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Updated again 34: Osphos for older horse with navicular changes

What an adventure you’ve been on with your boy! Thankfully my boy can hold shoes and his toes are confirmed short enough. He’s been in full pads, pour in pads, pour in under full pads and currently has rim pads. Rubber shoes. Steel shoes with lifts. Probably some other stuff I’m forgetting lol. Wedge pads really aren’t an ideal choice for my guy since that would increase pressure on his damaged P3s.

I used Osphos in an older horse with navicular changes and lameness. It worked like a miracle the first time, worked ok another time or two, and then didn’t work at all after that. To get a little more quality time on an older horse it’s well worth trying. I wouldn’t use it in a younger horse and I would be realistic that it might not work forever.


Thank you for sharing. I’m hoping to keep my boy as comfortable as possible as long as possible, but I know he won’t last forever :cry:

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Love Avantis!! We use the PLRs. Natural Balance were good as well. But I love the Avantis- very helpful shoe.

Those are leverage reduction shoes right?

I’m reading up as best I can this being my first go round w navicular and it seems that modern diagnostics indicate that often soft tissue strain in the navicular area is a precursor to bony changes. I know for a fact that my horse has had issues with navicular for years prior to me getting him. My visit notes from last vet appointment say “roughening of dorsal border increase since prior x rays” in reference to the navicular changes. Prior x rays were last fall. So I’m guessing it’s possible my poor horse had soft tissue injury some time in the past and it’s been putting strain on his poor little bones since :cry:



Vet scheduled for this coming Monday afternoon, 3.6.23, to do bloodwork, his TRH stimulation test and spring vaxx / Coggins. We’ll discuss the Osphos more and evaluate his lameness after being on previcox for a week. I’m going to ask her if she thinks leverage reduction shoes and flat frog support pads are ok to try (as in won’t irritate his P3 issues).


This is info on the Avanti shoes:

The AVANTI Steel PLR horseshoes are designed to the fit the foot in a balanced fashion around the widest part of the foot (which is essentially the center of rotation of the coffin joint). In addition to balancing the shoe around the coffin bone, the AVANTI shoe incorporates an optimized leverage reduction design that will help reduce excessive strain and forces on many of the tendon, ligament, and soft tissue structures in & around the coffin joint. Modeled after the very popular Aluminum PLR Shoes , the AVANTI brings many of those same performance and treatment benefits in a durable steel version.

Special Design Features

  • Optimal Leverage Reduction Design - popular PLR designed higher inner rim for medial/lateral movements

  • Gradual Tapered Ridges help control breakover resistance in arena surfaces

  • Hoof-to-Shoe Centering Markers

  • Convex radius inner rim for optimal traction and reduced weight

  • Well seated-out past the toe-quarters to eliminate the chance of sole pressure

  • Heel have been pre-boxed (safed)

  • Center Punch Mark in Heels for Easy Drilling & Tapping for Studs

For navicular, I would at least try the Osphos and keep a navicular bursa injection in my back pocket. Natural Balance shoes are also helpful and they are a bit wider and different shape that can provide some good support.
I hear ya on keeping them as comfortable as possible for as long as you can :heart:


Thanks for sharing. I did peek at them online. I keep him shod anyways so it seems reasonable expense to try something like these shoes. Just addtl cost for the fancy shoes. Do you know how many times they can be reset approximately?

I asked about the navicular bursa injection but vet seemed concerned that might have a greater risk of triggering a laminitis attack than the Osphos.

While looking online I saw “lily pads” which look like they just cover the frog and heel bulbs. Ever tried those?

I really hate that the horse had this set back. He was looking so sound a month ago. We were toying with the idea of doing light walk rides on him. I’m no lameness detection expert, but I’m not a total idiot either and a month ago I could only see lameness when he pivoted on that right front and trotting on the lunge to the right. He looked good in a straight line jog. To be clear, I was only lunging him to see how he looked.

I’m going to do the Osphos pending his BW is up to par and we get final verification from previous owner he hasn’t had Osphos before or had it and didn’t have a bad reaction


I haven’t read the other shoeing replies, but the shoes that our lesson horse goes best in are flip flop pads. (https://www.bigdweb.com/product/flappers+shoeing+pads+firm.do?sortby=bestSellers&refType=1&ecList=1&ecCategory=)
They get a half shoe around the toe but the back part stays free. They literally sound like a pair of flip flops as the horse goes around. I don’t know the exact wording of what they do for the horse, but our guy loves them and has been in them for many years now.


I use Avanti PLRs on my old girl. They seem to hold up better than other shoes. We always do one reset with them and then swap out to new, but I hang onto shoes to replace myself if a horse loses something at an inopportune time, and they are still in good enough shape that I think you could definitely go longer/do more resets than an average plain shoe. I just order a box of them to hand to my farrier…it helps him, but also means I’m not paying a bunch more.

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Thank you! I think I can order the shoes n pads myself to save farrier the hassle (and also make sure we always have them on hand when needed). Horse is at home with me and I hold for every farrier visit so it should be fine. One reset or maybe two would be super.

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My 18 yr old gelding had Osphos for a navicular bone cyst 3 years ago and it worked wonders for him. We did it again approximately 8 months ago and again, it really helped him. Both times, immediately after the shots, I hand walked him for 15 minutes and the vet stayed on site in case of colic and both times, he had no adverse reaction.


Thank you for sharing. That is encouraging

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My horse received the Osphos treatment on Tuesday morning. Thankfully he has not shown any adverse side effects! Vet will be back in a week and a half for a follow up plus regular dental work.

He was shod last Friday in the Avanti PLR shoes with full pads and pour in underneath. Unfortunately there was a communication issue between farrier and I regarding the type of pads. So horse doesn’t have the frog support pads just regular flat ones. We’ll have the frog support pads put in at next appointment in another 3 weeks. If that doesn’t seem to be offering him enough support / relief we will then proceed to trying the New Balance PLRs which appear to bring the break over back more aggressively than the Avanti shoes. From there we might try a rocker set up if needed. The farrier would also like to try the EasyCare Performance shoe with integrated frog and heel support. So still quite a few shoeing options to explore.

Due to timing of last farrier appt and Osphos appt, I pulled the horse’s previcox right after he was shod and just started him in it again yesterday. I do have the vet’s blessing to use Bute instead of Previcox if necessary to keep horse comfortable while we explore shoeing set ups. Vet has also offered a script for omeprazole as a preventative treatment for ulcers.

While it looks to be obviously a foot centric lameness, vet and I did discuss possibly blocking his feet to verify the lameness isn’t further up the limb / body. I intend to ask the vet if something like Adequan or Pentosan might be helpful for the horse.

Picture of the horse in all his fly gear for tax


@lenapesadie How is he doing a little over a month after the Osphos and new showing set up? Getting ready to try Osphos on my hoof trouble horse after getting updated X-rays this week (she and your guy have a little too much in common: TBs, RF is the problem, thin soles, abscess issues, etc) and would love to hear any updates!


Norman pooh is doing very good! I can still see he’s off in the RF when he pivots on that leg (like on a sharp turn in that direction). He walks and jogs pretty darn even though. He’s getting 1 gram of Bute daily still. He’s landing slightly heel first in that RF which is an improvement. He looks like he’s feeling very good; being saucy with my other (bossier) horse and mugging me for treats at every opportunity.

He was also recently diagnosed with PPID. Despite multiple normal ACTH tests, I pushed for a TRH Stim test and it showed him as positive for PPID. So he’s getting Pergolide too but we are still in the “calibrating up” stage so not on a full dose yet.

I’m planning on having the vet out this month to do blocking. We are going to try and block the toe then the heel and then further up to help us determine next steps for vet and farrier.

He is still in the Avanti PLR shoes with flat frog support pads and pour in until otherwise directed by the vet.

I can’t say that the Osphos has made a huge visible difference in his comfort. Hard to say though as we did a lot of changes at once. I’ve heard it’s not fully effective until 45 days out (not sure if that’s true or not).

Regardless, I feel very good that I got him the treatment. Like, I’ve done my best to prevent further progression of his navicular disease so that he has the best chance of being as comfortable as possible as long as possible.

Best of luck to you and your mare. I would not hesitate to use Osphos again if circumstances called for it.

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I’m glad to hear he’s doing well! We pulled blood for IR and Cushings on Monday and I think if it comes back normal, I’ll push for a stim test. I had to really push for the test at all last year with a different vet because she’s a TB and not obese. New vet nearly immediately asked if we could do the test again (yay) as she agreed that it could explain the extent of her issues.
Fingers crossed that your upward trend continues and you’re able to get more info when you do the blocks. Gotta love these complicated ponies :blue_heart:

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Ditto about vet not being concerned about Cushings / PPID. My boy doesn’t have an ounce of extra body fat and sheds out slick and quick. The stim test was a little costly but I’m very glad I pushed for it. His insulin seems normal so far but evidently there’s a similar stimulation test for insulin whereas a base sample is pulled, then some sort of sugar is administered and then another sample pulled. I haven’t done that test, yet.

Supposedly the PPID could be “aggravating” all his other ailments so I’m hopeful that getting him on the meds will help him.

I’m curious to hear the result of your horse’s BW and also your experience with Osphos if you go that route.

Thank you for the well wishes!