- 1 How do you keep a horse with navicular comfortable?
- 2 When is it time to euthanize a horse with navicular?
- 3 Can you ride a horse with navicular disease?
- 4 Is navicular progressive?
- 5 How do I know if my horse has navicular?
- 6 How do you know if your horse has navicular?
- 7 When is it time to put a horse down?
- 8 How do you comfort a dying horse?
- 9 When should you put a horse to sleep?
- 10 Is navicular a death sentence?
- 11 What is the best treatment for navicular disease?
- 12 Can bad shoeing cause navicular?
- 13 Can navicular be managed?
- 14 Is navicular genetic?
- 15 Can horses be born with navicular?
For acute pain, a veterinarian might prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as bute or firocoxib to help make the horse more comfortable and break the conditions initial pain cycle, Peters says. Bisphosphonates are another drug treatment option for specific navicular syndrome cases.
Navicular disease can be managed—but only if you catch it early before too much damage has been done —and unfortunately it was clearly too late for poor Delight. No animal should live in chronic pain just because its owner lacks the moral fiber to make the difficult but compassionate decision to humanely euthanize it.
Turn your horse out in a pasture or paddock all day every day, if possible, and limit his time in the stall. If he’s still sound enough to ride, try to do so only on soft footing. Depending on the severity of his condition, you might also want to avoid riding him on circles or longeing.
Navicular syndrome is a progressive and degenerative condition with no cure.
Clinical signs of navicular disease include a short, choppy stride with lameness that worsens when the horse is worked in a circle, as when longeing. Frequent stumbling may occur at all gaits, even the walk, or when horses are asked to step over short obstacles such as ground poles.
A history of intermittent low grade or recurrent lameness is suggestive of navicular disease. Affected horses often appear to place the toe down first, as if trying not to put weight on their heels (in contrast to laminitis), and the lameness is worse on the inside leg on a circle.
When is it time to put a horse down?
These are the three most common scenarios you’ll face that might result in a euthanasia decision: sudden severe illness or injury, slow decline in condition that causes quality of life to suffer, or temperament problems that cause a horse to become dangerous.
How do you comfort a dying horse?
How to Comfort a Dying Horse
- Keep Your Horse Company. Being present around your horse for this time can be exceptionally beneficial.
- Surround Your Horse With Familiar Things. If your horse is fading, it will likely take immense comfort in familiarity.
- Maintain Familiar Routines.
- Discuss Pharmaceutical Options With Your Vet.
When should you put a horse to sleep?
There are a number of reasons why a horse may need to be euthanased. A common one is old age, when the horse’s condition has deteriorated to such an extent it no longer has an acceptable quality of life. Other reasons include serious injury, or a disease or illness that cannot be successfully treated.
Horses that develop navicular syndrome can often be maintained with this sort of treatment. It is not a death sentence for the horse. The classic stance of a horse with navicular syndrome is to point the foot that hurts the most. This puts the weight more on the toe and off of the heel.
Nonsurgical treatment of navicular syndrome consists of rest, hoof balance and corrective trimming/shoeing, and medical therapy, including administration of systemic antiinflammatories, hemorheologic medications, and intraarticular medications.
Poor hoof shape is usually inherited, although poor shoeing and trimming can contribute to these shapes. With the long toe, low heel conformation can come contracted heels (narrowing of the heel) which further compresses the navicular bone along with sheared heels adding more stress to the tendons and navicular bones.
Navicular syndrome can be managed to reduce the horse’s pain and minimize excessive stress on the deep digital flexor tendon. A layup period in a stall or small paddock can allow the painful structures to rest and recover. Therapeutic shoeing can improve the horse’s comfort by improving balance and breakover.
Navicular syndrome as a cause of lameness in the horse has been traced back to as early as 1752. The exact cause of this syndrome is not fully understood but appears to be multifactorial in nature. A hereditary link has been proposed but poor hoof conformation is certainly a major risk factor.
Furthermore, the bone-segmenting disease can occur in more than one foot in the same horse. Thus, he said, the disease is congenital (the horses are born with it) and does not result from trauma in early life.