Navicular Disease - What Now?
by Dr. Hiltrud Strasser

The author has extensively studied the causes and treatments of navicular disease, although the results of these studies are not yet recognized by professional organizations. To date, more than 100 horses diagnosed with podotrochlosis (navicular syndrome) have been cured by the author in Germany.

First, the so-called "navicular disease" is NOT hereditary. Rather, the cause of this condition lies in a deformation of the hoof.

Some of the causes for this deformation are a lack of exercise in the first few years of life, and shoeing. The deformation caused by shoeing creates pressure and crushing of the horn in the region of the navicular bone (ligament, sheaths, bone and joint), resulting in inflammation. Pressure on the navicular region can also result from excessively long bars and heels, leading to a painful inflammation of the corium adjacent to the navicular bone, and lameness.

Shoeing with raised heels or wedge pads to increase the angle of the hoof and relieve pressure in the heel area may lead to temporary improvement. healing, however, cannot be expected with orthopedic shoeing.

The cause of the problem (the pressure) must be removed, and the unshod hoof must gradually be brought into a physiologically correct form. If, at the same time, the horse's living conditions are good (freedom of movement 24 hours/day), the inflammation will abate within a few weeks, and the problem will disappear.

Copyright Dr. vet. med. H. Strasser
Blaihofstr. 42/1, 72074 Tuebingen, Germany
Tel/Fax: (011) 49-7071-87572
Ed. & Canadian contact: Sabine Kells at email: textorder @

©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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