Friday, March 20, 2015

Information On Navicular Syndrome In Horses

By Lena Stephenson

Caudal heel pain syndrome is a degenerative disease affecting the structure of hoof in horses. Navicular syndrome is mostly linked to the navicular bone, or distal sesamoid bone. Distal sesamoid bones are small and are set deep within the hooves. They are precisely at the back junctions of the coffin and short pasterns bones.

The disease is characterized with a lot of pain due to changes in the position of bursa, ligaments, tendons and bones. Partial lameness, which worsens with time, is observed among animals suffering from the disorder. The pain is experienced in the fore feet making the horse want to reduce strain placed on them as much as they can. While resting, the most painful hoof is normally held ahead of the other.

The other indicators of the disorder include a horse having difficulties in turning sharply. It also becomes hard for the affected animal to move on hard or rocky ground as well as finding it hard to go downhill. The disorder makes a horse very uncooperative during shoeing or trimming as they involve picking up one front foot leaving the other to support the animal. Once, the weight is concentrated on one foot the horse feels unbearable pain thus the stubbornness.

There is no guarantee that particular breeds of horses do not develop the problem. Although, the problem is common in stock type horses such as appaloosas, paints, and quarter horses. Warmblood horses and thoroughbreds are also likely to suffer from this condition. On the other hand, Arabian horse is rarely affected by the disease. The weight of the animal could lead to this syndrome because overweight horses put excess strain on their musculoskeletal system.

The pain worsens with work and reduces if the animal is allowed more resting time. Affected animals have to be treated once the problem is established by a certified veterinary. Treatment can be in form of changes in schedule or surgery. Trimming and using square toe shoes could help the animal much. Doing so reduces the strain placed on front feet.

Medical treatment includes administration of anti-inflammatory drugs like phenylbutazone. Vasodilator drugs such as pentoxifyline, metrenperone, and isoxsuprine are used to increase blood flow to the affected areas. Application of some drugs is not allowed if the horse is to take part in certain competitions. For this reason, it is good to consult with a certified veterinary before administering any drug.

Surgical method to navicular condition entails neurectomy. Neurectomy is simply transection of digital nerve found in the lower pastern part and inhibiting its growth the longest time possible. The surgery has two methods by which it can be achieved. The first method includes cutting the nerve using a blade or operating using sophisticated surgery laser. Each technique is applied when considered necessary and also to reduce chances of complications.

Neurectomy is not cure rather it is a technique that removes the pain when every method has failed. It is not a long-lasting solution as it might have to be repeated at some time. Compilations can arise from this technique though this is rear. Neuroma is the commonest is a painful tumor, which grows at the tip of transected nerve.

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