Old Horse, New Trick

I saw a horse get himself cast – terminally, it turned out – in the strangest way today.

(I know, as if we horse owners didn’t have enough to worry about when our beloved beasts make bad choices about where to roll or take a nap. Here’s one that was totally new to me.)

I was focused on ground exercises with a client’s horse when I heard a loud metallic “clang!” from the corral next door. I looked up to see the neighbor’s old bay gelding lying on his side with his hips elevated on the edge of his metal feed tub – one of those ubiquitous sturdy oval-shaped galvanized water tanks. This was one of the short ones, maybe a foot high, and the horse had somehow managed to lie down with his hip right on the lip of the tank. His entire hind end was up in the air and he was stuck.

galvtankMy client got on the phone right away to alert her neighbors while I stood across the fence from the horse and talked quietly to him to try to keep him quiet until someone could come to his aid. He was pretty sensible, but did make one attempt to roll completely over to get himself off the tank. He didn’t manage that, but he did scoot himself sideways enough to mostly fall off the raised edge.

My client got the neighbors’ voicemail as she and I headed up the road to try to help horse. (No gate in the no-climb-wire fence between the properties; I suggested that might be a priority sometime in future as it took us five minutes instead of 15 seconds to get to the horse.) Luckily the owners were home, just hadn’t heard the phone the first time, and came out.

By then the horse was no longer propped up on the metal tank, but he had landed with his head downhill and he was clearly upset and tired from his attempt to roll over. I found out he was an old guy, maybe late 30s, though nobody knew for sure as he had been a late-in-life rescue. We let him rest a bit and then tried to get him up and he made one attempt, getting his front end lifted but not getting any real push from the hind. Turned out he had spent the previous day off his feed and had seemed very sore on one hind leg.

He got a dose of bute in hope that after it took effect he’d feel more able to push himself up and my client and I trekked back down the road and finished our work on her side of the fence. I thought about him – and about my own old bay gelding with penchant for rolling – the rest of the day.

Sadly, I learned later that my client’s neighbors euthanized the old guy later in the afternoon after having failed to entice him even to make another attempt to rise.

Guess he was just done. What an odd way to draw attention to himself and announce his intention to leave, though. There’s a mental image that will surely stick with me and I may never be able to feed from one of those tanks again.

Unwelcome Pests From the Past

A couple of weeks ago when I was working with a group of horses south of Tucson I saw something I hadn’t seen in years, one of the harbingers of autumn back in my horse-showing youth in Colorado.

Bot eggs.

boteggcloseupThe bane of late-season show grooming, those little annoying yellow/white dots clinging to the hairs on the insides of knees, on bellies and shoulders and even on long hairs under the jaw.

Probably most of my fellow Arizona horse owners have never seen such a thing, unless they came to the desert from somewhere else (and many of them did.) Nor are they familiar with the annoying critter that deposits these unwanted eggs, a black fly larger than the average stable fly – approximately the size of a bee – and very persistent at bothering horses.

I haven’t had to think of bots in decades. About the bot “knives,” which I never tried and bot “blocks,” which I didn’t think worked very well and which have since been re-labled as “shedding blocks.” I always found my hands were the quickest way to remove eggs, catching each individual one between a fingernail and my thumb pad and pulling them off. In the late summer and fall, that was a daily grooming task. Leave it until the day before a show and you’d spend hours.

botlegWondering whether bot-removal technology might have improved since then, I tooled around the web a bit. What I found was manual removal is still the primary recommendation, though there are some really scary suggestion such as wiping the affected areas of the horse with diesel or kerosene. Note to responsible horse owners: don’t douse your horse in any substance you wouldn’t use on your own body. Yikes!

Thanks to the modern magic of the search engine, I also learned some new things about bots that I hadn’t really needed to know before. Apparently there are actually more than 100 species of bot flies, and, ewww, they can infect humans as well as livestock. (Okay, maybe I would have to rethink that fingernail removal technique!)

botBots infect horses when the eggs are licked off the  body, entering through the mouth. Apparently the eggs are stimulated to hatch by warmth, humidity and the presence of carbon dioxide – the effects of breath. Isn’t nature wonderfully skillful at adapting?

The one fact I remember clearly about treating horses against the inevitable bot larvae that did get into their systems what that we made sure to worm with a boticide –  ivermectin – after the first hard frost had killed off the flies. I expect that’s why I still generally put that particular type of wormer into my rotation in fall, even though here in Arizona where we don’t often get a hard freeze so even a small number of flies survives through winter.

In fact, it’s probably about time to do that worming about now. Excuse me while I go to the tack store …

Senile Old Man or Evil Genius?

I’ve written a bit about my Quarter Horse gelding Ichobod, whose 31st birthday was celebrated last May with a party in his honor. Since then he has lost his companion mare and adjusted to new neighbors, a pair of mules with whom he likes to share stories over a communal watering area while refusing to drink out of his former water tank next to his stall.

His life is less stressful, because he doesn’t worry when the mules leave for a ride or disappear from sight on the back side of their barn like he did with the mare, whom he absolutely adored. Especially when she was in heat and flirting shamelessly.

escapeartist

The owner of Ichobod’s retirement home has decide he’s an evil genius because he spends time every day checking and re-checking to see if his gate is firmly latched.

But he has developed a new behavior that has his human friends a bit baffled. Both I and H, the owner of the property where he was privileged to retire, had been thinking of him as a slightly senile old guy, mostly in a nice way that makes every day (and every meal) a happy thing. I witnessed one occasion when he “lost” his former companion mare right in plain sight in their shared pen and shakily trotted around crying for her for several minutes before he saw her standing right out in the open. And more than once he was seen to walk right into one of the posts supporting the covered “porch” outside his stall. Senility in action.

Or so we thought, until he started showing signs he might, instead, be a very sly genius.

A little background: for all that he’s a strapping 16-hand beast, Ich has always been a bit timid about new things. We had a very short show career because he was so clearly stressed by the traveling, proving to be a creature of habit and familiarity instead of an adventurous wanderer. And, except for showing off for the occasional admiring mare, he has also been a bit cautious of other horses until he’s had plenty of time to get acquainted. In short, he has been an introvert and a bit of a homebody.

That is, until recently.

A couple of months ago, all that timidity changed in one chance moment of opportunity. To understand the incident, you need to picture the scene. The gate to his roomy retirement space rests on a rolling caster on a bit of a hill with a section of railroad tie fitted as a stop on the downhill side. When going in and out to do chores for Ich and the other equines living on the property, the humans typically let gravity close the gate and left it unlatched until we were finished and leaving the barn area.

One afternoon when I was doing chores in the adjacent barn, property owner H came through Ichy’s gate as usual and stopped to consult about an injury to one of her horses in that barn. Something across the way drew the interest of that horse and we looked up to see Ichobod walking around outside his pen. Completely out of character, he had opened and gone through the gate and left his familiar space. I grabbed a halter and went to catch him, expecting he had only been lured out by the green grass just outside his gate.

Instead of grazing, he turned his backside to me, walked to the edge of the property and climbed down into a narrow dry wash. I followed along hoping he’d stop before he could stumble on the rocky uphill side of the drainage area, but on he went up the side and onto a narrow trail leading through cactus-strewn desert toward the neighbor’s house and barn. He was tottering along with his old-man walk just fast enough to stay ahead of me and completely ignoring my requests for him to “whoa.”

He went all the way to the nice neighbor’s corral, where her horse  was having a bit of a fit at the impromptu visit. I had visions of Ich hurting himself by joining in trying to run the fenceline with the resident gelding and his companion goat, but he stopped and stuck his head over the fence and I was able to get a leadrope over his neck and march him home.

I didn’t think too much about the incident, which was amusing but clearly out of character for my barely sociable horse. Except, the next time I was doing chores, the old man nearly let himself out the same gate by hooking his head over the top and pulling it open. I caught him in the act and latched the gate, warning the property owner that my horse was apparently inclined to take another desert walk.

We all tried to be careful to remember to snap the gate chain every time we went in or out, but old habits die hard and Ichy had one more chance to go walkabout one morning when property owner’s sig other had fed early and gone off to work. H was in the shower when the phone rang, a neighbor saying she thought one of H’s brown horses was out and the neighbor was trying to catch it with a dog leash but it kept walking too fast for her to catch up.

By the time H rushed out in her hastily donned robe and barn boots, Ich was standing at his gate asking to be let in after having trekked all the way up her long driveway and down a dirt road to the community mailboxes and back. Safe and sound without a mark on him and ready to finish his breakfast, thank-you-very-much. And, at least we know he can find his way home. Maybe not so senile, after all?

You can bet after that we’ve all been paranoid about the gate. We all know he’s old and a bit frail and one bad fall would probably be the end of him, the old so-and-so. None of us wants to be responsible for the old man having yet another adventure out and about, so I was surprised on Sunday when H had another story to tell about my newly adventurous horse.

When doing chores, we have to pass through his space to access the feed room, which is a pair of converted stalls closed off with the bottom half of a traditional stable door. Early on it became apparent that Ichy spent quite a bit of time reaching over and leaning on this door, to the extent that the door was soon dragging on the ground and the hinges needed replace. To prevent him straining the new hinges, the owner fitted two eye bolts and stretched a length of nylon strap across the opening a couple inches above the top of the door. Fitted with a snap to allow easy access for feed deliveries, the strap gave Ich something besides the door to lean on. This arrangement also proved convenient for the humans, as instead of latching the door each time we passed back and forth carrying feed buckets or flakes of hay, we got used leaving the door unlatched and just ducking under the strap, which was clearly too low for an inquisitive old horse to get through.

Or so we thought, until Ichobod nearly gave H a heart attack last weekend.

Apparently the half door hadn’t been latched after Sunday morning’s feeding, because when H went to the barn later in the day she found Ichobod standing in the rather cramped feed storage space, butt against a stack of hay newly delivered just last week and head next to the back side of his neighbor’s fan attached to a pipe panel that closes the space that was the door to the second converted stall. She said he looked as content as if he were standing in front of his very own fan in his own stall next door.

There was a stack of straw on his left side, a table where we mix up and store grain/supplement buckets on his right, a pair of metal trash cans holding pellets and senior feed against his right shoulder and wood pallets and various boxes and empty feed containers directly ahead. In short, he was stuck, unless H could figure out how to back him around a 90-degree angle from his tail end, because she couldn’t get to his head.

Oh, and just to add to the fun, this is a horse who from the day I got him insists on backing out of a horse trailer as fast as he can go, no matter who might be holding on in front or what might be behind him. (I believe H did not know this fact, however, to her benefit.)

In the end, she basically tore apart the feed room, squeezing in between Ich and the table to move the metal cans and the plastic milk crates they were sitting on, worrying about him getting upset and scrambling and getting a leg in a milk crate or a pallet or worse. But it seems he was just fine waiting for her to rescue him, and as soon as there was space he turned himself around and let himself be lead by the fly mask out the through the door. After she unsnapped the strap, that is.

So, the big mystery is, how did a 16-hand horse manage to get under the nylon strap secured across the door opening? I’m 5-foot-6 and the strap hits me at about the base of my sternum, so about four feet give or take. And Ichobod is a solid 16 hands, so five feet four inches at his now-prominent withers and only a bit lower at the top of his hip, for all that the back in between has become rather swayed.

He has never been one for getting down on his knees and reaching under fences to reach grass or scattered bits of feed like my school horse does. I would readily believe that horse would go down on both knees and crawl right under a four-foot barrier. But I can’t imagine Ichy doing that, never in a million years. Yet, with not a mark nor a scrape anywhere on his body, he managed to get in and himself to a bucket with a small scoop of bermuda pellets meant for the older mule’s evening meal.

I don’t know how he did it. But I do know we’d better all keep the gates and doors firmly latched or the senile old evil genius will find a way to do something unexpected.

 

 

 

Animal Massage in Arizona: A Constitutional Fight For Rights

Anyone who has been acquainted with me for more than about 20 minutes knows I am inclined to explore a variety of non-medical (as in conventional western medical) approaches to caring for and healing horses. Why? Because in 46 years of owning and working with horses, I have found that while conventional veterinary care is essential in some situations, in others, it just doesn’t provide the answers I need to keep my horses healthy and happy.

I’ve written about this issue before, questioning the irrationally broad definition of what supposedly constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine in Arizona.

So I am very pleased to be one of three practitioners representing both my fellow certified animal bodyworkers and fellow horse owners in a constitutional legal action asking the state of Arizona to stop being so ridiculous as to consider animal massage to be “practicing veterinary medicine.”

Massage, both for humans and for animals, has become a mainstream healing modality both for elite athletes and for the general population. And I don’t expect there is a single sensible person who expects his or her own massage therapist also to be a physician.

So why does the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board seek to require animal massage therapists to spend the money and time to attend vet school where, incidentally, massage is not part of the curriculum? Good question.

All the Board’s interpretation of the Arizona statute really does is interfere with the livelihoods of people who seek a career in animal massage and limit the choices of Arizona’s animal owners seeking to provide the best possible lives for their horses, dogs, etc.

Hair, Hair Everywhere

With apologies to all my friends in far-flung places being pummeled by winter weather, I have to note that here in southern Arizona it’s full-on horse shedding season.

You know, that time of year when you studiously hold your mouth closed and squint behind your sunglasses while raking mounds of hair off your horse. And have to examine your clothing as you leave the barn to decide whether you’re likely to disgust the people in line behind you if you stop for groceries on the way home.

In theory, horses start to lose their coats as soon as their endocrine systems react to an increase in the number of daylight hours. Due to other factors, including nutrition and temperature, every horse seems to have a personalized shedding schedule.

My senior citizen Ichobod grows a longish coat and always, always starts shedding in January, right after the solstice tips the balance to give us a few more seconds of daylight each day. I always worry he’ll shed off too much hair before the last cold snap, which usually hits in our desert home in mid- to late February. (Back in Colorado it seemed like he shed from January through to June; he should have been bald by then, but he never was.)

Sport, on the other hand, grows a short but very dense winter coat, which he proceeds to shed off in a couple of weeks. In Colorado he’d hold his coat until May and then slick off in what seemed like a matter of days.

Junior, whose winter nickname is “yak boy,” seems to fall in the middle. He grows a long coat –including an impressive goatlike beard – and sheds for several weeks. Which pretty much means I have shedding beasts from New Year’s to April Fools.

I know horse owners tend to moan and complain about the inconvenience of the annual hair fest. I’ve done my share of grumbling – especially on a breezy spring day when it seems no matter where I stand while grooming, I’m downwind. (And just put on sunscreen or lip balm in time for a big gust to paste fur to my face.)

But as my horses have aged, I have to say I’ve come to think of shedding as something to celebrate. As in, “Yay! The 20-something-year-old gelding is shedding this spring! No Cushings worries this year!”

So, in honor of Ichobod’s 31st spring as a fuzzy four-legged shedder, I’ll be happy to get a face-full of fur or feel itchy because my clothes have sprouted horse hair.

The Blissed-Out Pony

How do you explain the positive ways horses react to bodywork for someone unfamiliar with the four-legged beasties? Take a picture!

During her massage earlier in the week one of my clients mentioned to the therapist that her horse was having bodywork the next day. The therapist wanted to know what a blissed-out horse looked like. Here’s one of the photos that might give her an idea:

We decided horses have it even better than humans in some cases. This horse got to munch on his lunch hay during most of the session. Now how can I figure out how to eat chocolate the next time I’m on the massage table? That would be bliss!

 

A Blanket of Misinformation

On the eve of the first expected freeze of the season here in southern Arizona, I know at least a few horse owners are asking themselves the annual question: to blanket or not to blanket.

Now the show crowd has been blanketing for months, either trying to coax coats into staying short or keeping clipped horses warm. But for those of us who leave our horses fuzzy for the winter months, these sudden cold snaps can provide a dilemma. Tuesday’s low temperature was 50; Thursday’s is forecast for 30. That kind of drop can be a problem for some horses.

But how much of a problem and for which horses? Common sense suggests, of course, the very old, the very young and the sick should have a bit more warmth on extra-cold nights. But how cold is too cold? And what about other horses?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some nice, clear answers? Maybe some quality research, even? Voila! This post was making the rounds on social media this fall, being passed around by horse owners facing this season of dropping temperatures and the associated horse-management issues:

Here is something for my horsey friends….
Here is some information on winter blanketing that may surprise you. This is the result of a multi-year study done by CSU, using state of the art thermal detection equipment. Colorado State University is widely considered to be one of the top three equine veterinary schools in the country: Blanketing horses is one of the worst things that you can do to a horse in the winter. Horses have the ability to loft and lower their coats to 17 different levels, so it’s like exchanging 17 different thermal weights of blankets off and on them all day and night, depending on what they need- except that we don’t know what they need as well as they do. Their ‘self-blanketing’ process works a little like ‘chill bumps’ do in our own skin. That’s why long-haired horses may seem fluffier on some days than on others. Only three things make the ‘self-blanketing’ process not work: blanketing, clipping, and wind. Not even snow or rain stops their own thermostats from doing the job. Also horses are in ‘neutral’ (meaning not using energy for either heating or cooling) when the air around them is between 26 and 38 degrees. Otherwise, they’re using energy to control their temps. So- since they’re cooling their bodies when the temp is over 38 degrees, they’re having to use extra energy to cool themselves when blanketed in temperatures over that. Any time a horse that is outside and has a long coat is shivering, it’s because the horse has opted to shiver to warm itself, instead of using the option of moving. Moving generates a considerable amount of heat for a horse, but they sometimes stand and shiver while napping, etc. It does not mean that they need to be blanketed. However- a horse MUST have a way to get out of the wind in order for their
‘self-blanketing’ abilities to function fully. It turns out that blanketing is done more for pleasing the human, than to fill a need of the horse. The horse blanket industry has done a great job of making us think that their product is a necessary part of good horsekeeping- when it is actually an item that is very seldom needed.

Finally, a credible institution like Colorado State University has done some research to help us answer the blanketing question. Except, CSU didn’t actually do any such research. What?!

Ichobod, at age 30, will be wearing a blanket when the temperature dips into the freezing range. Turns out those little muscles that loft a horse’s coat can wear out, so his coat doesn’t fluff up as efficiently as it did when he was younger.

I admit I fell for it at first read. Some of the information matches what I already know about how a horse keeps warm even in rain or snow. (I wrote about it a couple years ago, even.) And I don’t disagree that some people are more inclined to respond to marketing campaigns than to learn about the physiology of their four-legged charges.

On second read, though, a couple of things stuck out. First, I find it hard to believe that temps between 26 degrees and 38 degrees are optimal for horses acclimatized to warm places like Arizona. If that were true, our horses here would be way more stressed most of the time.

I also have doubts regarding the anonymous writer’s assertions about horses choosing to shiver instead of move around to keep warm. I can only think of one instance I’ve ever seen of a horse shivering when he wasn’t wet and/or in wind (ie: cold) and that was a horse with a super short coat reacting to a cold, damp evening. (He got walked until he was warm, then was blanketed on subsequent damp nights and the shivering behavior didn’t recur. Draw your own conclusion.)

I was tempted to share the post to my Facebook page just like many others no doubt did. So glad that instead I did my due diligence, looking for both the source of the post and for an abstract of the research. Instead of finding either, I found a blog post by someone else who was temporarily fooled and then put right by a CSU source. And a reputable forum with not one but two discussion threads about the bogus research.

I can only hope there aren’t too many horse owners who believed the poster’s assertion that blanketing “is one of the worst things that you can do to a horse in the winter” based on the false reference. And that there aren’t too many cold horses out there on freezing nights because someone faked a scientific basis to back up his or her own point of view.

What’s the Story?

Bit of a surprise when I was at one client’s place to work with horses today.

 

 

Here’s what I saw first. Boggled my brain for a moment – I’m not really seeing what I’m seeing, am I? Oh. Yes, I am. (Click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

 

Here’s what I saw next, as I walked around to the left side of the horse to halter him. Uh oh. More confirmation that what I first saw was, really, what I saw. Poor guy.

 

Need a close-up? Here it is.

 

 

 

 

Well, it is the season. Change of weather. Not as hot. Prime conditions for, well, certain conditions.

Owners away, caretaker not on site. Just these items. They told me a story. Do you know what it might have been?

And that story determined that I would not be working this horse today. Or massaging him. A bit of scritching on itchy bits, a little TTOUCH and acupressure to balance the chi and strict instructions to drink water. (Yes, I did lead him to water and no, he did not opt to drink.)

So, what’s the story?

Open Wide

This was dentist week for two of my equine charges, Ginger the draft mare and Junior the Quarter Horse gelding. In their first appointments with equine dentist Jana Echols last year, both had serious issues basically from lack of proper routine dental care. I was very happy to get good reports on both this year and improved mobility of Ginger’s mouth, which had been impeded for several years.

Yes, that’s right: several years. Why? Because despite routine spring and fall vet exams (at which I requested the owner specifically ask about dental issues) she had a top tooth that wasn’t being ground evenly and was, instead, protruding into the space below where a tooth was overly worn. Not something that should have been missed and very obvious to Jana the first time she examined the big mare’s mouth.

Very frustrating, both from a general welfare perspective and in the problems it has caused in the horse’s training, but not that unusual a story. I have known quite a number of vets who dislike dental work, in past because using the hand tools is quite physically taxing and now perhaps because they aren’t adept with the new power tools. And I’ve known a couple of otherwise good horse vets who would go to great lengths to avoid even the most routine floating.

To be fair, some vets are just plain bad dentists. And it’s not entirely their fault: the average vet-school curriculum doesn’t include much time for specialties such as dentistry. One newly trained vet told me a few years ago her program included only a half day of practical instruction in floating teeth and only those students who intended to pursue horse-specialty practices actually got to do any hands-on work.

If at all possible where you live, find a veterinarian who specializes in equine dentistry or a well-trained lay dentist. They have better tools, more up-to-date knowledge and are genuinely interested in your horse’s dental health. And please, if your vet brushes you off when you ask about teeth or has told you for more than a year or two that your horses teeth are “fine” – especially if you have either health or training issues that could be caused by mouth pain/discomfort – check for dental problems yourself or get another opinion.

(Find more information about the importance of good equine dentistry.)

 

Equine Dentist Listings:
American Veterinary Dental Society
International Association of Equine Dentistry

Dry Weather Promotes Pigeon Fever

Seems like Tucson’s hot, dry June weather may have set up the perfect conditions for an early outbreak of Pigeon Fever.

One of the local vet clinics is reporting an early case of the condition, also known as Dryland Distemper, one of the more insidious infectious diseases that affect horses primarily in the western and southwestern states. Pigeon Fever is caused by the pseudotuberculosis bacterium, which lives in the ground in places like Arizona, California and Texas and seems to be able to exist in harsh conditions for months or even years.

The disease often causes one or more large abscesses on the horse’s chest (hence the nickname), though it can also show up on the belly, ventral midline, sheath/udder and legs.

One of the challenges facing horse owners is that the disease can be transmitted so many different ways: by direct contact with an infected horse with a draining abscess, by exposing open sores to dirt or bedding containing the bacterium or via flies carrying the infection horse to horse. (There’s even some concern that humans could be infected.)

The American Academy of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has recently released new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Pigeon Fever, which should not be confused with Strangles, another common bacterial infection that often manifests as abscessed lymph nodes at the throatlatch.

The two conditions are similar in that both have variations that can move deeper into the body, affecting the internal organs. Indeed, some veterinarians and researchers caution against use of antibiotics to treat the more superficial versions of both Pigeon Fever and Strangles lest the treatment prolonging the infection by preventing abscesses from running their course.

While there are vaccines against the Strangles bacterium, Streptococcus equi, none exists to address Pigeon Fever. Prevent infections by supporting your horse’s immune system, doing what you can to control flies and mosquitoes and taking sensible precautions should a horse at your barn become ill. Here’s one credible source suggesting a simple nutritional change to improve horses’ ability to withstand the condition.

You can also find nosodes for homeopathic prevention and treatment of both Pigeon Fever and Strangles. (More Pigeon Fever nosodes here and here. More Strangles nosodes here.)

I’m not a veterinarian and I do not give medical advice, but I have successfully used a holistic approach to support a horse through a Pigeon Fever infection. If your horse presents with Pigeon Fever symptoms, there are a number of ways to address abscesses holistically, without using antibiotics.

I used a simple protocol of homeopathic remedies specific to abscesses and applied warm compresses to the affected area several times a day to bring the abscess to a head. This allowed it to rupture on its own without need for lancing. I included a few drops of tea tree oil in the water I used for the compress to help draw the abscess to the surface faster. (You could also use a poultice of slippery elm or clay like you would for a hoof abscess to help this process.)

I also put tea tree oil in the solution I used to flush the open wound after the abscess burst. The opening in the horse’s pectoral muscle was about the size of my fist and I chose not to use the traditional diluted betadine, opting for something I felt would be more effective at fighting off secondary infection and more likely to encourage formulation of healthy granulation tissue.

The horse also got vitamins E and C and echinacea, both in herb and homeopathic forms, to support and strengthen his immune system. He recovered fully with no disfigurement – not even a scar – and had no recurrence of the disease even though other horses on the same property were afflicted in subsequent years.

More Information:
Strangles Solution (Chinese Herbs)
What is Pigeon Fever, How to Treat It Nutritionally and How to Prevent it Using Homeopathic Nosodes
Natural Help 4 Strangles in Horses