Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter June 2015

June 2015

Holistic Horse Health – Natural treatment of Laminitis in horses

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 20, Number 6


In This Issue:

1. Holistic Horse Health – Natural treatment of Laminitis in horses
2. Don’t Miss Your Chance!


1. Holistic Horse Health – Natural treatment of Laminitis in horses
Cerise at Buck clinicLaminitis is a devastating condition that can result in permanent damage to a horse’s hooves. Laminitis is less likely to happen with a holistic horse health program but it is still good to know what to do. Laminitis occurs in an acute and chronic form. Acute laminitis occurs after a single event such as a grain overload or exposure to toxins. Another cause of acute laminitis is mechanical trauma from work on hard ground or as the result of excessive weight bearing on one leg following an injury to the opposite leg. Chronic laminitis has its origin in hormonal and metabolic dysfunction. Natural treatment of laminitis in horses is different depending on if you have acute and chronic laminitis.

Acute Laminitis
The treatment goal with acute laminitis is to decrease inflammation in the hoof. Soaking the foot in ice water is one way to keep damage under control. A supplement (NitroPro) containing anti-inflammatory ingredients and nitric oxide generating nutrients is especially good. Nitric oxide in a strong anti-inflammatory in itself and it increases circulation so healing nutrients make it to the hoof.

Possible homeopathic remedies for acute laminitis include arnica, belladonna, nux vomica, or aconite. Probiotics, enzymes and blue green algae will help stabilize the gut bacteria and support digestion. A horse with acute laminitis should not be forced to move until he is able to do so comfortably. It is good to give your horse deep bedding and encourage him to lay down so his weakened hoof lamina will be less stressed.

Chronic Laminitis
The treatment of chronic laminitis focuses on increasing circulation to the hoof. Chronic laminitis, including acute flare ups, is metabolic or hormonal in origin. If you have a horse that is overweight with hard fat deposits on his crest and tail head he is likely metabolic. For metabolic laminitis (insulin resistance) diet is the key. Lowering the sugar and starch levels in the feed and balancing minerals must be addressed before any substantial improvement will be seen. Proper hoof trimming is also important to support circulation. To treat acute flare ups of chronic laminitis you can use the same products as for acute laminitis but chronic laminitis needs long term support. After the acute episode is past the horse can be supported with a less intense nitric oxide formula (Laminitis Plus) that also includes gut support to ward off ulcers brought on from pain.

The other cause of chronic laminitis is secondary to a hormonal imbalance of the pituitary gland known as Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s is usually seen in older horses and it can occur alone or in combination with metabolic laminitis. One of the early symptoms of Cushing’s is loss of muscle, especially over the top line. Cushing’s horses need support to prevent and treat laminitis as well as immune and digestive support. A natural product (Cushing’s Plus) containing the herb, chaste berry, is excellent for early cases of Cushing’s.

Prevention of laminitis is always your best plan but it is good to know we do have a natural treatment of laminitis in horses. Most horses will do better with natural treatments with fewer side effects but more advanced or severe cases of Cushing’s may need the drug, Pergolide, to control their symptoms.

2. Don’t Miss Your Chance!
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to study holistic horse care with Madalyn Ward, DVM. This mentoring program offers you one-on-one time with Dr. Ward to study a variety of holistic topics including:

  • Homeopathy Mentoring Course – Beyond Arnica
  • Horse Nutrition Mentoring Course – Using foods to heal
  • Horse Temperament Mentoring Course – Know your horse

Since this is an individualized program, you can pick one, two or all three topics to study. If you are serious about using holistic horse care with your own horses or your clients’ horses, this is your chance to learn from a leading expert in the field over a six month period. For more information on this unique educational opportunity, see the Mentoring Program on our website.

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