Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How To Manage Navicular Syndrome

By Dora Reed

This syndrome is also usually referred to as the navicular disease. It is a soundness issue that affects horses in general. This disease affects the front feet of the horse usually, that is the bone and tissue around it too. Navicular syndrome causes inflammatory sensations and can lead to deformation of bones. This later on leads to lameness of the horse.

There is no single clear cut cause associated with this condition. Never the less a couple of causes are attributed to it. Compression is one of these causes. It causes deformation of the tissue connecting the bones in the feet. Eventually there is deformation of cartilage. This is followed by erosion of cartilage hence pain in the feet.

Another known cause for this disease is tension. This tension causes strain to the tendons and ligaments in feet. In reaction to the strain they thicken and hence interfere with blood circulation. Continued failure in blood circulation starts tissue deformation. And eventually the animal starts experiencing problems in its movement.

A number of other factors also cause this condition in horses. These range from the weight of a horse, shoeing and work on steep terrain. Horses with large weights and yet small foot sizes are at risk mostly. Improper fitting of horse shoes and bad trimming are also known to cause the illness. Just like human shoes, one has to be very careful when choosing horse shoes.

This disease exhibits a number of signs and symptoms. These horses experience pain in their heels as they run or move around. They will also show lameness tendencies or struggle to move. This begins slightly and worsens with time if not treated. Some affected horses are seen trying to tiptoe due to the pain in the heels.

So far no one treatment can be used to cure this disease. However a good number of effective treatments can be used. Trimming is advised for affected animals. A well-trimmed and shaped hoof can be all it takes to set the horse free. With proper trimming, the tension is eased and hence the disease is managed. This is a very effective yet highly affordable remedy.

It is also important that the horses get frequent hoof care. Use of corrective shoes can also prove very helpful. It corrects foot imbalances and allows for proper blood flow. The effects are sometimes temporary though. It is also advised that at times the horses should o minus shoes. This allows for healthy circulation. Infected horses also need regular exercise. This exercise should be light as intense work may worsen the situation.

Use of medications such as the vasodilator and the anticoagulants has also proved quite helpful. Vasodilators increase blood flow to the surface of feet hence reducing the disease. Anticoagulants on the other hand prevent blood coagulation throughout the legs. This prevents high pressure and deformation in the legs. Finally, for critical case scenarios surgical remedies are offered. This is highly consequential though.

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