Navicular disease in horses

Navicular disease in horses is also known as Navicular syndrome. The result is the inflammation or degeneration of the navicular bone and its surrounding tissues, typically in the front feet of the horse. This disease can lead to significant or disabling lameness of a horse.


What is the best treatment for navicular disease in horses?


Treatment: Because the condition is both chronic and degenerative, it can be managed in some horses but not cured. The most common effective treatments include NSAID administration and corrective shoeing.

What is the prognosis for a horse with navicular?

Case series of navicular disease have shown a favourable prognosis, at least in the short term, with medication of the navicular bursa (the area around the bone itself) using corticosteroids and/or hyaluronic acid. As navicular worsens with hard exercise, you may also need to look at reducing your horse’s workload.

Can you ride a horse with navicular disease?

Turn your horse out in a pasture or paddock all day every day, if possible, and limit his time in the stall. If he’s still sound enough to ride, try to do so only on soft footing. Depending on the severity of his condition, you might also want to avoid riding him on circles or longeing.

How do you relieve navicular pain?


The following may be used:

  1. Immobilization. Placing the foot in a cast or removable walking boot allows the affected area to rest and decreases the inflammation.
  2. Ice. To reduce swelling, a bag of ice covered with a thin towel is applied to the affected area. …
  3. Medications. …
  4. Physical therapy. …
  5. Orthotic devices.

When is it time to euthanize a horse with navicular?

Navicular disease can be managed—but only if you catch it early before too much damage has been done—and unfortunately it was clearly too late for poor Delight. No animal should live in chronic pain just because its owner lacks the moral fiber to make the difficult but compassionate decision to humanely euthanize it.

What are the signs of navicular disease?

The telltale signs include:

  1. Intermittent forelimb lameness. Sometimes the horse seems sound in the pasture but is clearly lame in work.
  2. Short, choppy strides. …
  3. Pointing a front foot or shifting weight from one foot to the other when standing.
  4. Soreness to hoof testers over the back third of the foot.

Do pads help horses with navicular?

The use of a full wedge pad, in conjunction with a rolled or squared toe bar shoe, helped with the alignment of the pastern plus added more support to the frog. This approach has helped thousands of horses find some relief from the Navicular region pain.

How do you keep a horse with navicular sound?

How you manage a navicular horse can make a difference in his soundness:

  1. Keep weight under control.
  2. Ride judiciously. Get off on steep downhill sections and avoid rocky/uneven ground.
  3. Keep shoeing intervals short (every six weeks) to avoid excessive toe growth.
  4. Keep your horse moving.

What are signs of navicular in horses?

Clinical signs of navicular disease include a short, choppy stride with lameness that worsens when the horse is worked in a circle, as when longeing. Frequent stumbling may occur at all gaits, even the walk, or when horses are asked to step over short obstacles such as ground poles.

How does a horse become navicular?

Navicular syndrome is a chronic degenerative condition that can cause lameness in the front legs. It is most commonly seen in competition horses and quarter horses. It may be caused by repetitive mechanical stress on the navicular bone, resulting in degeneration of tissues and ligaments in the heel.

Why do horses with navicular trip?

Pain directly associated with DDFT tension and/or indirectly associated with the navicular apparatus is the most common form of pathology causing horses to trip up front. The pain perceived as natural breakover is approached may overwhelm the animal and prompt premature lifting of the limb.

How do you fix navicular bone?

Surgery for Accessory Navicular Syndrome Surgery typically involves removing the accessory bone, repairing the posterior tibial tendon, and restructuring the foot back to a normal appearance. The extra bone is not necessary for proper foot functioning.

What causes navicular pain?


Fracture and arthritis are common causes of pain. Less common but other important causes of Navicular pain include ligament injury, irritation of low back nerves, and Accessory Navicular syndrome. Don’t be sidelined by ongoing foot pain.

What does the navicular bone look like?

The navicular is a small irregular bone with its shape being described as pyriform. Its posterior surface is concave and there are two faint ridges anteriorly to correspond with the articulation with the three cuneiform bones.

Is navicular genetic?

Reports on the prevalences of navicular disease indicate that radiological alterations in the navicular bone are present in different warmblood populations at frequencies of between 14.9% and 87.6%. Genetic factors play an important role in the development of the radiological signs.

What are egg bar shoes used for?

An egg bar shoe is traditionally, as the name suggests, egg shaped with the bar extending rearwards from the heel and is often used to provide support the back of the leg and associated apparatus (tendons, suspensory ligament etc).

Can navicular be managed?

Navicular syndrome can be managed to reduce the horse’s pain and minimize excessive stress on the deep digital flexor tendon. A layup period in a stall or small paddock can allow the painful structures to rest and recover.

What is horse Sidebone?


What are sidebones? Sidebones are a name for a condition that results in ossification of the collateral cartilages of the foot, i.e., the cartilages transform into much harder and less flexible bone.

Does Equioxx work for navicular?

Anti-inflammatories such as bute (phenylbutazone), Equioxx® and Surpass® are frequently prescribed to help manage the chronic pain associated with navicular.

What does Osphos do?

OSPHOS® (clodronate injection) inhibits bone resorption by binding to bone mineral (inhibiting formation and dissolution), and by exerting direct cellular effects on osteoclasts.

What is Equioxx for horses?

Equioxx is a medicine used in horses to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints caused by osteoarthritis (a long-term disease causing damage and pain in the joints) and to reduce the lameness that is associated with the disease. It contains the active substance firocoxib.

How long does it take for a navicular stress fracture to heal?

Determined by the degree of injury, return to play after tarsal navicular stress fractures is typically a minimum of 12 weeks, and can be longer. These injuries require a slow and gradual return to sports that is closely monitored by your doctor.

Can you walk with a broken navicular bone?

The boot protects your foot and will make you more comfortable while the fracture heals. Wear a long sock in your boot. Wear the boot when you are standing and walking for the first 6 weeks. You can take it off at night and at rest.

Does accessory navicular syndrome go away?

In summary, an accessory navicular is a fairly uncommon condition which is rarely symptomatic. Oftentimes nonsurgical treatment is successful. In the minority of cases, surgical intervention is required. Patients typically do very well with conservative and surgical treatment.

How painful is a navicular fracture?

Symptoms. Symptoms of a navicular stress fracture usually involve a dull, aching pain in the ankle or at the middle or top of the foot. In the early stages, pain often occurs only with activity. In the later stages, pain may be constant.

How do you treat a navicular stress fracture?

Treatments. Your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgical or non-surgical options to treat navicular stress fractures. First, you must stop the activity that results in the pain of the stress fracture. Non-surgical treatment includes wearing a cast or boot without weightbearing for 6-8 weeks.

How do you palpate navicular?

At what age does the navicular ossify?

The navicular is the last bone in the foot to ossify. In girls, the navicular anlage ossifies between 18-24 months and in boys 30-36 months 4.

What inserts on the navicular?

The tibialis posterior is the only muscle that attaches to the navicular bone. The main portion of the muscle inserts into the tuberosity of the navicular bone.

Where is the navicular bone on a horse?

Navicular syndrome (or navicular disease, or caudal heel pain syndrome) is a degenerative condition of structures in the horse’s heel. The navicular bone lies at the back of the heel, and the deep digital flexor tendon runs down the leg and wraps under the navicular bone before anchoring to the coffin bone.

What is horse founder?

Laminitis (also termed founder) is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin or pedal bone of the foot to the hoof wall. The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone in the hoof.

Can I jump a horse with navicular?

Can a horse with navicular be ridden? Depending on the severity of the disease, it is possible to ride a horse with navicular, as long as your vet okays it.

Can horses compete with navicular?

Many people think that equine navicular disease is a career ending diagnosis. However, that is not always the case. There are many horses that compete at high levels with navicular disease. Management and treatment are key in keeping your horse sound.

Should you exercise a lame horse?

As a horse owner, it is fairly easy to recognize if your horse is lame as most likely there will be some limping. If the injury is further up in the leg it is also possible to see swelling of the leg. “If you notice that your horse is limping or its leg is swollen the first thing you want to do is stop exercising them.

Why do horses bob their heads when they walk?

Horses bob their head when they’re sore A horse shifts the weight of its head and neck from its sore leg when moving. Horses’ that bobs their heads upward more than downward are likely suffering lameness in the front legs.

What is an Osselets in horses?

Osselets, which is from the Latin meaning “little bone,” are unique to horses who run for a living. During high-speed gallops, the fetlock joints of speed horses, particularly those with long pasterns, can dorsiflex (extend) so much that the pasterns sink almost parallel with the track surface.

How long can horses stay on Equioxx?

Equioxx Oral Paste is administered for up to 14 days for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in horses.

Can a horse be on Equioxx long term?

Another good NSAID that is labeled for use in horses and is safe for long term use is Equioxx. Equioxx is a product that is used in clinics as an intravenous medication, but can be sent home with clients as a paste resembling a deworming tube.

How fast does Osphos work?

It may take two months to see the maximum effect. You administer OSPHOS by intramuscular injection. The total volume should be divided equally into three injection sites. Similar to TILDREN, it may take two months to see the most clinical improvement.

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