Friday, February 27, 2015

Tips On Navicular Syndrome In Horses

By Olivia Cross

This disease leads to inflammation of the navicular bone and the adjacent tissues and is mostly concentrated on the front feet. The cartilage becomes less shock absorbing, less bouncy and wears out gradually due to continuous application of compression to the bone. Navicular syndrome in horses is known to cause pain in the hoof as well as be a cause of horse lameness in both front feet.

One will notice that the sick horse will avoid applying pressure to the bone by placing its weight on the toe. It will also take a longer time than is expected in order to stop a stride and shift its position often when it is standing. This is an attempt to ease the pain and pressure from the infected bone; hence, giving the animal some comfort by easing the pain.

Radiographic and clinical signs form the basis of diagnosis of this condition. A specialist physically examines the hoof of the affected leg as well as x-ray images from which they base their treatment. They get some or all information needed for their job due to the depiction of clear signs from the animal which some of them are evident especially in their posture and movement.

When foot testers are used on a sick animal, the most anticipated response is pain during an examination session. The response is in correspondence of application of pressure to the navicular bone. The hoof of the affected foot has been seen to be smaller than that of the opposite leg due to the shifting of animals weight to their unaffected leg.

The most important thing to note about the disease is that it is not terminal as with specialized treatment and care, the horse can return back to its normal state and level of performance. An animal diagnosed with navicular syndrome can be compared to human track athlete with bad feet. It is not safe to say that the track star may never run again; it only means that they have to take care of their feet and be well informed of these problems.

When first observed, most of these animals show signs of infection on only one leg but are actually lame of both front feet. The nerves of that leg will block after some time and cause the horse to limp on the other leg. This behaviour of animals limping on one leg should alert the veterinarian that it is suffering from navicular syndrome.

The treatment of this disease should focus on correct shoeing and not corrective shoeing as most animals have long and under run shores which is the main cause of this condition. The importance of the owner practicing the crucial theory of hoof balancing from front to back and from side to side should not be ignored. Basically, the hoof from the front ought to be parallel to the pastern line and so is the back of the shoe too.

Drug therapy is another option for treatment with lsoxsuprine being the most successful drug that has been used. It facilitates the increment of blood circulation as well as dilating the blood vessels in the navicular bone. Exercise is another alternative for enhancing blood circulation.

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