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TOPIC: Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right?

Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 02 Feb 2009 22:10 #1

  • Ranglr00
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Hello to all,

This is my 1st post, so please bare with me (p.s. I can't spell).

I am working on a 7 year old quarter horse gelding (15.3 and 1200 lbs) that has been x-rayed and diagnosied with Navicular, bone spurs, and calcium deposits. The owner has had the horse on a mineral program from TLC Animal Nutrition for 5 months and has seen some improvment but the horse relapsed as soon as he was removed from the supplements.

I have done some research on this site and countless hours on the web in general and I am now seeking your advice. Another farrier has suggested rail shoes and feels that within 6 to 8 weeks he should grow enough foot and then be sound enough to ride. The horse is a ranch horse and not overly used but does do some team roping. Are rail shoes the answer? I have really no experiance with them and am new to the farrier trade so I would have someone else put them on.

Will this be a temporary patch that will ony mask the symptoms or will rail shoes actually help the horse heal naturally? The horse has been on the Pete Ramey "barefoot trim" method for almost 2 years and regular shoes did little to nothing to improve his soundness.

Here is what his feet look like now (small in my opinon):
[ATTACH]8332[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH]8333[/ATTACH]

The x-rays and Vet notes are as follows:
[ATTACH][ATTACH]8336[/ATTACH][/ATTACH][ATTACH]8338[/ATTACH]

I have a copy of the vet notes as well but I have run out of attachment room.

Let me know if you need any additional info, I would really like to help this horse but I am not quite sure what the best course of action is. The vet suggested steriods or put him down. I think that is a little extreme.

Thanks for your help!!!
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RE:Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 03 Feb 2009 01:33 #2

  • calshoer
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I see more going on besides just the bone degeneration.
Like all those abnormal growth rings indicating either chronic sub clinical laminitis or some serious nutritional issues.:eek:

There is a lot more to successfully treating/managing navicular disease than just arbitrarily 'railing them up'

From the looks of the radiographs he does have actual navicular bone disease, and that will mean management, not cure.
IF he needs to be wedged up then a rail shoe is a very useful option but there is a lot more to it, beginning with the trim itself. As well the farrier needs to assess how he hoof tests over the frog to see if some kind of frog support or protection or sole support will or will not be helpful.And another decision in deciding if a rail shoe is useful is evaluating how he lands when moving both straight and in turns without the rails.
Also very important is where the breakover point of the shoe is placed relative to where the end of the bone is inside the foot, to more efficiently ease tension on the soft tissues around the navicular bone as the foot breaks over.

So....a lot more information is needed for the farrier to do the best for this horse.
First would be X Rays set up specifically to assess internal balance, (coffin joint alignment and internal medial lateral balance.

Also needed in deciding what kind of shoe is watching the horse move to see how his feet land, and hoof testing to see if frog support or some kind of pad would be useful or tolerated.

Then it begins with the trim to make sure that all under run heels is removed, and the foot is perfectly balanced inside.

THEN maybe a rail shoe, if he needs a wedge to align the coffin joint.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 03 Feb 2009 20:52 #3

  • Ranglr00
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Patty,

Thank you very much for your help. You are correct on the malnutrition, the horse was very thin when his owner bought him at age 5. The previous owner had lost his wife to a 2 year battle with cancer and the young man carring for the horse allowed him to get so thin his back bone was showing. Upon purchase the current owner did all he knew how to get him back on a proper diet and hence the use of the TLC program.

If I am reading your reply correcting, a cure is not a reality only management. In your opinion can a horse with these problems ever be fully cured with supplements and proper hoof care?

Thanks again!!
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RE:Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 04 Feb 2009 01:52 #4

  • calshoer
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In my experience , the soft tissue injuries that are part of the broad navicular "syndrome" can indeed usually be healed(cured). Providing there is not too much damage and scar tissue. However if there are actual bone changes in either the coffin joint or in the navicular bone then you will not be able to "undo" those changes. However with good shoeing management, if the changes and the pain is not too severe, most can be brought back to some usefulness and find relief of varying degrees from the pain.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 04 Feb 2009 16:25 #5

  • Ranglr00
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Excellent, thanks for the info and advice. I really do appreciate it!
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RE:Navicular and other problems are rail shoes right? 07 Feb 2009 02:45 #6

  • Clint Burrell
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johnedifier01 wrote:
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Clint Burrell

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but you don't seem to bright.
You just brought a swichblade
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Move On by Chris Knight
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