Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Tiludronate’s Efficacy in Managing Navicular Cases

Researchers observed a 16% improvement in horses’ lameness when using the drug compared to corrective shoeing alone.

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Navicular syndrome, a disease of the horse’s foot disease that causes lameness and loss of performance, has been thrown into the spotlight recently with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a new treatment for the disease: tiludronate disodium (trade name Tildren). And with any new drug comes a slew of efficacy studies.

Kent Allen, DVM, of Virginia Equine Imaging, in The Plains, described several of these studies during the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a part of the FDA approval process, Tildren manufacturer CEVA Animal Health conducted the research on horses treated with tiludronate disodium to manage navicular syndrome.

The progressive degenerative disease commonly causes bilateral lameness in the front feet, and in many cases there’s evidence of abnormal bone remodeling of the distal sesamoid (navicular bone). The treatment is designed to interrupt this process and ameliorate clinical signs.

Veterinarians at 12 equine hospitals within the United States conducted the study. On clinical exam the horses were Grade 2 or 3 lame (on a scale of 5), and clinicians ruled out all other lameness issues. Allen said they diagnosed the horses with navicular syndrome based on lameness exam, radiographs, and MRI evaluation showing primary bone

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Written by:

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care. She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

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