No Foot No Horse - What's In Store For Kingsley In The Coming Months

27th March 2010

Pic.left and below: Kingsley's feet today, prior to remedial shoeing.

No Foot No Horse is one of those things you will always hear around horses. Not without reason. Kingsley is no exception.
When we blocked his heels individually to get rid of the heel pain the improvement was enormous and he moved quite normally rather than like a pantomime horse! So we xrayed his feet from every possible angle and the xrays clearly showed a spur on the top of one navicular bone and an extra piece of bone forming along the underside of the other - so a definite diagnosis of navicular disease rather than the vague 'navicular syndrome' aka undiagnosed foot pain.
We also re-xrayed his poll again and couldn't find a bone chip anywhere. Carsten, the Vet No.6 and the orthopaedic specialist, went through his back and thinks that the reaction being shown is learnt behaviour rather than a reaction to pain as when he continued to examine his sacroiliac region Kingsley softened and put up no resistance at all and when viewed from behind he was completely symmetrical.

Have a look at Foot Anatomy:

front view

rear view

right front

left front
Turnout (box rest is not good for navicular disease as the circulation needs to be kept up and movement promotes this)
Bute for two weeks - both to stop the pain in his feet and to act as an anti-inflammatory and settle any other sore areas caused through compensating for the fore limb issues. Inflammation can also cause more damage in the hoof and we certainly got enough of that.
Remedial farriery - eggbar shoes will go on him on Tuesday and the Farrier will shorten his toes and correct a balance issue in his nearside forefoot that cropped up in the xrays - the outer wall is about 1/8" longer than the inside.

And then, there are Drugs...Not sure when we will start with these and which one first yet but here is what is in store for Kingsley:

*corticosteroids injections into the bursea with the X ray guidance to verify correct needle placement
*isoxsuprine - a vasodilator and is meant to increase circulation to the navicular structures
* Tildren - via IV is also an option (Tildren is used IV to decrease bone resorption to maintain normal navicular bone density)
* Steroids injections into coffin joint

He can be lunged daily for 20mins in a chambon to get him to use his back end again and then will be re-examined in a fortnight. I will start lungeing him on Wednesday once the egg-bar shoes are on. He will also have regular sports massage treatments, first one on Monday, to help with muscular pain/tightness due to compensation.
Definitely no need for injections into the sacroiliac or poll as there actually appears to be nothing wrong with them once the forefoot pain is removed.

Another less well known saying goes: "Every horse, at least once in it's life, deserves to be loved by a little girl". We might not be little girls anymore but horses do bring out that spontaneous, emotional side of you, the side that believes many things are possible. This is why Kingsley is having all these chances...

However, we also need another horse. I want Pauline to be able to progress in her training, and as for me, I need something to compete. Hence, while Kingsley is trying to recover, we will try to implement a Plan B...Stay tuned.

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Comment by Wiola Grabowska on April 2, 2010 at 5:13pm
Thank you :) Toes are now shortened and it has definitely helped! He lunged almost sound today. I keep my fingers crossed.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 1, 2010 at 4:04pm
I am so sorry your horse got navicular. Over 25 years ago one of my horses developed navicular. He fully recovered, so do not give up hope. KEEP HIS TOES SHORT so that the excess pressure is removed and the bone can heal.

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