Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn with horseMadalyn Ward, DVM shares her answers to specific holistic horse care questions from clients. To see more questions and answers on real holistic horse care situations check out the Horse Health Hotline postings.

Q – Two years ago when my 20-year old donkey shed in the spring, she lost 1/2 of the hair on her right ear and a fist-sized patch of hair on the right side of her neck. Before when she started to shed, there would be one or two quarter-sized bald spots, which filled in with new summer hair. But during the last two years, the neck hair has come back slightly, but the ear hair has not come back. I have tried several antibiotic creams and sprays, as well as vitamin E cream, but nothing has worked. Besides low carb grass hay, she gets a cup of Bermuda grass pellets in which I mix 1/4 cup of Horse Tech Red 7 vitamins/minerals and a teaspoon of Essentials. I would like to know what might have caused this hair loss condition and also, how to treat it to get the hair growing.

A – You may want to add a quality fat such as chia seeds. I would start with 1/4 cup a day but you may be able to lower the amount if you see new hair growth. I give a 1000 # horse 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Q – I have been having problems with my mare kicking the pipe corrals and squealing in the middle of the night and early mornings. She is separated from my boarder’s mare, but still gets very frustrated by her. I’m concerned about her injuring her back legs from the kicking and also waking the neighbors. I have just separated the corrals so they cannot touch one another, but this morning there was still kicking and squealing going on. Is it time to move my boarder’s mare out or do you have any other solutions?

A – I wonder if your mare is having trouble with her liver and that is making her more irritable. Sometimes a course of the homeopathic remedy nux vomica 30c, given twice a day for 3 days will help detox the liver in a gentle way. Another option is milk thistle seeds, 1 tbs twice a day for 3 weeks. The herbal mix, RelaxHer  can also quiet irritable mares. I carry the herbs in my website store and you can get the nux at any health food store that carries homeopathics. If the mares continue to fight you may have no option but to separate them further.


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