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Old 11-04-2011, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Just wondering if any of you horse people out there have had any experience with navicular syndrome or degenerative joint disease in horses?

There's so much conflicting information out there, bar shoes versus bare feet, I'm just wondering what people's personal experiences might have been.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Just wondering if any of you horse people out there have had any experience with navicular syndrome or degenerative joint disease in horses?

There's so much conflicting information out there, bar shoes versus bare feet, I'm just wondering what people's personal experiences might have been.
This is the wrong forum to ask this question. In fact, a forum really should not be a place to ask this question. However, since you asked , my recommendation is to find either a University Veterinary Equine clinic nearby or a large equine clinic with board certified equine vets and lameness experts, preferably a few of them in the same clinic so that they can consult each other if it is a tough case.

My wife's horse was diagnosed with "navicular" at the age of four by an overly confident, inexperienced, idiot vet. It turned out it was a very poor farrier job, AFTER we took him to a large clinic near Ocala, FL. This clinic was amazing, had 20+ vets on staff, board certified folks, lameness experts, but most of all, they had a farrier on staff, this guy was also the farrier for University of Florida.

In fact, farriers have a lot more to do with your horse's feet, legs, stride etc. than anything else. It is a complex subject and finding a competent farrier is an art itself, just like finding anyone competent in any field these days.

The best combination is to find a University teaching hospital or a large clinic with a competent farrier on staff. The farrier should always work with the vet in these cases and the two collaborate wonderfully in these settings. First get a solid diagnosis and then there are ways to make the animal more comfortable and usable...

OD
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,494 posts, read 38,417,337 times
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You will, indeed, want to consult with a good veterinarian who's familiar with your horse - if that vet also consults with an equine veterinary science teaching hospital (mine consulted with Texas A&M on difficult cases, but was not on staff with them), that's a real plus. You'll also want a really good farrier experienced in dealing with navicular who works in tandem with your vet.

However, I disagree that forums aren't a good place to discuss such things, as horses don't always go by the book and it's possible to learn from the experiences of others (using them as jumping off points to do your own research, not gospel, of course).

How old is the horse? What are the symptoms? Has the horse been diagnosed yet, or are you just thinking it might be navicular?
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: The Jar
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Years ago, we had a gelding who had navicular. Needless to say, he was a wonderful pasture ornament.

Unless you pump the aspirin into them (which would be a bit cruel) you can't ride them at all.

To shoe or not to shoe. That is the question!
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I've consulted vets, including equine vet specialists, and farriers. I'm wondering what other's personal experiences might have been. What they tried, what worked for them. There doesn't seem to be any agreement on the cause of navicular syndrome or even on the treatment.

To ognend - it is my understanding that folks have asked for a horse forum to be set up, but that until there are enough posts showing interest, new forums aren't established.

Through reading on this board, it's become clear to me that a number of posters have horses and frequent this forum, and since there is no horse forum currently, to me this seems to be the logical jumping off place.

However, if I am mistaken, the moderator is free to remove this post.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,779 posts, read 6,691,169 times
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Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
You will, indeed, want to consult with a good veterinarian who's familiar with your horse - if that vet also consults with an equine veterinary science teaching hospital (mine consulted with Texas A&M on difficult cases, but was not on staff with them), that's a real plus. You'll also want a really good farrier experienced in dealing with navicular who works in tandem with your vet.

However, I disagree that forums aren't a good place to discuss such things, as horses don't always go by the book and it's possible to learn from the experiences of others (using them as jumping off points to do your own research, not gospel, of course).

How old is the horse? What are the symptoms? Has the horse been diagnosed yet, or are you just thinking it might be navicular?
She has been diagnosed with it. She's a ten-year old QH-Arab cross mare. I actually changed farriers a month ago because I wasn't happy with my previous farrier, and now have a farrier who works specifically with problem horses, lame horses, etc, and I love him enough to want to marry him, if I wasn't married already. I'm treating her with bute and not working her at the moment. My vet is prepared to work together with my farrier.

I'm more interested in other's experiences, as to what they did exactly in similar cases.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
She has been diagnosed with it. She's a ten-year old QH-Arab cross mare. I actually changed farriers a month ago because I wasn't happy with my previous farrier, and now have a farrier who works specifically with problem horses, lame horses, etc, and I love him enough to want to marry him, if I wasn't married already. I'm treating her with bute and not working her at the moment. My vet is prepared to work together with my farrier.

I'm more interested in other's experiences, as to what they did exactly in similar cases.
Take your horse to a lameness expert who is reputable and has a farrier they work with. I guess what I was trying to say is that just because a horse has been diagnosed with navicular, does not mean they actually got the right diagnosis.

Depending on the progression on the condition, you may be able to get away with special shoes or you may end up having a pasture ornament. Only your vet and your farrier can tell you where you are at. That's what I meant when I said that these forums are not a good place to ask. Yes, a lot of us have horses most of us are not lameness experts with degrees and 20+ years of experience who can see your horse, take various x-ray views, maybe do MRIs etc...

My $.02
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by ognend View Post
Take your horse to a lameness expert who is reputable and has a farrier they work with. I guess what I was trying to say is that just because a horse has been diagnosed with navicular, does not mean they actually got the right diagnosis.

Depending on the progression on the condition, you may be able to get away with special shoes or you may end up having a pasture ornament. Only your vet and your farrier can tell you where you are at. That's what I meant when I said that these forums are not a good place to ask. Yes, a lot of us have horses most of us are not lameness experts with degrees and 20+ years of experience who can see your horse, take various x-ray views, maybe do MRIs etc...

My $.02
I appreciate your post and I really, really hope that there's a mistake somewhere. My farrier has a ranch full of last-chance horses, and does work for the SPCA on that basis. My previous farrier (who had 30 years experience and allegedly does corrective shoeing/trimming) trimmed my horses too short and told me the horse was just being a ***** (I guess meaning faking her lameness?). Goodbye farrier and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Right now I'm waiting for their hooves to grow out.

I would never take advice from an internet forum over a recommendation from my vet and my farrier, however other people sharing their personal experiences can sometimes put a new twist on an idea.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,494 posts, read 38,417,337 times
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You're absolutely right, netwit. Unfortunately, I haven't had experience with navicular, only with laminitis and with a very serious suspensory ligament injury of a horse that was 3-legged lame for a month, even with everything that my excellent vet AND Texas A&M could come up with, and we were discussing the euthanasia option, until I thought, with my vet's enthusiastic approval, to consult the local equine vet/acupuncturist. (She gives lectures at the AAEP conventions on alternative therapies, but is an A&M trained vet as well as holistic vet.) One treatment and he was on his way back; we gave a second but he didn't really need it but he was really happy to see her arrive with her needles. Anyone who's been acupunctured themselves will understand. That horse lived happily and soundly for another 11 years.

There's a YahooGroups equine list that I'm on where you might find some useful information from horse people all over the world - I'd bet good money there'd be several on there who have had experience with this and would be more than happy to share their experiences. (It is, after all, what we do!) If you're interested, PM me and I'll give you the link to it.

You might want to look into acupuncture for it, too. I've used it for that one horse, and for a dog who had a spinal embolysm and had plateaued in her recovery, both times with excellent results.

Oh, and I hear you about the farrier. Once you find a good one, you'll do anything to keep them!
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:53 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I appreciate your post and I really, really hope that there's a mistake somewhere. My farrier has a ranch full of last-chance horses, and does work for the SPCA on that basis. My previous farrier (who had 30 years experience and allegedly does corrective shoeing/trimming) trimmed my horses too short and told me the horse was just being a ***** (I guess meaning faking her lameness?). Goodbye farrier and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Right now I'm waiting for their hooves to grow out.

I would never take advice from an internet forum over a recommendation from my vet and my farrier, however other people sharing their personal experiences can sometimes put a new twist on an idea.
I hope it all works out for you. I would get a second opinion from a teaching hospital associated with a University (if you really have the money to spend...). We have gone through no less than 8 farriers. Two of them were GREAT but too far. Of the rest one was decent. We have also gone through about 3 vets. I had a horse with a sinus cyst who got operated on and ended up with 3 follow up surgeries with a local fool of a vet (developed bone infection, pus oozing out of his face, spent a month on antibiotics not getting better) before I took him to Ocala to a Boiard certified surgeon who actually charged less (!) for her surgery at a great clinic with 20+ vets and specialists, the horse was in great shape 7 days later...

Last week I had a son of a "local-farrier-legend" show up. This guy supposedly does corrective trimming, that's his specialty. His father teaches clinics on therapeutic shoeing, he is a big farrier name around Austin, TX. This was the first time we had this guy since we just moved to TX, we are new and acted on a recommendation. He started on my wife's horse and 5 minutes later there are drops of blood coming out of the hoof wall. The incompetent fool said "oh, look, drops of blood - I have never seen this before, I wonder what kind of condition or history this horse has". I picked up the trimmed piece and you could see where he made a line where he was going to trim but I guess the nippers went an INCH above. I thought I was going to faint when I saw it. Needless to say he was sent home immediately, I am going to have another farrier come out (this time supposedly a certified journeyman if that means anything these days) and am going to send his bill to the idiot that came out. I am intent on seeing this one through a small claims court if he doesn't pay up, I saved the hoof fragment and took photos. Anybody (even a lay person like me) could have seen that he cut the hoof way too short. The horse is now on bute waiting for the other farrier to come out and hopefully make him more comfortable.

One of the farriers we had was also a gem - he trimmed down the foot to fit a smaller shoe, kept trying to make the foot smaller with each visit.

OD

Last edited by ognend; 11-05-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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