What is Equine Navicular Syndrome (ES)?
Equine Navicular syndrome (ENS) is a condition that affects horses and causes pain, inflammation, and joint and soft tissue problems in their feet. The condition is caused by degeneration in the small bones and soft tissue in the heel of the hoof, also known as the “navicular bone”. If left untreated, the condition can progress and lead to lameness. Horses that have been exposed to long-term heavy work, such as those who are involved in dressage, show jumping or eventing, are more likely to develop ENS.
Equine Navicular Syndrome Symptoms
Lameness is the primary symptom in ENS. The symptoms usually develop slowly and may begin with a slight limp. However, it can get more severe over time. Other symptoms include a slow pace, a reduced ability to walk forward, a short stride, heat in the heel, increased sensitivity in your hoof and altered gait.
Diagnostics for Equine Navicular Syndrome
The horse’s history, clinical signs and physical examination are all used to diagnose ENS. Radiographic images can be used to detect bony changes in the soft tissue and navicular bone, as well any joint involvement. Ultrasound imaging can also help to evaluate the soft tissues in the foot.
Preventing Equine Navicular Syndrome
Although ENS can be fatal, proper management can prevent or manage it. To prevent the condition developing or worsening, it is important to provide regular hoof care. Regular trimming, shoeing, as well as farrier care are all important. The condition can be reduced by wearing supportive, well-fitting horseshoes. ENS symptoms can be reduced by reducing horse workload, giving horses appropriate exercise, and using pain relief or supplements.
Exercise and physical activity
Horses with ENS need to exercise regularly. Regular, low-impact exercise is a good way to help horses stay flexible and strong. Horses with ENS can benefit from activities such as walking, light trotting, and long-lining. Avoid activities that place too much strain on the affected areas, such as jumping or cantering.
Managing ENS is not complete without pain management. To reduce pain and inflammation caused by ENS, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), can be used. Topical medications such as gels or liniments can also be used to relieve the pain. To ensure that the medication is safe for your horse, it is important to check with your veterinarian before you use any medication.
Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to treat ENS. If the patient is not responding to other treatments, surgery may be recommended. The surgery may include removing the affected area, repairing the joint or fusing it. Before considering surgery, it is important to consult a qualified horse surgeon.
What are the symptoms and signs of ENS?
ENS is characterized by lameness as the primary symptom. Other symptoms include lameness, reluctance or inability to move forward, uneven stride length, heat around the heel, increased sensitivity in your hoof and altered gait.
How can I prevent ENS from happening?
Regular hoof care is the best way to prevent ENS. This includes regular trimming, shoeing and farrier care. ENS symptoms can be reduced by reducing horse workload, giving horses exercise and taking pain relief or supplements.
Equine Navicular syndrome is a common condition that affects horses and can cause pain and lameness. It can be managed or prevented with proper management. Management of ENS includes regular hoof care, proper exercise, and the use of pain relievers or supplement. Sometimes, surgery may be required to correct the condition. Wikipedia.org has more information about ENS. You can also visit