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Navicular Syndrome.

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  • Navicular Syndrome.

    How does everyone treat their navicular horses?

    My mare was diagnosed over the summer. My vet suggested taking her shoes off, to help get her heals un-contracted. My farrier and I agreed to take them off as soon as the ground isnt as hard. Im looking into what kind of boots I want to get as well.

    My farrier is reading up on what he can do to help my mare. She was in wedges with a bar, it helped for a while. She was in them for two years before, but latley they havent been working, so we switched to a regular shoes with equi-pack by vettec.com. It seems to help. My vet also suggest a
    glucosamine supplement, which I have been giving since the summer. Shes got a mild case, from what the xrays show, but shes not comfortable to be ridden or trotted in hand ATM. Shes seems comfortable out in the pasture, moseying around. Shes alpha mare, so no one is chasing her around and making her run.

    Anyone try isoxoprene (sp?) or any type of glucosamine injections?? I am going to discuss adequan with my vet ASAP.

    What works for you?

  • #2
    Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
    My mare was diagnosed over the summer. My vet suggested taking her shoes off, to help get her heals un-contracted.
    Honest question for you - why does who think that shoes caused the contracted heels, or that taking them off will fix the issue?

    My farrier and I agreed to take them off as soon as the ground isnt as hard.
    Has anyone considered the trim being the issue?

    My farrier is reading up on what he can do to help my mare. She was in wedges with a bar, it helped for a while. She was in them for two years before, but latley they havent been working,
    This isn't uncommon when it's the trim that is the problem in the first place. It's also not uncommon when there is degradation of the navicular bone. You have to figure out which situation you're in before you can figure out how to treat things

    My vet also suggest a
    glucosamine supplement, which I have been giving since the summer.
    Any thoughts on why glucosamine helps a non-joint?

    Shes got a mild case, from what the xrays show,
    What exactly do the xrays show? Changes to the navicular bone? If that is THE cause of her discomfort, that is Navicular Disease. But many, many horses have changes and are quite sound. Or have changes and are sore due to trim issues, becoming quite sound again when the trim is fixed.

    Food for thought
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll just share my experiences with it.

      Both of my older horses were diagnosed with navicular within months of each other. The excellent farrier that came to work on them, set up a meeting with the vet to review the x-rays, and to shoe to the internal structures of the hoof (coffin bone). With my gelding, he wore heart bar shoes for 3 months, given isox treatments, Legend injections (systemic) and monthly chiropractic and massage. He regained his soundness within those 3 months and was in regular shoes until we pulled his shoes in November of 2008 (he is retired). Never did a wedge or pad of any kind. Shoes are set back to alleviate breakover. This was 8 years ago. He was shown successfully for another 5 years after the diagnosis

      Same with the mare, heartbars followed by regular shoes, and then barefoot after she pulled a hamstring (unrelated) and was retired. She is older and does have gimpy steps from time to time, but with proper regular trims, joint supplements and B-L solution (double dose) she is pasture sound. Not bad for a 27 year old horse either I might add. Also, the farrier thinks the "gimp" is more coming from her knee or shoulder area, but at her age, I'm just doing what I can to keep her comfy, and not doing anything heroic for her at this stage of her life.
      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

      Comment


      • #4
        It is my belief that navicular syndrome starts as a toe first landing as a horse tries to relieve pain in the heel of the foot. There could be thrush, contracted heels, bad trimming or a combination of these or something else. Doing what you can to get a heel first landing should improve the symptoms and take the pressure off the tendon and navicular bone. The following link has some info about this but there is much more available just search. http://www.hoofrehab.com/NavicularSyndrome.htm

        Be sure and use hoof boots with pads when the shoes are pulled if you go this route.

        I went through this with my daugthers pony last year, turned out to be saddle fit, chiro and massage to get her landing heel first.

        Good luck Jerry

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by chirojerry View Post
          It is my belief that navicular syndrome starts as a toe first landing as a horse tries to relieve pain in the heel of the foot. There could be thrush, contracted heels, bad trimming or a combination of these or something else. Doing what you can to get a heel first landing should improve the symptoms and take the pressure off the tendon and navicular bone. The following link has some info about this but there is much more available just search. http://www.hoofrehab.com/NavicularSyndrome.htm
          Well if it originates with heel pain, then it doesn't 'start as a toe first landing', it starts with heel pain. Toe first landing may be the compensatory posture and movement to avoid the heel pain but still no direct symptoms result from it.
          And why would 'taking pressure off the tendon' be necessary or desirable, or solve the problem, if it's heel pain or even a toe first landing? In fact that's the premise of heel wedges to treat navicular (the opposite of what you suggest). How do we even know there's 'pressure' on the tendon? And the navicular bone for that matter? If anything the toe first landing preventing full articulation and range of motion of the joint is what takes pressure off the tendon, and definitely off the navicular bone.
          But throw all those words together, and it sounds good. I'd also be interested to know how chiro gets a horse to land heel first.

          Comment


          • #6
            Chiro helped shoulder issues caused by an ill fitting saddle. If you look at Dr
            Rooney's work on navicular it is explained how a toe first landing causes friction and damage to the navicular bone. It sounds like you have all the answers you need already I was giving the OP some suggestions that worked for me. To the OP just do your own research and make an informed choice.

            Jerry

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Yep. I'm looking into some pad incerts for the boots as well.

              I dont think its really a trim issue, but I'm also not an expert. (I'll up load some pics as soon as I get her trimmed this, or next week, so we can discuss that.) It may have stemmed from bad trimming in the past. She has a relatively short toe, her feet are just so small. We're hoping taking her shoes off will make her feed grow a little wider. Ive had 5-6 farriers take a look at her, before I chose to stick with my current farrier. No one has been able to get her feet to grow much bigger. The current one has switched her from a 00 to a 0 though.

              The vet thought she saw some cycts on the bone, but we did more xrays and they werent evident anymore. The edge of the bone wasnt as defined, which I think is part of why she diagnosed it.

              My vet suggested a steroidal/glucosamine injection right into the coffin bone, but its invasive, and I try to stay away from steroids if possible. Basically my vet described the condition as not really getting enough blood flow/ circulation into the hoof's inner mechanisms, and thus weakening the navicular bone. She does paddle but shes not soar in any particular part of her hoof, when we use hoof testers.

              The reason I want to get her out of shoes is so her whole hoof can touch the ground, increasing circulation to her whole hoof, not just the hoof walls, as you see with shoes. I know she is going to be soar in trainsition, which is why I am looking into boots.

              Muchkin did you have positive results with isox?? I'm thinking about giving it a try. Is it relatively in expensive? I've also saw smartpaks new supplement for soar feet. Not sure if thats worth a try. I havent looked at the ingredients yet.
              I have no problems with her being my pasture buddy. I will do what ever I need to, to keep her confortable.


              Jerry- I'm going to print out that article so I can discuss it with my farrier.

              Comment


              • #8
                Androcles in gray, stuff deleted

                And why would 'taking pressure off the tendon' be necessary or desirable, or solve the problem, if it's heel pain or even a toe first landing?

                Like most things associated with pathologies of the hoof, "It depends," is always on the table. Reduced tension of the DDFT increases phalangeal angulation, which results in reduced compression of the distal sesamoid, which may be a cause of caudal hoof pain.

                In fact that's the premise of heel wedges to treat navicular (the opposite of what you suggest). How do we even know there's 'pressure' on the tendon?


                I dunno about "pressure" on the tendon, but if the horse is able to turn its hoof over unaided, the DDFT must be in tension - otherwise, the flexor muscles wouldn't be able move the distal phalanx. Any increase of tension of the DDFT increases compression of the distal sesamoid because its used as a fulcrum by the DDFT.

                And the navicular bone for that matter? If anything the toe first landing preventing full articulation and range of motion of the joint is what takes pressure off the tendon, and definitely off the navicular bone.

                Toe first landing is usually - but NOT always - indicative of caudal hoof pain.

                But throw all those words together, and it sounds good. I'd also be interested to know how chiro gets a horse to land heel first.

                I was kinda wondering the same thing.
                Tom Stovall, CJF
                No me preguntes cualquier preguntas, yo te diré no mentiras.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
                  Muchkin did you have positive results with isox?? I'm thinking about giving it a try. Is it relatively in expensive? I've also saw smartpaks new supplement for soar feet. Not sure if thats worth a try. I havent looked at the ingredients yet.
                  I cannot in all honesty say if the isox worked or not, as there was all the other supplements and treatments going on at the same time. From what I have read on the internet, the jury is still out on whether it makes a difference or not.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I'd also be interested to know how chiro gets a horse to land heel first.

                    I was kinda wondering the same thing. [/QUOTE]

                    Maybe the chiro dosent do anything particularly effecting the hoof, but after a while, the horse tends to use differnt mucles because of the pain. Sometimes they get stuck in that mentality because they've been in pain so long. Or they even get out of balance because they are bearing weight that causes them to become unaligned. I had a horse who had typical sigsns of DSLD, the chiropractor alivated some of his pain, and he traveled better after the visit.

                    Its not really that different then treating someone in chronic pain, with a chiropractic appointment, or a message. I think its more about adjusting the horse so they can move naturally again... not to hard of a concept.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                      I cannot in all honesty say if the isox worked or not, as there was all the other supplements and treatments going on at the same time. From what I have read on the internet, the jury is still out on whether it makes a difference or not.
                      My "shots" vet told me isox will work to get the horse a few percentages better, but if the horse isnt already 95% sound its not going to do that much. It doesnt do miracles. My lameness vet told me its worth a try. But I dont know how long to use it before I should see effects, if its going to work at all. I'm not even sure what kind of a drug it is. All I know is that it increases blood flow. Maybe its a blood thinner?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        From a surprising source on elephant care - some information on Isoxsuprine:

                        http://www.elephantcare.org/Drugs/isoxsupr.htm

                        Pharmacology - Isoxsuprine causes direct vascular smooth muscle relaxation primarily in skeletal muscle. While it stimulates beta-adrenergic receptors it is believed that this action is not required for vasodilitation to occur. In horses with navicular disease, it has been demonstrated that isoxsuprine will raise distal limb temperatures significantly. Isoxsuprine will also relax uterine smooth muscle and may have positive inotropic and chronotropic effects on the heart. At high doses, isoxsuprine can decrease blood viscosity and reduce platelet aggregation.

                        Uses/Indications - Isoxsuprine is used in veterinary medicine principally for the treatment of navicular disease in horses. It has been used in humans for the treatment of cerebral vascular insufficiency, dysmenorrhea, and premature labor, but efficacies are unproven for these indications.
                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                          From a surprising source on elephant care - some information on Isoxsuprine:

                          http://www.elephantcare.org/Drugs/isoxsupr.htm
                          Makes sence. I would think that increasing temperature would make the blood vessels larger. Thats sort of why I wanted to hold off pulling shoes till spring. Since its colder she has even less blood flow to her feet.

                          I wonder if soaking the hooves in hot water would help alleviate some discomfort.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chirojerry View Post
                            If you look at Dr
                            Rooney's work on navicular it is explained how a toe first landing causes friction and damage to the navicular bone. It sounds like you have all the answers you need already I was giving the OP some suggestions that worked for me. To the OP just do your own research and make an informed choice.

                            Jerry
                            I haven't been able to find anything directly written by Rooney on this, only those interpreting him, who say nonsensical things like:

                            With heel first landing, the descending fetlock joint quickly tightens the deep flexor tendon. Simultaneous to this, the coffin joint rotates forward toward breakover, loosening the deep flexor.

                            But in a toe first landing the descending fetlock joint is still tightening the tendon just after impact, but as the heel rocks downward (rotating the coffin bone backward), the tendon is tightened from the other side at the same time. So there is increased pressure on the coffin bone which increases the friction, causing damage to the region.
                            Claiming that the flexor tendon is simultaneously tightening, and loosening, and refers to the 'other side' of it being tightened as well, and saying that there is pressure on the coffin bone from the tendon which is underneath it, and using compression and friction, two very different forces, as interchangeable terms.

                            http://www.all-natural-horse-care.co...r-disease.html

                            This would contradict the the use of heel wedges for navicular since they contribute to toe first landings; I think we would have heard more of an uproar from the veterinary and farrier community, who use them as their main therapy for navicular (see OP), objecting to this theory. Also, Pollitt has shown that the downward pressure on the hoof pushes the tendon away from the navicular bone, so there is not even contact let alone friction.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
                              Maybe the chiro dosent do anything particularly effecting the hoof, but after a while, the horse tends to use differnt mucles because of the pain. Sometimes they get stuck in that mentality because they've been in pain so long. Or they even get out of balance because they are bearing weight that causes them to become unaligned. I had a horse who had typical sigsns of DSLD, the chiropractor alivated some of his pain, and he traveled better after the visit.

                              Its not really that different then treating someone in chronic pain, with a chiropractic appointment, or a message. I think its more about adjusting the horse so they can move naturally again... not to hard of a concept.
                              I am basically familiar with the premise of how chiropractic works, and it happens to be on skeletal problems primarily, not muscular ones, but my question is specific - what adjustment does what that causes a heel first landing especially given the front leg is not attached to the rest of the skeleton by a joint but by soft tissue.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Since skeletons are connected to muscles and tendons and ligaments, if something is out of whack in the right place in the skeleton, it absolutely can affect how muscles are used.

                                It's not likely that a single chiro session would fix a horse enough to put back into whack whatever was out that was going on long enough to cause enough heel pain to walk long enough toe-first, so it would be more like a series of chiro adjustments, preferably along with massage therapy and some PT, either in-hand, ridden, or whatever.

                                I've personally witnessed the changes in my horse's movement once he had chiro and muscle issues worked on.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                                  I haven't been able to find anything directly written by Rooney on this . . .
                                  http://www.horseshoes.com/farrierssi.../navicular.htm

                                  One of his essays on the topic.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Tom Bloomer, CF, RJF View Post
                                    It seems to me he is implicating vibration resulting from a toe first landing, as the initial cause of damage resulting in navicular syndrome, and not the 'pressure' on the DDFT.

                                    Also he spends a lot of time documenting histological damage to the fbrocartilage, etc., but doesn't document that those are necessarily implicated in navicular disease, i.e. no connection between this tissue damage and actual lameness, similar to 'changes' on xray being clinically inconclusive.
                                    Last edited by Androcles; Jan. 25, 2010, 11:14 PM.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      One of the main treatments for navicular is to round the toe and place the shoe back to change the breakover. So do that mean horses go heel first?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
                                        One of the main treatments for navicular is to round the toe and place the shoe back to change the breakover. So do that mean horses go heel first?
                                        No I don't think so. The heel first landing theory seems to contradict all current accepted conventional veterinary wisdom approaches to treating navicular disease.

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