Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How To Manage Navicular Disease In Horses

By Janine Hughes

The hoof consists of bones and ligaments including the navicular bone that is connected to ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue. The presence of navicular disease in horses can occur because of improper physical development including injuries that affect the support structures. Equines impacted by such damages will suffer from symptoms of lameness and severe pain making it difficult to move regularly.

The structures that are present within the navicular region will need to be examined to confirm the presence of disease. A complete assessment includes a closer look at inflammation and swelling that may be caused by injuries or poor bone development. The condition is one of the most common in equines of different breeders, but there is a higher risk of dysfunction in high performing horses.

For a large number of animals, the damage that is caused by the condition can result in severe operation. Horses will often become lame in one leg making it difficult to engage in lengthy strides and to move around edges. Reliance on a professional approach will aid in determining the presence of the disorder including a fair evaluation of the movement of a horse.

Where a horse suffers from navicular disease, it will need to be assessed with the assistance provided by an experienced and professional evaluation. The doctor may request the performance of digital imaging to detect the navicular bone and whether it is affected by injury or abnormal physical structures. The equine must be able to rest the affected limbs and should not include high performance requirements.

Most horses that sustain injuries in the foreleg or undergo physical debilitation may be at increased risk of developing this condition. Sustaining injuries such as a bone fracture, cysts, bone calcification, and poor tendon formation can lead to exacerbated symptoms and poor operation. The completion of assessments can aid in identifying the disease and the severity of symptoms.

Depending on the severity of damage that a horse is suffering from, a vet may initiate conservative treatment. One of the most commonly applied techniques involves shoeing where the doctor will create a supportive structure to realign the affected bones and ligaments. This method is most beneficial for animals that are suffering from abnormalities including difficulties in the ability to walk normally.

Pain and strain must be managed with medication that is not too harsh, but serves to relieve the discomfort that is placed on normal function. The tissues will require intervention for healthy healing processes to take place. Equines can be supported with unique therapy and care to aid in supporting recovery over a lengthy period of time.

The change in the navicular bone can lead to a significant increase in nerve pressure and a veterinarian may need to operate to reduce the severity of debilitation. The health of affected nerves will rely on relief from compression and an improvement in overall range of motion. Therapy can be applied where the condition is diagnosed, but requires the right type of care to achieve healthy and safe results.

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