Thursday 22 August 2013

Degenerative disease 0: Rehab 5

Some of you will have seen a blog post I put up last month which challenged the traditional opinion that navicular is a degenerative disease.
The evidence following remedial farriery is that typically lameness worsens and the soft tissue and bone damage evident on MRI and x-ray worsens over time. 

The evidence from our rehab horses is quite the opposite - that if a horse goes barefoot with correct work and improved biomechanics lameness improves and soft tissue and bone damage repair. 

I can point to a lot of sound horses in work following rehab, but of course only a handful of horses have had follow-up MRI or x-ray after their rehab here as its hard to justify the expense of doing so with a sound horse.

Nevertheless, last month I reported that there were 4 horses who had had investigation post-rehab, all of whom showed healed tendons or ligaments on MRI or new bone growth on x-ray.
This month its 5, as I had great news from Krista and Buddy, to cap their jumping success at the weekend.

"Buddy had his X-rays done today and nothing has degenerated since they were last taken (25th Sep 2012) and the damage to his navicular bone has improved as has the pedal oestitis in both feet. Don't get me wrong the changes are very slight [which you'd expect as it is only 6 months since Buddy went home and bone is the slowest to change] BUT they are improvements. So much for it being a degenerative condition."


amandap said...


The evidence is mounting of bone repair, surely this is a must for research funding? For the vet community to ignore this is unforgivable.

AmandaB said...

I know I'm only a month into my rehab but I had a horse who was severely lame and rapidly deteriorating and a month post Rockley I have a horse I can ride who is slowly improving is fantastically chilled and is giving me real hope for the future. Vets need to take notice and give owners this as an option. Particularly when it is non-invasive, in the long run less time consuming ( pardon the oxymoron) and most importantly of all actually works !

Nic Barker said...

Lovely update, Amanda, and yes, I think the veterinary community are gradually becoming interested especially if we can get more research funded.

Unknown said...

I am still astounded that my could be nappy and cowardly horse hacks merrily solo and is so chilled. Even over ouchy stones – he pricks his big ears and gets on with it. Something has changed massively for him.

Krista said...

The whole process is so fascinating, I only wish more people could be more open minded about it all. I am thoroughly enjoying having every single pre-conceived idea I had about feet and navicular blown out the water. Buddy could not be happier with his new feet :0)

Nic Barker said...

Aah, fantastic BB - its when we see the changes in the horses that we can be absolutely sure we are doing the right thing :-)

Nic Barker said...

LOL Krista - I felt the same!

amandap said...

I am so heartened to read vets are taking an interest Nic.