Navicular patient needs supplement for pain

My friend has an 18 year old mare who has Navicular. She wants to know what is a good supplement for pain. Could you help?My friend has an 18 year old mare who has Navicular. She wants to know what is a good supplement for pain. Could you help?

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My friend has an 18 year old mare who has Navicular. She wants to know what is a good supplement for pain. Could you help?

Thanks,
Perry

Perry,

There are few things you can do for navicular syndrome (disease). First and foremost is that you must have your horse correctly shoed. I recommend that you have an Egg bar shoe with the toe of the shoe rolled some (for an easier break over of the foot) and maybe even have a pad placed on the front feet. Second, stop working the horse in circles (circles tend to put a lot of weight on one foot, the inside one, which augments the lameness). Thirdly, if the shoeing does not help that much your local vet can sell you some phenylbutazone to use (I suggest 1 gram twice daily for five days, stop for five days then repeat the cycle). Next, your local vet can inject the coffin joint with cortisone (a steroid) and hyraluronic acid. In severe case the horse may have to be nerved (surgically cutting the nerves that receive pain sensation from the foot, called a palmar digital neurectomy) but before I tried that I would have a long term nerve block done and see how the horse does. Horses that don’t block sound with analgesics are not good candidates for surgical nerving. In addition, horses with low ringbone are not good candidates.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder