Tackling Navicular

As word spreads about new ways to treat navicular disease, farriers and veterinarians around the world are making changes in treatment programs

When it comes to the best options for dealing with navicular disease, Bernard Duvernay obtained some interesting ideas by surveying farriers and veterinarians around the world.

The Geneva, Switzerland, farrier found techniques for dealing with horses suffering from this disease have changed dramatically in recent years. He says this proves that footcare information circulates rapidly and that new ideas that offer positive effects are immediately adopted by veterinarians and farriers.

The survey results indicate that veterinarians are fine-tuning their diagnosis with the articular, ligamentary and tendonous forms of the illness. Yet Duvernay maintains farriers need to remain realistic, keep correction actions simple and continue to stress basic shoeing principles. 

Tough To Manage

“A navicular horse is always an animal that is very difficult to manage in terms of lameness because neither the veterinarian or the farrier can totally help on their own,” says Duvernay. “Owners or riders also play a role in achieving a satisfactory result, as the use and care of the horse are critical to prolonging the career of a sport horse or the life of a companion animal.”

Duvernay says respecting or re-establishing the ideal phalangeal alignment (correcting the line at the toe of the hoof) will directly influence the angle of the pedal joint. He also believes you must make sure the shoe exerts as little stress as possible in various phases of the horse’s stride.


Lateral X-ray of long toe.

“Specialists in the biomechanics of the foot have shown that reducing the angle of the…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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