Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn on 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.

Q – I’m already giving my horses CoolStance, the coconut meal and want to know if giving blue green algae in addition would be okay or it would be a waste. One of the horses has metabolic issues.

A – CoolStance is more of a fat supplement and does not contain the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you find in the algae. The algae would be a good addition to the Cool Stance. For your metabolic horse you may need to supplement with additional specific minerals based on your hay analysis.

Q – I have a worming question relating to my herd of 7 (4: 900-1000 lb horses, 500 lb pony, 350 lb pony and 160 lb mini.) on 2.5 acres of rotated pastures. They get soaked oats and BOSS plus soaked timothy pellets and free choice bahia square bales in slow feed nets in ground feeders. I wanted to do a power pack for the herd. I found this product – Durvet Durafend 2.27gm Fenbendazole Wormer feed through product and wondered if I could feed the appropriate amount for each horse for 5 days? Then follow with the Quest plus and Quest after 10 days for each additional wormer? It’s been 3 months since their last worming with Quest regular (bot eggs present). Plus my bigger old pony just came back to me from off a large pasture with 2 other horses that hadn’t been wormed since last Fall so I am trying to avoid any contamination of any of his worms. My herd all looks great, even though there is a lot of butt rubbing happening. I will be also feeding blue green algae and probiotics during and after their worming. I had a terrible resistant worm situation with my herd a few years back and every single horse’s topline fell off after rescuing a friend’s horses from a flood. An osteopath diagnosed a L4 worm anneurysm in each horse. Power packing and following up like this was the only thing that got them healthy and looking good again so I am trying to avoid another episode of my pasture being full of worm medication resistant worms. What do you recommend now-a-days?

A – I am not familiar with this product. I would stay with the Panacur PowerPac and do fecal checks to make sure it did the job. Once you get the horses healthy and balanced they should have better resistance. If you have a shedder that remains that way we should do a consult to work on the immune system.

Q – I am looking at ordering the Pharm-Aloe aloe vera juice and wondered what the shelf life is on this product so I’ll know what size and how much I should get.

A – Unopened, the shelf life is 2 years. You will find a best by date stamped on the bottom of the bottles. The manufacturer recommends using within 6 months once the bottle is opened.