How To Prevent Your Horse Going Lame From The Most Common Cause Of Lameness

There are lots of ways a horse can go lame. Perhaps the most common cause of lameness is a result of Navicular Syndrome. The fortunate thing is that it can be treated where the horse gets complete, successful recovery if diagnosed and treated in it's early stages. Here's what you need to know about Navicular Syndrome.

First, there is a small bone between the coffin bone and the short pastern bone called the navicular bone. This bone is important in that it distributes the horse's weight between the coffin bone and the short pastern bone. The result is that it reduces the stress on both the coffin bone and short pastern bone when the foot lands to the ground and weight is put on it. (Even though the rear feet have navicular bones, it is the fore feet that are most often affected)

The navicular bone also works with a tendon called the "deep digital flexor tendon." This tendon flexes the coffin and pastern joints. It also absorbs shock when the hoof strikes the ground. When the flexor tendon moves, it slides over the cartlidge-covered navicluar bone which lowers the work load of the tendon when the foot moves.

Thus, when the horse's foot lands to the ground there is a lot of force on the navicular bone. As the horse's weight is transferred over the foot, the bone is pushed against the tendon. When this happens repeatedly, then damage to the navicular bone and the tendon can occur.

One thing that can happen is the cartlidge can lose its slippery surface and friction can develop between the navicular bone and the tendon. Then the tendon can become rough and make the sliding motion on the navicluar bone even worse. This ultimately leads to pain for the horse and worse, lameness. Worse, the blood flow to the navicular bone and the tendon could be decreased and it may not heal.

How can you tell if your horse may have navicular syndrome? One is he may not want to change leads. He may lose his suppleness or perhaps have a stiff and jerky gait. As this gets worse the may show lameness where you may see short stride in one or both front legs. The horse will purposely try to step on his toe portion of the foot because the pain will be in the back of the foot. Thus, you will see his toe is worn more than any other part of the foot.

This condition will more easily show up in hard-working horses. It also is more apparent when a horse works in tight circles. When he is moving in a straight line it is not as apparent. The lameness seems to almost disappear when the horse is at rest. It will reappear when it is working hard again.

How do you treat navicular syndrome? First, begin early. The horse owner is responsible for recognizing there may be a problem. If there is a problem, then the veterinarian and the farrier should be called so treatment can begin. The treatment consists of corrective trimming and shoeing, pain relieving and inflammation decreasing drugs, and carefully controlled exercise.

Interestingly, treatment for navicular syndrome may be quite different from veterinarian to the next. They will not necessarily prescribe the same treatment.

Exercise is one of the most important parts of the treatment because it increases blood flow to the horse's foot. But remember that the exercise has to be carefully done.

What horses are the most likely to have navicular syndrome? Hard working horses like race horses, cutting, reining, calf roping, and barrel racers. They are especially more likely to get navicular syndrome if they work on hard surfaces and have poor conformation.

Navicular syndrome is most common in horses with upright pasterns. Navicluar syndrome is also common in horses when the hoof and pastern slope at different angles.

As a horse owner, you should know that improper trimming and shoeing can also cause navicular syndrome. If the farrier trims a heel too low on a horse with an upright pastern it can increase the pressure where the flexor tendon and the navicular bone meet.

Thus, be watchful of your horse. If you see something out of the ordinary when you ask your horse to work hard you may begin by looking for navicular syndrome since it is the most common cause of lameness in horses. As always, consult your veterinarian for diagnoses and treatments.

About The Author

Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at www.horsetrainingandtips.com. He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at www.horsetrainingandtips.com/Jesse_Beerya.htm.

In The News:


Cincinnati.com

Reports of poisoned treats, toys killing pets in Gallatin Co.
Cincinnati.com
Officials in Gallatin County are warning pet owners to keep an extra eye on their animals because they have gotten reports of dogs and cats getting ill and even dying due to poison. "It just devastates me," David Downs, a pet owner, said. "I can't ...
EagleCountryOnline.com Poisonous Treats, Toys Threaten Pets In ...Eagle 99.3 FM WSCH

all 2 news articles »

New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

A brief history of Jersey's weirdest pets
New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
They believe it's someone's pet and if so hopefully they'll be reunited. Some states ban Savannah cats but I've read multiple published reports stating it's unclear whether Jersey is one of them. However the website hybridlaw.com lists New Jersey as ...
Exotic 'Savannah Cat' Found Roaming The Streets Of PatersonCBS New York

all 15 news articles »

KABC-TV

Celebrities who adopted pets and support #AdoptDontShop
KABC-TV
"The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them," the organization said on their website. "When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up ...

and more »

Timesonline.com

Slobbery kisses: Romania hosts show for 1600 exotic pets
Timesonline.com
In this Sunday, March 12, 2017, picture an English bulldog gets a kiss from its owner, in Bucharest, Romania. More than 1,500 dogs and 150 cats from twelve countries were evaluated during a three day pet show and competition in the Romanian capital.

and more »

WLWT Cincinnati

Are NKY pets being poisoned? Someone is soaking dog treats in antifreeze, shelter says
WLWT Cincinnati
There were only crumbs left from the rest of the tainted treats that poisoned their two pets. Gallatin shelter workers say they've also heard from nearby counties reporting pet poisonings. The Reece family says there was little mystery about what ...


Gilmer Mirror

Pets Fur People Pet - Sandy
Gilmer Mirror
Meet Sandy – a 3 year old female shepherd mix that is available for adoption at the Humane Society's Pets Fur People in Tyler. Sandy is a big girl – she weighs 90 - because of her size, she would be best suited in a household with no small children and ...
Very special 'Angel Pets' deserve a second chanceReno Gazette Journal

all 2 news articles »

PRETTY PETS: Roaches top Dracula's menu
Shelbyville Times-Gazette
Pretty Pets is a feature in which we interview the owner of unusual pets or livestock. This feature will appear each Thursday. The T-G welcomes your suggestions for such animals to be featured. Email them to [email protected] Leaping lizards! Today's ...


Idaho Press-Tribune

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month
Idaho Press-Tribune
There are many common household goods and human habits that can harm pets. For Pet Poison Awareness Month, Dr. Michael Ciepluch, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained how to protect your pet's ...

and more »

Florida Times-Union

Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the Week
Florida Times-Union
Meet him at St. Johns County Pet Center, 130 N. Stratton Road, St. Augustine. St. Johns dogs are $35 for males and $50 for females, including spay/neuter, rabies vaccination and shots. Adoption hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Gates close at 4 ...

and more »

BranfordSeven.com

Letter: The Truth About All Pets Club Puppies
BranfordSeven.com
Where Do the Puppies Really Come From? The only thing people see is the cute, fluffy, puppies that look ready to be adopted. But there's more to it then what meets the eye. It is no surprise that the puppies sold at All Pet's Club come from puppy mills ...

and more »
Google News

Six Dog Training Tips to Modify Negative Behavior

Almost every dog owner will have to use some sort... Read More

Ten Tips for Caring for Your Betta Fish

Betta fish, also called Siamese fighting fish are one of... Read More

Dog Training Collars: Teaching Your Dog Basic Obedience and Breaking Bad Habits

Dog Training CollarsHaving a pet means having to provide for... Read More

America; You Are Over Feeding Your Pets

As many of you know America is serious about our... Read More

Stop Your Dog From Pulling You Down The Street

From the first day of life on a leash, most... Read More

Get Educated Before Buying Your Pomeranian From A Dog Breeder

Buying a purebred dog is not something that should be... Read More

What Rabbit Noises Mean

a) GrowlingIf your rabbit growls or grunts at you, she... Read More

A Moving Experience: Making Your Move Easy on Your Parrots

Moving is about as stressful a time as any in... Read More

Top 5 Dog Health Problems

The most common dog problems:Dog Owner's commonly ask me the... Read More

Treat Fleas Naturally and Avoid Vaccinations, for a Truly Healthy Dog

An essential to your dog's health is his/her regular annual... Read More

How to Play Safely with Your Westie Puppies

Just like children, westie puppies learn through play. Playing games... Read More

Small Dog Travel Guide

Advice!!!-Pet products that are useful, fun and enjoyable will make... Read More

Dog Clothes make Great Gifts

When it comes to the art of giving, a gift... Read More

Does Your Boston Terrier Want To Be With You?

This may come as a surprise...but if the tables were... Read More

Oscar

Oscar is kind of a funny name and it fit... Read More

Defend Your Dog and Stop that Hurting Paw!

Of course, we humans use shoes to protect our feet.... Read More

Animal Ethics

IntroductionA long time ago, before evolution turned the primate into... Read More

Dogs, Cats, Horses?We Love Them All!

We have a long history with domesticated animals and even... Read More

How To Be A Good Pomeranian Dog Owner

Opening your heart to a Pomeranian can be fun, but... Read More

Choosing Between Dog Training Schools and Animal Behavior Specialists

If you are having behavioral issues with your dog that... Read More

Applehead Chihuahua

The term applehead Chihuahua refers to the shape of a... Read More

Unusual Breeding Behaviour in Wild Caught Archocentrus Sajica

I would like to write a few words about my... Read More

Are All Those Pet Vaccinations Really Necessary?

Would you like to save money and have a healthier... Read More

Treating Dog Arthritis With Natural Supplements

Dog arthritis is one of the most common diseases that... Read More

Wormy Dogs? - Understand Dog Worms Infestation and Their Symptoms

Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to... Read More