Navicular disease is a type of illness that is so common in horses. It is a form of illness that consists of related conditions that in most cases affect the navicular bone and other structures of the foot. Note that apart from the navicular disease there are so many other illnesses that can affect the navicular bone and its parts. That is why before concluding that your horse is suffering from this disease you must get it tested. It is important to take your time to understand the anatomy of the navicular areas to have a better understanding of the navicular disease. The navicular bone is that bone that lies across the coffin joint where impair ligaments attaches it to the pedal bone and suspensory ligaments to the pastern joint.
You need to know that navicular disease occurs as a result of interference with the way blood is supplied to the navicular bone. Also having trauma to the navicular bone can lead to navicular disease. This disease results in damage at the navicular bursa, navicular ligaments and deep flexor tendon and this cause severe pains that may cause lameness. Research shows that navicular disease causes bilateral lameness because it affects the front feet of horses. This lameness is observed when the horse is exercised on the extremely hard ground or in a small circle because the is the time when it occurs. Sometimes as the horse owners, you may realize your horse is experiencing obvious lameness which occurs when one of the foot is more affected compared to the other one. Those horses that are affected by this disease stand by placing the foot that is experiencing more pain on the one that is less painful.
It is important to understand that navicular disease is diagnosed by combining radiography, history, symptoms and nerve blocks. There are high chances that your horse is suffering from the navicular disease if it has been regularly experiencing low-grade bilateral lameness. Note that affected horses will try to place one toe down first before the other so that they can avoid putting so much weight on the most affected foot. It is important to understand that by injecting local anesthetic in the affected horses you will manage to reduce the severity of the navicular disease and alleviate the extent of lameness. Research has shown that blocking of the DIP joint will also play a significant role in improving the coffin joint that is part of the navicular bone located at the foot of the horse. Radiographs are used mostly to reveal those damages that have been caused to the horse’s foot by the navicular disease. Sometimes these radiographs may not be able to produce accurate results regarding the severity of the disease and so magnetic resonance imagining may be used. The magnetic imagining will play a very important role in revealing all the injuries that may be caused to the impair ligaments and also to the suspensory ligaments. Those who own horses should know that curing those horses affected with the navicular disease may be difficult but they can be treated.