Horse navicular disease is a particular form of arthritis that affects the horse’s navicular bone, a small bone in the foot just behind the toe bone (pedal bone).
When a horse has navicular disease the navicular bone becomes worn, joint fluids around the bone become weaker and inflammation in the area causes pain and lameness. No one knows exactly what causes navicular disease but drugs to improve circulation in the area and improve blood flow certainly improve the condition. Normally pain killing anti-inflammatory drugs are necessary in navicular disease to allow horses to move more comfortably. Shoeing can also help to take pressure off the affected areas of the foot and make life for the horse more bearable. There is not cure for navicular disease with modern veterinary drugs.