Thursday, November 12, 2015

Facts Behind Navicular Syndrome In Horses

By Mattie Knight

Many people love horses. To an extent, they are a sign of wealth. They also have other beneficial uses. Information regarding the lives of horses is scarce and especially the diseases they suffer from. They are greatly affected by a number of diseases reason being they have a wide range of exposure in addition to their living conditions. As said earlier, horses suffer from a large number of diseases. For this case, navicular syndrome in horses will be the focus.

Also referred to as navicular disease, navicular syndrome is a disease which involves inflammatory process on the navicular bone. The surrounding tissues could also be affected. Inflammation may result to degeneration of these tissues. The front feet is commonly affected. Lameness could be the end result of this situation. The area on the hoof, posterior to the coffin bone in the limb of a horse is the navicular area. Several ligaments and tendons attach to this area. These include deep digital flexor and impar ligament. They aid in strengthening the bone.

There are many theories suggesting the causes of this infection. However, there is no single proven cause. Compression of the bone under the connecting tendon is the first factor thought to be causing this syndrome. Due to compression occurring repeatedly, degeneration of the cartilage occurs. Due to this, erosion of cartilage occurs which is the shock observing matter in the joint.

The second theory faults the stress and tension present in the ligaments to be causing this condition. As you are aware, they experience a lot of strenuous exercises. As a result, there is buildup of tension on the ligaments which may result to inflammation. This could also have an impact on blood supply of the hoof.

There are several contributing factors to this disease. Conformation of the horses feet is the first factor. Some conformations including long toe, low heel conformation contribute to this syndrome. This is because they exert tension or stress on the navicular bone. Poor hoof shape, an inherited condition is also said to be a contributing factor.

Moving on, how the hoof is trimmed and the type of shoe it uses also contributes to this condition. Metal shoe is not good for horses. This is because they limit the normal expansion and contraction of the hoof as the horse moves. They therefore impair blood supply to lower parts. This results to inflammation of the affected parts.

The nature of work and weight of the horse also have an impact. Excessive work on hills leads to tension on the bone. Also, exercise on rugged grounds increases the risk of developing the disease. Regarding the body weight, those with a large body weight directly exert stress on the hoofs. Navicular bone being affected directly.

Signs and symptoms of a horse affected by the disease are easy to identify. Pain on the heels which results to limping of the horse is a common one. Hoof changes and lameness are other expected signs. To avoid and treat this, practice good trimming exercises, good care for hoofs, limited exercises and medications are necessary. Surgery is only done if all the above measures fail.

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