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Am J Vet Res. 2005 Jul;66(7):1247-51.

Quantitative comparison of three commonly used treatments for navicular syndrome in horses.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.



To quantitatively compare 3 commonly used treatments for navicular syndrome (NS) in horses: heel-elevation shoeing alone, heel-elevation shoeing and phenylbutazone administration, heel-elevation shoeing and injection of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) with triamcinolone acetonide (TA), and all 3 treatments in combination.


12 horses with NS.


A force plate was used to measure baseline peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) of the forelimbs. Each horse's forelimbs were shod with 3 degrees heel-elevation horseshoes; PVGRF was measured 24 hours and 14 days after shoeing. Fourteen days after shoeing (following data collection), phenylbutazone (4.4 mg/kg, i.v., q 12 h) was administered (5 treatments). Two hours after the fifth treatment, PVGRF was measured; TA (6 mg) was injected into the DIPJ of the forelimb that generated the lower baseline PVGRF Fourteen days later, PVGRF was measured. Phenylbutazone was administered as before, and PVGRF was measured. Percentage body weight of force (%BWF) was calculated from PVGRF measurements and used for comparisons.


14 days after shoeing, mean %BWF in both forelimbs significantly increased from baseline; additional administration of phenylbutazone significantly increased %BWF applied from the more lame forelimb. Compared with shoeing alone, there was no significant change in %BWF after injection of the DIPJ with TA in shod horses.


Heel-elevation shoeing alone and in combination with phenylbutazone administration quantitatively decreased lameness in horses with NS. Although not significant, additional DIPJ injection with TA resulted in further quantitative decrease in lameness, compared with that achieved via shoeing alone.

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