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 our Holistic Horsekeeping and Horse Harmony Facebook pages.


This month we are sharing a case study report on a horse holistically treated for ulcers.

Taken November 11, 2017 before treatment

Taken January 14, 2018 as treatment continues

(From the horse’s owner):
This is a 17 yr. old Apendix gelding who had been scoped in the past which verified ulcers. His previous owner reports he has suffered with them and occasional colic for many years. He had been kept in a large dry lot paddock with 3 other geldings.

On November 11, 2017 he was removed from the 3 other horses and he started receiving 3 cups of Pharm-Aloe Horse Pellets 1x per day, along with free-choice grass hay, plentiful well water, a Redmond Rock Salt, and kept in a large dry paddock alone but with horses he could touch over the fence. You can see from the pictures the difference between November 11, 2017 and January 14, 2018. He is continuing to gain weight and is a joy to have around.

Last week he had a colic. The first one since he has been with me starting November 11, 2017. The only change in his diet or environment was reducing the amount of aloe pellets from 3 cups to 1 cup.

Long story short, the local veterinarian tubed him with a bucket of warm water, electrolytes and 8 capfuls of Pharm-Aloe 4X CONCENTRATE and suggested putting him back on the 3 cups of aloe pellets along with Sand Clear for 7 days. He throws his hay out of the trough onto our sandy soil.

My vet, Dr. Diana DeBlanc, recommends the Pharm-Aloe aloe vera for horses and takes it daily herself. Here is her testimonial used with her permission:

” A friend called me one morning and said he burned himself badly on his chest when his coffee press squirted up. He asked if I had anything for a burn and all I had was Pharm-Aloe gel. When he came over and pulled off his shirt I actually told him I thought he needed to go to the hospital as over half of his nipple was missing and the muscle underneath was exposed. He said he couldn’t afford to do that so we packed the area with a bunch of the aloe vera gel and diligently bandaged it. This was changed every day and within 10 days the nipple had regenerated. And he doesn’t have any scarring there or anywhere else on his chest that got burned or it is extremely minimal. That burn was so severe I expected it to go on for weeks but this aloe vera product is amazing.”

I am forever grateful to you, Madalyn, for writing the book Horse Harmony. Without reading your book I would have never known that horses have ulcers or that my filly was exhibiting ulcer symptoms and not just bad behavior. My filly, was on 4 capfuls of the Pharm-Aloe of the 4X CONCENTRATE poured over whole oats for 14 days. After 4 days she was much less reactive on her right side. Until I had the horse pellets, we kept her on 1 capful of the 4X CONCENTRATE every day for maintenance and prevention. She probably only needs 1/2 capful based on our UW 3 yr. study with dairy cows to determine the physiological effect of aloe stimulating the immune system.

The aloe vera juice is suitable for people and horses and produces the same results as the horse pellets. The equal amount of 4X CONCENTRATE to 3 cups of Horse Pellets is 2 capfuls (2 ounces). That would be equal to 8 capfuls (8 ounces) of the single strength Pham-Aloe Juice.

(Response from Dr. Ward):
Thanks for sharing your experience with the Aloe Vera juice. I wonder if the addition of this powdered blue green algae blend  would help your gelding with his gut health. I have often mixed the aloe and this algae blend together to help horses with bad ulcers. You can even mix them in a syringe and give directly in the mouth if a horse is so sick that he won’t eat. I can think of many horses that were literally brought back from near death with this simple mix.