when I get there, I'll tell you what the report said from the vet. He told me to put her on Navicon.
ETA - I will try and gets picks of her feet and post them so you can see.
I wish there were meds out that were the answer to navicular. If there were, I would know it. My vet has seen no evidence that isox works, so he doesn't even recommend it anymore. There are some things that help with inflammation, but the only thing that I know of that really provides relief is a proper trim, and I think that can only go so far if damage is done. Hopefully, with the diagnostics you got, the vet was able to work with the farrier in getting the angles right. Are the heels contracted? If so, there are things you can do to help with that - trim related again. Going barefooted will get them to open up the fastest, but I understand your hesitancy there. Since diagnosed, my mare has only really been sound in the composite Hippoplast shoes with sole packing. She also gets Adequan monthly and she is on a big daily dose of Lubrisyn. Hard ground still gets her though - especially in the corners.
The wonder drug Tildren. I cannot begin to tell you all how amzing this drug is. I hunted for a treatment for my Grand Prix horse with a bone cyst in his elbow, and then I stumbled upon Tildren and the most wonderful vet who has alot of experience with it in NH. I was told my horse would probably be pasture sound at some point, and perhaps sound enough for dressage, but never to jump. We here we are a year later and he is back to jumping 4', with the cyst reduced in size dramaticlly.
I was told the tildren was origionaly developed for horses with navicular, but has been working in most type of boney leasions. It is expensive (or was when I did it) because it is not FDA approved, but is widley used in France. If bar shoes and legend don't work I would highly suggest looking into the tildren.
Ok, I apologize for taking so long to get back to this. I was finally able to get picks of her feet and have uploaded them to my webshots. Please take a look and let me know what you think. I'll write what was in the vets report from last June (of 05). I have to say I was very dissapointed in the vet. It was like once my horse was there and they had my money, he really didn't offer me much in the way of advice. This is direct quote:
"Upon presentation to this hospital, the initial exam revealed a grade 1/5 right front weight bearing lameness on a straight line and a grade 3/5 right fron weight bearing lameness when circled to the right. A front end nuclear scan with soft tissue phase was recommended.
1. Intense focal uptake of radioisotope in the navicular bursa region/deep digital flexor area of the right front foot in the soft tissue phase of scintigraphy.
2. Moderate focal uptake of radioisotope in the navicular region of the left front foot during the bone phase of the examination.
3. Moderate focal uptake of radioisotope in the navicular region of the right front foot
4. Intense focal uptake of radioisotope of distal P2 of the right fore limb.
Regional anesthesia was positive to a posterior digital nerve block of the right front foot. It is my considered opinion that this horse is experiencing palmar foot pain originating from both soft tissue and bone in the navicular region."
So any more opinions? My idea for the drugs is more to help with any inflamation of the soft tissue area?? She hasn't really been doing any work since this happened (every once in a while I jump on and wander around on her).
Um, well, I have a "navicular" horse, so I'll make a comment here. Her feet are WAAAAAY out of balance. Her toes are too long--she has way too much foot. No wonder she's in pain.
Feet do remodel, and bones and ligaments DO heal. I have sucessfully rehabbed my husband's gelding, after vets told us that he would never even be pasture sound; that the only thing to do was to bute him until it killed him. Well, not! But it takes patience and time--YOUR time--if it is going to work. It's entirely up to you.
****Hasta la vista, Frenchie**** There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a (wo)man.
I've recently gone through this whole dilemna w/my horse. He was off... Had the vet out to x-ray and give opinion. Came down to him thinking it was navicular pain/ or heel pain. Had pulled his shoes for the x-rays and said to put bar shoes back on him when he was re-done. Did that and put him on Isoxoprene. Those two things combine helped..but, he still wasn't 100%. Went to a farrier that specializes in corrective shoeing. He had said my horses feet looked good- hated the barn shoe recommendation and pulled them. Put a frog support pad w/regular shoes and he's been feeling great since. I know the same thing doesn't help every horse. Just make sure you get plenty of opinions!
Personally, after this whole ordeal.... Before relying on a vet to confirm hoof/foot pain- I'd go to a really good farrier/ or mulitple to get differant opinions and make sure your horses trim and/or shoeing is perfect first.
"Personally speaking, if for whatever reason I was stuck with absolutely only having to chose one breed, then it would without hesitation be a thoroughbred."