Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Truth About Navicular Disease In Horses

By Ina Hunt

One can never deny the fact that horses have done a lot for humanity and its growth. This equine has already proved its value over so many years already. They were used to haul and transport various materials long before people made trucks. They were used as a mode of travel long before people had cars and other automobiles. They were used in warfare before the existence of tankers. Indeed, the relationship between this beast and man goes way back to as early as four thousand years ago and older.

Today, the most popular quadruped has taken on a different purpose for the public. They are, at present, used for shows, competitions and just for a leisurely walk around very spacious open areas. Superior pedigree quadrupeds are up for the admiration of a swooning crowd during horse dressage. All these gallops, trots and walks can put the hooves on a strain, and can result to navicular disease in horses.

This particular disease is brought about by the inflammation of the navicula, the bone which is located right in the middle of the hoof. This little piece of bone is located snugly on top of the deep digital flexor tendon of each foot. The bone itself is degenerating, and may cause lameness if not treated well and right.

There surfaces to be educated guesses made by equine experts as to why this malady exists. One most popular hypothesis revolves around the issue of overexertion. Horses are out on their feet the whole day, so all the pressure just gathers at the hoof which has to support the horse day in and day out. Unregulated horse weight can also add strain on the navicular bone, which can just lead to compression on both the bone and the tendon underneath.

Old age plays a role in the progression of the said illness, but it is not really a major factor. This certain disease usually afflicts equines who are at their prime, at their working age of seven to nine years old. Some even develop this problem in as early as only three years of age.

The metal fixes on the hooves of most horses can also alleviate the said condition. Horse shoes are believed to be causing irregular blood flow to the certain part of the body of the horse, leading to complications. The hoof is supposed to contract and expand along with the horse as it grows, so the wrong fit will inhibit the hoof to do that.

Rough terrains is also believed to be one of the reasons why horses contact navicular syndrome. Steep hills and uneven paths can cause unevenness on the hooves, making one work harder to keep up with the other. Too much jumping, galloping, and other extreme movements are culprits, too. The impact from such a distance may cause additional trauma or compression to the affected part.

If the beasts are showing signs of lameness, then that could be a giveaway that there is something wrong with its body. The first plan of action an owner should do is to have the shoe examined. It should be adjusted so that it will be more comfortable for the quadruped to walk. Others even suggest putting in a small pad to increase the measure of the angle.

Medical treatment may also lesen the pain and the adverse effects of the said disease. Anti inflammatory drugs are administered in most cases. However, AHSA rules limit one from using steroidal medication, so make sure the drugs you are using are non steroidal.

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