Please enable JavaScript to access this page. Medicine And Fitness: An Article On Navicular Syndrome In Horses

An Article On Navicular Syndrome In Horses

By Mattie Knight

Horses are among mans most favorite animal. They are used for a variety of functions. Though many people may not be aware of this, horses are affected by a lot of diseases. This is because of their environment since they are tamed and lived in control conditions and other interactions which exposes them to these diseases. There are many known infections affecting horses. This article will concentrate on navicular syndrome in horses.

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.

Currently, there has be no proof of a single cause of this disease. There are only theories suggesting its cause. The first theory suggest it is due to compression of this bone. Repeated compression of this bone and the deep digital flexor results to degeneration of the cartilage. The main role of a cartilage is to absorb shock on the joint. Degeneration therefore results to erosion thus increased friction.

Exertion of stress or tension onto the bone and cartilages is what the second theory suggest to cause this condition. They perform a lot of activities. In the process, they exert a lot of tension on the bones and ligaments. This may lead to inflammation in addition to disruption of blood supply. These combined together can result to navicular syndrome.

This disease occurrence is contributed by a number of factors. First and foremost, the conformation of the horses hoof determines the occurrence of this disease. Certain hoof conformations such as low toe, low heel are said to contribute to this. The pathophysiology behind this is that they exert stress on the bone. Poor shape of the hoof is also a contributing factor. This condition is however inherited.

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.

Type of work the horse does and the weight of the horse contributes to this condition. Strenuous activity on sloppy areas leads to excessive tension on the bone. Also, if the ratio of body size to feet is high, this means the upper part is heavy resulting to tension on the bones.

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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