“Sometimes we tend to get really focused on the foot we’re working on,” says Steve Prescott, a farrier from Bluffton, S.C. “Sometimes we need to ask ourselves if the foot we’re working on is showing more signs of stress because the horse is trying to keep its weight off the other side.”
Prescott’s tip is very similar to advice offered by equine veterinarian Jim Borthwick during a talk at last November’s American Association of Equine Practitioners convention in New Orleans. “Look at the whole horse,” says the New Hope, Pa., veterinarian. “I’ve been called in to look at a right hind because that’s where a horse is lame. I’ve blocked the right foot and found tenderness in the left front foot that the horse was trying to protect. If there’s anything you take away from this, it should be that you need to look at the whole horse.”
With 25 horses suffering from moderate to severe navicular syndrome that hadn’t responded to other treatments, Texas A&M researcher Robin Dabareiner injected steroids, joint lubricants and antibiotics into the area around the navicular bone to provide pain relief. The result was immediate pain relief and 80 percent of the horses remained sound for an average of 4.6 months. Dabareiner recommends that corrective shoeing be tried first and then injection around the coffin bone prior to considering a navicular bursa injection.
When Dave Ferguson…