Volume 2 Issue 3 - 2000
Remedies for Hooves
The hoof may very well be one of the most neglected and misunderstood parts of the domesticated horse, second perhaps only to teeth. The hoof is a vital part of the horse and a healthy hoof is essential to the well-being and usefulness of the horse. Common conditions such as founder and navicular syndrome prove only too well that regarding hoof care, there is much to be learned and improved upon. In comparison to wild horses who live their lives without such problems, our domesticated horses are plagued with problems.
Regarding hoof care, there is much to be learned and improved upon.
EPM and Herbs
There is much controversy surrounding why horses get Equine Protozoal Myelitis (EPM) - a protozoal invasion of the central nervous system. There is no good answer and no single theory. Theories range from protozoa in opossum droppings through dysfunctional immune systems to contaminants in medications and pharmaceuticals. There may be truth in all of these, and research keeps on searching for more information, but the logical choice of which to accept and address is the immune system dysfunction. We can't rid the world of opossums and protozoa any more than we can guarantee a contaminant-free environment. But we can support and protect the immune system in many ways. And by supporting and strengthening the immune system we can maximize protection against many, many other challenges.
Unanswered questions are found also in the attempts to diagnose EPM. Some of the tests currently being used to diagnose EPM are not conclusive; blood tests for antigens may show a symptomless horse as positive and a horse with severe symptoms as negative. An inconclusive or inaccurate diagnosis may lead to an unnecessary prescription of drugs that can be as devastating to the horse as his symptoms. Even with a correct positive diagnosis, the drugs, which are harsh and often cause side effects such as anemia, may not have the desired effects.
Is Equine Massage Good for My Old Horse?
For the aged horse, massage can be both good AND bad. Well, to start with, you're probably wondering why a massage therapist would say that massage might be bad, especially when it is how he makes his living. I will try to explain this technically yet simply enough for the layperson to understand. It is a topic that I have had to explain to many of my clients over the past 14 years. Some can grasp the explanation and concept while others have difficulty.
As we are all aware, probably the most common downfall of the horse is arthritis. Just as in humans, it can be a debilitating disease. We have definitely seen tremendous results in recent times with the introduction of Glucosamine and Chondroitin products but when the dreaded disease wreaks havoc in the joints, there are cases that do not enjoy the desired relief. The careful use of injectibles such as Legend, Adequan and corticosteroids may provide relief, and some may aid in the regeneration of cartilaginous material as well as synovial fluid in certain cases, but they should be used with caution.
ACUPRESSURE - Action for Colic Concerns
The mere mention or thought of colic strikes terror into the heart of every horse owner. It is the most dreaded, only-too-common occurrence in a horse's life. Colic is so unpredictable and seemingly so difficult to prevent. It can happen any time, and so suddenly; when you went out to feed in the morning, your horse seemed absolutely fine. By mid-day, he was agitatedly kicking his flank and curling his upper lip, and in an instant you felt the rush of panic and sense of helplessness. It is during this moment of panic that you can realize you are not helpless - you can work acupressure points while waiting for your holistic veterinarian to arrive!