Navicular Syndrome in Horses
"My 14yo Horse has been wearing his EQU StreamZ bands 24/7 for the last 12 months after being diagnosed with navicular disease in both front feet along with multiple other issues. He is now on the smallest anti-inflammatory dose and he brings a smile to my face each morning. I 100% recommend this product!..."
"I was never one to believe much in magnetic therapy but when I started reading all the research on these I decided to give them a try. My gelding was diagnosed with severe navicular in his left front. He has been wearing the bands for close to a month now and I can see improvements daily..."
"My gelding suddenly presented with hind end abnormalities. Nerve blocks and blood work showed nothing. Within 24 hours of him wearing the StreamZ bands, the lameness was GONE! Completely gone! Highly recommend these bands, thanks EQU StreamZ!..."
"A brilliant product!! My horse has navicular and wears her EQU StreamZ fetlock bands 24/7. She has notably more energy, she is comfortable and has stayed sound since putting them on. I do not need to use anti-inflammatories anymore! Highly recommended!..."
"I started using EQU StreamZ fetlock bands on my senior gelding this fall and can't say enough good things about them! He's struggled with soundness issues and navicular - these bands have him pain-free and acting like his 8-year-old self again! Also, love that you can put them on 24/7 and do not need to worry about them..."
"My horse has had navicular for nearly a year now. I put the bands on and within 24 hrs noticed a difference! Then over the weeks he got better and better. He still has navicular but we can see the change. I would say to anyone who is told their horse has navicular to try theses EQU StreamZ bands..."
"My horse has navicular and experienced two tears in his DDFT- six months later he trotted up sound!!! EQU StreamZ were a part of his recovery plan! Long road ahead but we are on that road! Louis wears his 24/7."
"These are amazing! I have an older horse with navicular, he was injected 9 months ago which did improve him but was bought these as a very generous Christmas present, well what a difference! He is amazing and really supple. He was reassessed yesterday by the vet and is completely sound!"
"I am a chronic pain specialist and low level laser therapist (human and equine). I decided to try the EQU StreamZ bands on my horse diagnosed with Navicular Disease and am really pleased with the results. She is much less stiff and pottery when she comes out of her stable in the morning and after walking approx 100 yards she is virtually sound. She wears her bands 24/7 and I just remove them for hacking out. I am really pleased with the results!"
What is navicular syndrome/disease?
Navicular syndrome (or navicular disease) is a degenerative condition of structures in the horse’s heel, which is responsible for over a third of chronic lameness in horses. Damage to any of the structures supporting the navicular bone can result in pain for a horse, as well as direct damage to the bone itself. Navicular fractures or navicular stress fractures can also occur.
What is navicular syndrome?
Navicular syndrome (or navicular disease) is a degenerative condition of structures in the horse’s heel, which is responsible for over a third of chronic lameness in horses. The navicular bone in horses is a small boat-shaped bone, which is tucked behind the larger pedal bone and then lies at the back of the heel. The deep digital flexor tendon runs down a horse’s leg, and then wraps itself under the navicular bone, before anchoring to the coffin bone. Damage to any of the structures supporting the navicular bone can result in pain for a horse, as well as direct damage to the bone itself.
‘The vascular theory’ states that: any interruption to the blood supply to the navicular bone can result in navicular disease. Although opinion is divided on the theory, treatments aimed at restoring and increasing blood flow have been proved to have some effect.
What causes this condition?
No one knows exactly what causes navicular syndrome, although, like many other lameness issues, it’s likely a combination of factors are to blame. Navicular Syndrome is most commonly found in horses with certain foot conformations; for example, overlong toes and collapsed heels.
It is believed that there is a genetic component to navicular syndrome, as it is more common in certain breeds of horses, such as thoroughbreds, warmbloods and quarter horses. A greater number of affected horses have a history of front-leg impact work, such as jumping, roping, and reining; or increased concussion (work on rocky or hard surfaces)
Although Navicular Syndrome has been seen in horses as young as 3 years old, the average age to develop signs of navicular disease for a horse is reported to be 7-11 years. This potentially highlights the degenerative nature of the issue and the fact wear-and-tear must play a part.
How can you treat navicular syndrome?
Treatment options for navicular syndrome have improved dramatically in recent years, as vets, scientists and associated studies have provided a better understanding of the condition. Firstly, the treatment should be aimed at the actual structures identified in each individual cases. It’s essential to work with both a vet and a farrier to come up with a combined plan to keep the horse comfortable and sound.
The aim is to re-establish the best foot shape possible to fine-tune the forces placed on the foot to avoid over-loading and cope with the demands of work, specifically the rear third of the hoof.
Careful use of oral anti-inflammatories may help, but it’s vital not to make the horse so comfortable that they don’t rest sufficiently and end up making the injury worse. Vets will often inject an anti-inflammatory (such as a steroid), directly into either the navicular bursa or the coffin joint.
As well as anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic drugs, there is also a number of alternative therapy options that can be considered. These include acupuncture, homeopathy or navicular accessories such as magnetic devices.
Can navicular syndrome be cured?
The first steps in combating navicular syndrome is consultations with a veterinarian and a farrier. While there is no cure, a prompt diagnosis allows for treatment and medical plan early on in the course of the disease, which will give the horse the best chance of improvement. Therapeutic shoeing and proper trimming can provide pain relief for many horses. Generally a shortened toe, either through shoe design or trimming, is a goal. It is estimated that proper trimming and shoeing can relieve discomfort in about 30% of horses with navicular syndrome.
As outlined above, there are various treatments available that can improve Navicular Syndrome, so it’s a case of trying to treat the condition as early as possible and finding a solution that works best for the horse.