Horse & Pony Cases
These are a few of AVMC’s horse patients, treated with one or more therapies in an integrated program. More examples will be added later. While some of the described responses may seem surprising, they are genuine, they can be repeatable and the explanation is purely pragmatic. It is true to say, of course, that these results are NOT achievable in every case but they do show the possibilities. We have the full records of each of these cases.
Actual wording, received 27th July 2012:
“Most gigantic difference in him – totally different horse – no longer so tricky – absolute joy to work with him now – brilliant!” more info
In the interests of transparency, we have also uploaded the results of ongoing case outcome monitoring, for interest. Click the link: Outcome Study.
N.B.: This study includes only cats, dogs and horses.
The cases have been treated holistically, in some cases with an integrated program of different therapies. Holistic vet work involves working on the whole patient, taking into account environment, diet and lifestyle factors that may impinge on healing capability. The holistic vet cannot draw lines around a particular problem or issue. He or she must widen horizons to take in the whole picture.
The recurring theme is recovery, apparently against the odds. However, it is a fact that three factors (and only three) affect the chances of cure (or improvement).
- The body must have a relevant capability or mechanism for cure (or improvement).
- We must be able to find an effective medical stimulus for that mechanism (e.g. correct homeopathic medication).
- We must identify and remove any possible obstacles to recovery.
The name of the disease is not in that list, meaning that the disease name does not define the chances of positive outcome. This fact may explain the apparently ‘unlikely’ outcomes, in so many cases. A few are shown here, to illustrate the capability of the body to heal itself, when given guidance and appropriate stimulus and when the constraints are removed.
We also have a small collection of ‘testimonial‘ letters, for interest. There are, of course, many of these that throw light on possible outcomes for certain diseases. We therefore recommend that you take a look.
Minuet – 3 year-old Thoroughbred mare – Chronic Salmonellosis
Betsy – 3 year-old Welsh Pony female – Auto-Immune Disease
Henry – 8 year-old Hannoverian x Thoroughbred gelding – Severe Wound,
Serious Infection and Tissue Deficit
Chicken – a 7 year-old Thoroughbred gelding – Chiropractic case
Henry – a thirteen-year-old chestnut gelding – Inveterate skin problem (with pictures)
Impey – 17 y.o. Welsh Section A gelding – Losing condition & can’t put weight back on him
- D. – 4 year-old Mare, presented by Mrs – – – – of Cumbria – a Chiropractic case
Paparina – 10 y.o. Thoroughbred cross mare – Chronic maxillary sinus infection
Jessie – 21 y.o. Anglo-Arab mare – Urticaria and possible Cushings
Kalabre – 13 y.o. TB gelding – Collapsed pastern joint (with pictures)
Megan – 13 y.o. Welsh Section D mare – Skin problem
Merlin – Dartmoor Pony gelding – Chiropractic case
Monty – 5 y.o. Shetland Pony gelding – Chronic Laminitis
Morena – Andalusian mare – Arthritis, Navicular & Kissing Spines
Wizard – 25 y.o. Cleveland Bay X gelding – Chronic Corneal Ulcer
Red Fox – a 27 y.o. New Forest X gelding – Chronic Laminitis and Cushings Syndrome
Sophie – 12 y.o. German Warmblood mare – Chronic Skin Problem
Squirrel – a 16 y.o. New Forest Pony gelding – Chronic Laminitis
Bisto – 31 y.o. New Forest x Appaloosa gelding – Cushings, Laminitis, Asthma, Eczema
Chance – a 16 y.o. Welsh Section D gelding – Acute Laminitis
Chanté – 21 y.o. Welsh x Arab mare – Laminitis and Cushings syndrome
Big Mac – a 9 y.o. Miniature Shetland gelding – Laminitis and Sweet Itch
Harry – 9 y.o. part Arab gelding – Nodular disease
Winston – 21 y.o. Welsh Section D gelding – Head shaking (headshaking or head-shaking), COPD & itch
Garrison Savannah – Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1991
Nicky – 9 y.o. Haflinger gelding – Navicular disease
Z—- – 9 year-old mare – Head shaking
E.B. – 16 y.o. Thoroughbred gelding – Urticaria & Head Shaking
Tammy – 16 y.o. Connemara mare – Chronic Laminitis without remission
Maverick – 10 year-old Cob gelding – Sweet itch and tendency to laminitis
Solo – Welsh Section D gelding – Navicular with subsequent fracture, skin disease, cough (COPD), sweet itch etc.
G******** – 17 year-old Thoroughbred X – Sarcoids
K****** – 8 y.o. Irish gelding – Headshaking
O****** – 16 y.o. TBx gelding – Headshaking
Minuet was presented on 27th April 2000, with critical weight loss, chronic diarrhoea and worm damage. She had been referred from Essex to a prominent equine veterinary centre, for specialist care, since she suffered chronic watery diarrhoea, severe and critical weight loss and inappetance. When worms were found and treated with anthelmintics, she would go down with a Salmonella infection. When that was treated with antibiotics, she would go down with a heavy worm burden. This was a repetitive pattern. Clearly, her bowel and immune system were severely compromised. Finally, the Salmonella infection would not respond to antibiotics and probiotics. The condition was worsening with each setback and the equine specialists decided upon euthanasia, as the only option. The ‘owner’ sought a further (homeopathic) opinion.
The mare was moved to Oxfordshire on 8th May, with relevant MAFF (now DEFRA) notification (for Salmonella). The veterinary centre handed her very formally into my care, warning of the hazards of pursuing the case. She was kept in isolation and homeopathic treatment commenced. She had no conventional drugs, whether antibiotic, anthelmintic or other, from that date onwards. Her well-being improved within two days. Whether this was from the change of environment or from the cessation of drugs or from the commencement of homeopathy or even from any permutation of those, cannot be said with any certainty.
Repeated tests continued to reveal Salmonella until 23rd June. On 27th June, Campylobacter and E. coli were also reported. By 10th July, no more Salmonellae or Campylobacter were isolated but on 7th August, Klebsiella was identified. This was a most unusual series of bacteriological findings and clearly represented deep immune and homeostatic disruption. All of these infections were cleared, without the use of drugs, using homeopathic prescribing. All bacteriological and helminthological tests were clear by mid August and remained so. She had just started to put on a little condition before this but now it became dramatic. She went home in October 2000 and has remained very well ever since. We have more recent reports.
This case illustrates the ability of the body to control serious, refractory and dangerous infections and to undergo restoration of health, under the guidance of homeopathy alone. Antibiotics are not ‘de rigeur’, even with such serious organisms. Euthanasia had appeared to be the only option, in conventional terms, after a great deal of illness and suffering. The prognosis can be very different, using natural medicine, owing to the stimulus it provides directly to the powerful endogenous healing and balancing processes.
Betsy was presented on the 5th August 1997, with auto-immune disease, characterised by scabs and painful, itchy, hot lesions over her entire body. She had ventral oedema and her legs were swollen. She had first started with what appeared to be fly bites, just after her 2nd birthday. She was treated with antibiotics. Each time it appeared to clear, it would break out again, worse, after ceasing antibiotic. It became much worse in September 1996. She was referred to a Veterinary School. After a 24-hour stay there, she was sent home with a cortisone treatment régime, to last until January. One month after the treatment stopped, it all broke out again. She was now at a stage in which, each time her dosage fell below 30 steroid tablets per day, she would break out again. The outlook was becoming very bleak indeed.
Homeopathic treatment commenced on about 7th August 1997. She had a patchy Autumn, as the steroids were reduced, during the homeopathic treatment. In mid-December, after having been off steroids for 6 weeks, she had a lesser break out. She was itchy but with less swelling and the lesions were resolving without steroid. By mid-January, she was described as ‘incredibly well and behaving like a 3 year-old, at last’. She had a very slight re-appearance of lesions in February, which was transient. There was a minor outbreak at the end of March, which was again transient. In early May, she was reported as ‘wonderful; to see her enjoying life so much’. In mid-May there was a more severe breaking out. The ‘owner’ was very upset, having come so far. The homeopathic treatment was changed, to take account of new symptoms. By mid-June, she was fine again and reported as ‘brilliant’ on no treatment for the previous 6 weeks, towards the end of July. In June 1999, she was reported as having been very well for over a year and on no treatment but with a bad outbreak again. We restarted the homeopathic treatment of May 1998. She was reported as improving, in July 1999. She was fine until January 2000, when there was another episode. This was very minor. Minor outbreaks of a few spots were reported in March and in June. All was very well until November 2000, when there was a further episode, which rapidly cleared. As her legs swelled a little this time, more antibiotics were given at the end of November. The report of 7th December was ‘very happy in herself and the lesions clearing’.
Subsequent reports received: 5th January 2001, ‘seems fine at moment, had reaction to one of the injections given by vet, but over that now, rode today and full of beans’; 30th January, ‘doing very well at the moment’.
This case shows the transient nature of the effects of antibiotics and steroids and shows the typical step-wise worsening at each stage, after release of suppression, that is a feature of the true chronic case. There is also a report of an adverse drug reaction. Auto-immune disease, of such a severe and deep nature, is usually slow to resolve but we expect a good outcome in most cases, whether in dogs or horses.
Henry – 8 year-old Hannoverian x Thoroughbred gelding – Severe Wound, Serious Infection and Tissue Deficit
We were called to Henry on the 17th July 1990, with a ‘burst’ wound (acquired from hitting a fence at speed), that had been stitched but which was now breaking down and was looking worse than prior to stitching. It was grossly infected and the leg was very swollen. Henry was unable to use the leg and was extremely reluctant to move at all. Antibiotics were not holding. The horse was to be euthanised that day. I attended with the local vet and we started homeopathic treatment, stopping the antibiotics as they were failing, with a warning that the wound would break down even more, by the next day. This did happen. The swelling in the fore leg had reduced considerably by this time, however. It would have been futile or even damaging to repeat the efforts to stitch the wound at this stage.
By the 23rd July, the wound was looking much more healthy and Henry was much happier. He was walking ‘really well’. At this time, a rigorous exercise program was put in place, in order to ensure healing of a relevant and functional nature.
Henry was provisionally signed off by 10th August, as things were looking so good. Later in August, we received a glowing letter.
A series of photographs was received in September, showing the course of healing. Henry had, by then, resumed full work and the last photograph of the series barely showed the scar.
We next saw him in April 1991, with a tendon injury, which healed well in 6 weeks, with laser therapy. The old wound was scarcely detectable.
This case illustrates how homeopathy may help cases, in which antibiotic is failing to provide the necessary benefit. It also illustrates the quality of wound-healing that we often see with homeopathic treatment. We have not experienced ‘proud flesh’ in any injury patients who were treated with homeopathy from the outset. This presumably means that granulation tissue behaves differently, under homeopathic ‘guidance’.
First seen: 30th November 2005, because he was showing an awkward left canter.
History/information: Trips, takes own shoes off deliberately, saddling issues (still in process), stops, refuses, temperament changes, pulls back when tied up, had equine massage (without alignment), lazy, reluctant to ‘come off leg’, left-lead canter is four-time, rather than three-time, splint off fore (recent).
Observations/findings: Teeth wrong at back, face wrong (right hand side), stands wrongly behind, right pelvis (lumbo-sacral joint), three misalignments in spine (back problem), withers sore, foot balance 100%, narrow feet, feeding unsuitable.
Action: Full holistic advice, chiropractic manipulation, discussion.
Report: 8th December 2005: “Yippee! 1000% improvement! Different horse completely, Instructor couldn’t believe it when saw him move – on the right hand side of his wither, he used to sweat profusely and now not sweating at all! Will be in touch if he needs manipulation again.”
This case-report illustrates how not every patient requires medical intervention. It also illustrates the important point that massage or physiotherapy will be of limited value while skeletal misalignments remain uncorrected.
First examined: 9th March, 1993. Presented with extensive alopecia and exfoliation of the skin of face and head. This condition was non-pruritic. History from 4.1.93, when it was first obviously considered to be a ‘problem’:
14.1.93: skin/hair/swab sample: mixed bacterial growth, cell interface poor, diagnosis ‘dermatosis’. Blood sample ‘nothing abnormal’.
Treatments as written in referral note: Antibacterial Foam, Vetsovate, Defungit, Antibiotics, Ivermectin, Dexamethasone. Vet’s bills approx. £2,000.00 to date.
Owner’s notes: started in small patches, feared ringworm, gradually spread & coalesced, despite treatment. Steroids stopped during the previous week.
Had sarcoids removed, from chin and axillae, in summer 1989.
Started coughing in December 1992; prevented with dampened hay but then the skin lesions appeared.
Last vaccine dates: October 1992.
Treated homeopathically, for ‘vaccinosis’, commenced on 11.3.93.
First client report 26.3.93: “Miracles! Within three days bad skin started to drop off rapidly, good skin showing underneath, hair started to grow through 2-3 days later, very pleased.”
Next client report 14.9.93: “Henry appears to have made a rapid and full recovery. You can keep the enclosed photos.” (These were dated and showed a virtually 100% recovery, with full hair regrowth, within 8 weeks.)
Next client report 26.11.93: “Henry been fine but last couple of weeks had flu/tet jab (12.11.93) and 7-10 days after that started to develop patches of hair loss on his face. Will restart homeopathic treatment and report.”
23.11.93: “Recommenced homeopathy on 17.11.93. Skin of right stifle and upper leg and left chest wall feels very rough with small scabs; skin on face shows very small areas of hair loss.”
1.12.93: “No further hair loss, a little bit of regrowth, but skin showing in a couple of patches where did lose hair. It is dry with small flakes.”
15.12.93: “Only fine dandruff left now, rest cleared, hair all regrown.”
17.12.93: “Now appears to have made a full recovery, worrying about next vaccine due May 1994. Should I ask for different brand? Has to have as competing. Had double shots in Autumn (12.10.93 & 15.11.93) as just missed annual booster date!”
Recommended a homeopathic ‘vaccine buffer’ for the coming May.
8.4.94: Client rang and ordered ‘buffer’; vaccine booked for 9.5.94
21.6.94: “Sorry for delay in writing, vaccine buffer was 90% effective, hair on face only went a little sparse around forelock, cleared easily with a repeat of the homeopathic treatment.”
Henry’s case illustrates the coincidence in timing so often seen, between vaccination dates and onset of symptoms/signs. It also illustrates the futility of treatment, until the underlying immune imbalance is addressed and it shows the need for and effectiveness of the ‘vaccine buffer’.
First seen: 31.08.05 – eating loads, keeps upping the ration – if gets wet, becomes very cold. Fairly long history: started last year – bad winter in very wet field – suddenly lost condition – drops weight in April, has done for last 2 years but much worse last year.
Blood sample: ‘viral’ 2004 – antibiotics helped.
Much worse in the cold/wet. Heavy frosts in May this year didn’t help. Loose dung – never been tested. Bottom of peck order.
At examination, found extensive jaw problems – ‘can’t chew in round-and-round fashion’. Wasted muscles in cheeks.
Manipulation of neck & jaw. Teeth good. Dentist says ‘arthritic jaw’ – old injury. Supply homeopathic treatment.
Reported October doing well.
Revisited – definite improvement; held most of facial adjustment; filling out slowly (Oct ’05) – much brighter – looking better.
Jan 2006 – doing really well – happy little pony.
April 2006 – filled out well – needs vaccine booster for PC meeting – supply ‘vaccine buffer’.
28.04.06 “Doing incredibly well – looking marvellous – never seen him looking so good.”
Here we see the recurring theme of vaccination coincidence and the need to address that underlying imbalance, before the body can correct its problems.
I would like to thank you for all you have done for A—– D——–, following your treatment in November, she has resumed her racing career, and I am pleased to say that to date she is certainly back to her best. We have raced her on 10 occasions since the beginning of April and she has won four races, had three second places and two third places, only being unplaced once, when she had to pull up due to an incident in front of her.
Hopefully we will not experience any re-occurrence of last year’s problems, but I feel it may be beneficial if you were to look at her again following the racing season, and I will contact you again later in the year.
Sometimes, all we need to do is ‘back work’.
Presented 23rd January 1992, with chronic discharging, very malodorous aperture in right face, from a non-healing sinus operation. The bones of the face were distorted and the maxillary sinus had collapsed.
The problem had started in May 1991. After X-ray diagnosis, removal of a tooth and failure to respond to various antibiotic and other treatments, she was hospitalised at an equine practice for 1 month. She had periods of being very ill and her face would swell badly from time to time.
She was referred to Newmarket in October 1991. Further surgery was performed but no improvement gained. She still suffered persistent facial discharge and periods of illness and swelling.
At the time of presentation (January 1992), she was a very unhappy mare and still in a great deal of pain. Homeopathic treatment was started at that time.
By the end of May, the face had healed, but her nose and eye still discharged a little. Until mid-October, we had reports of basically very happy horse with episodes when she was a bit ‘down’, along with changes in nasal discharge. An X-ray in May had revealed a ‘halo’ around the neighbouring tooth, so it was assumed that there was still some deeper trouble not resolved.
With a change of homeopathic prescription, we provoked a swelling at the operation site again, which discharged. By early 1993, she became very well and stopped all discharges.
In June 2001, she had a temporary relapse. This responded well to homeopathic treatment only and the mare was checked at Langford Veterinary School. A scan and examination only detected old damage, with no sign of tooth infection or sinus infection.
We have received good updates since then, even up to 2006.
First seen: end of January 2006
Complaints: Skin inflamed, scurfy, itchy; urticaria on left side; swollen legs; coat ‘moth-eaten’ and ‘shaggy’ in appearance; lacks energy, stressy mare; never ‘right’ all year round; poor condition.
History: Vaccinations April, each year; has had two colt foals, now aged 9 years and 4 years; since the first, mildly but severe since the second, has this skin problem; always on the left side; first night after she came in last year, she became very itchy and remained itchy all winter, despite changing to shavings, from straw; this year, came in 6 weeks ago – all returned first night she was in, plus swollen left fore leg.
Vet gave steroid (cortisone) injection and things settled within two days; turned her out and steam-cleaned the stable; signs came back a week later – swollen over nape of neck, very tender to the touch; settled with steroid tablets; not clipped but looks as if she has been; never gains a proper summer coat; never has laminitis; still has ‘seasons’ but no obvious effect on the problem.
Diet includes various manufactured feeds and patent supplements.
Treatment: Changed diet, to more suitable food. Glandular sarcode and homeopathic Lachesis.
Reports: Noticed much brighter, within 10 days; walking with ears pricked and looking more alert; condition slightly improved already.
14th February 2006: Much brighter in herself – more interested in life and looking more ‘rounded’; has developed large scurfy area over left shoulder, wither and neck; itchy when rugged.
Prescribed homeopathic Thuja
13th March: Moulting heavily and the particularly scurfy patch is vastly improved; looking better overall and still happy.
26th April: Last few days become very itchy on left neck and shoulder – homeopathic Ledum.
18th May: No more itchiness
7th July: No more itching and has been hacking happily – still moulting, though and coat is quite thick – homeopathic Juglans.
11th August: Absolutely super – coat slightly long but stopped moulting – very bright to ride – full of energy – back to how she used to be – very pleased – stop remedy but continue sarcode.
2nd October: Continued looking well and happy.
30th November: Absolutely fine – back to how she was.
19th January 2007: Very well indeed.
7th March: Really doing well – come through winter superbly – thanks.
12th April: suddenly lost top line – possibly hormonal (just come into season) – coat gone dull – similar to how you fist saw her except well and happy in self – homeopathic Arsenicum iodatum.
25th April: after ten days of treatment, starting to improve – bit more ‘settled’ but season just finished.
10th May: Looking a lot better – condition going on well now.
Previous history: First seen May 1994 for bone spavin (& diagnosed degenerative foot problems at visit) – treated homeopathically with good results.
Good reports up to June 1999, when reported not holding – became so bad that ‘owner’ had put him on ‘bute’ & taken him off the homeopathic remedies, as assumed they couldn’t work with ‘bute’ – improved but gradually worse again – restarted homeopathic remedies in August – big improvement again.
Good reports in 2000, then we heard nothing.
Summer 2001 – involved equine specialist vets as couldn’t really walk, he was so bad at the front – X-Ray revealed severe ringbone & one pastern joint ‘collapsed’ (explicit report stated: “severe chronic remodelling of distal 1st & proximal 2nd phalanx at dorsal aspect (both) – total collapse of medial aspect of pastern joint (L) with periarticular bone forming a bridge in one area”)
Vet advised euthanasia but the ‘owner’ was unwilling, in view of Kalabre’s demonstrated ability to recover in previous years – vet insisted, on welfare grounds (x-ray pictures show why he was so concerned) – explicit letter from vet on this issue (see below); accused osteopath of having diagnosed a liver problem with no diagnostic tests and of having taken Kalabre off all homeopathic medicines & ‘bute’; put him on ‘no-bute’ (certainly this is not a legal course of action for an osteopath).
Seen by AVMC on 2nd Aug 2001 – prescribed homeopathic Ledum, Laspar, Thuja, Guaiacum
Reports: 06.08.01 better almost at once!
09.08.01 delighted with progress – reduced ‘bute’ to once daily.
17.08.01 – continuing to improve – playing about with dosage of ‘bute’.
19.09.01 – really pleased – back to walking out well.
November 2001 – cantering if escapes.
January 2002 – struggled a bit with hard frosty ground.
28.01.02 increased ‘bute’ to every 4th/5thday & ok on that.
15.04.02 – ‘owner’ says vets get regular reports via the farrier but that she would get more pleasure reporting in person! (to support homeopathy)
A few interim reports received.
January 2003 – reported “you won’t believe it – even being ridden!”
January 2004 – still riding but gone ½ blind in R eye – vet notes (see below) sent for postal treatment in February (corneal chemosis & keratosis – on & off since March 2003 tried Optimmune – reacted badly – stopped – offered Prednisolone drops) – ‘owner’ almost accepted he’ll be blind in one eye but had such success in the past – will try again – eye not bothering him but waters a fair bit.
Prescribed homeopathic Kali bich. and Silica – stopped Guaiacum.
10.03.04 Not so good on legs since stopped Guaiacum but definite improvement in the eye on new remedies.
07.06.04 – Eye more or less normal! – less & less whiteness.
13.10.04 – Looking fantastic & now 22 y.o. – only occasional ‘bute’ before riding.
29.06.05 – Doing excellently – galloping round field – still riding – on no ‘bute’ – can’t believe it!
28.11.05 – The boy is doing really well – no ‘bute’ – occasional ‘devil’s claw’ – still riding – very pleased!
06.08.07 – Still doing very well, six years on from x-rays and twenty-six years old.
Vet’s letter re. leg 1st August 2001:
Kaliber was examined at The – – – – – – Equine Hospital this afternoon with a history of forelimb lameness and a liver complaint. It seems the latter diagnosis was made on the basis of an osteopathic examination and resulted in the horse being taken off all medication – homeopathic and ‘bute’, although I understand he has now been on ‘Devils Claw’ for a few days. I have taken a blood sample (results enclosed) which does not suggest any liver dysfunction. The result for total bile acids will follow tomorrow.
Examination revealed Kaliber to be in moderate body condition with a long hair coat. He was very stiff and reluctant to move, and around 5/10 lame on the left forelimb, unable to trot. Even limited flexion of the left lower forelimb joints was both resented and very limited, causing pain. He was reluctant to pick up the right forelimb, however there were similar findings with this limb. There was an obvious enlargement of the dorsal aspect of both middle phalanxes.
Radiographs were taken of both pasterns – lateral medial views – plus a dorsopalmar view of the left fore pastern. There was severe chronic bony remodelling of the distal first and proximal second phalanges at the dorsal aspect of the pastern joint. The dorsopalmar view revealed total collapse of the medial aspect of the pastern joint with periarticular new bone that had formed a bridge in one area.
In conclusion this horse has severe ringbone involving both forelimb pasterns joints which has resulted in collapse of the left fore joint. I tried to advise Miss K— that treatment and prognosis were hopeless and that it was in the best interests of the horse to euthanise him on welfare grounds. This was not a concept she was willing to accept and has asked that I forward my radiographs and the blood results to you for a second opinion.
I would be grateful if you would review these, and if you feel necessary examine the horse as a matter of urgency as I consider that his welfare is not best served by any further delay to a decision being made regarding his future.
If you wish to discuss this case further please do not hesitate to contact me.
Owner’s letter re. eye 17th February 2004:
I’m pleased to enclose the report from my vet regarding Kalabre’s right eye. I’ve almost accepted that he is going to be blind but we have had great success in the past so I thought it worth a holistic approach.
Given that I’ve spent rather a lot on vet’s bills already, I would not wish another visit cost: but I hope you will be able to assist from this report.
On the plus side, he is not really bothered at all with the eye although it does weep a little.
I’m riding once or twice a week and he’s looking really well, particularly as he’s clipped – not bad for a condemned horse!
I will ring in a day or so and see what you suggest via your team.
Vet’s notes re. eye 17th February 2004:
21st March 2003: Right corneal chemosis and keratitis, Fluorescein negative, no uveitis, blepharospasm or lachrymation. No evidence of a foreign body, slight mucoid unilateral discharge from right eye. Treatment was initiated with chloramphenicol eye ointment three times daily and later changed to Maxitrol eye drops and chemosis resolved after several weeks. Horse never painful with the condition.
18th November 2003: Right corneal chemosis returned. Punctate abrasions noted again superficially on surface of cornea. Not painful, no evidence of uveitis, fluorescein negative again. Horse well in himself clinically. Small area of corneal scarring evident on left cornea but left eye otherwise normal. Treatment initiated with Maxitrol eye drops, no clinical response. Suspect immune-mediated keratitis, therefore tried Optimmune eye ointment but client reported that this aggravated the problem, therefore treatment stopped. Will possibly try Pred Forte eye drops in one month’s time.
It is impossible to sum up this case without a lump in the throat. This brave horse has thrived, against seemingly impossible odds, defying several conditions that could each be potentially terminal, with tremendous support and faith from his ‘owner’.
First visited: 30th November 2006, near Reading, with a ‘skin problem’.
History: Started problem at about March 2006. Skin scrapings etc. all negative. Injected for mites – no help. Louse powder – no help. Ringworm treatment – no help. It appears to start when she ‘coats’. Vaccinated November each year (worse since vaccination this year). Skin hot, flaky, scabs, loss of coat. Both she and the ‘owner’ love to ‘show’. All cancelled this year, because of skin.
Prescription: Homeopathic Sulphur, followed by Apis mell. Chiropractic work.
18th December 2006: Following visit, much more like old self – very bright-eyed, playful, chasing dog etc. Attributing this to back work, as happened so quickly. Hair is re-growing in the bald areas but she is still itchy and biting herself.
Megan was later given homeopathic Thuja, Antimonium crudum, Arsenicum. Each appeared to have some positive effects but insufficient long-term benefit.
Revisited on 18th April 2007 as, although much better than last year, she was still very ‘dandruffy’ and not able to go to shows. Gave homeopathic Pulsatilla and Kali sulph.
3rd May 2007: Reported so much better I am kicking myself for not entering Windsor Show! Bright eyes, lovely shiny coat, dandruff almost gone.
Megan yet again shows the need to rebalance the underlying immune issues, before a ‘cure’ can take place. Again, we see the recurring vaccination theme. Again, there is the observation of the patient ‘feeling better’, before external signs improve.
February 2006: I thought you would like to see a picture of Merlin! He thunders around the field now and moves really pretty well. No pain in his back, as far as I can tell. I haven’t ridden him yet, as I’m concentrating on Dinky.
Again, if back manipulation is all that is necessary, why do more?
First seen: 10th January 1995 – chronic laminitis – keeps going lame – ‘Bute’ at first – apparently helped then relapsed after 3 weeks – X-Rays 16th Sept 1994 showed severe rotation. Examination: feet very warm, all round.
Prescribed homeopathic Hypericum.
25th Jan 1995 – feet trimmed – heat still there – not lame – shape better – walking fine – added homeopathic Ginkgo
8th Feb 1995 – Seems fine – no lameness – slight heat – still not obviously losing weight
21st Feb 1995 – started lead rein work, as full of beans – 15-20 minutes grass – feet slightly tender again – not lame
6th April 1995 – 20–30 minutes grass per day – lot slimmer – feet growing less rapidly
25th April 1995 – fine & sprightly
27th June 1995 – absolutely fine
24th October 1995 – been absolutely fine – in harness – trotting on road – no problems – no shoes – 2 hours grass per day – fractionally foot-sore after latest trim but OK again now.
30th April 1996 – on no treatment since Christmas – precautionary call only, as grass growing – been fine
25th June 1996 – Monty doing really well – been lunging daily
5th August 1996 – Lame straight after foot trim on 28th June – only coming right now – wants to bring to see again
28th August 1996 – cancelled appointment, as so good. So good contemplating return to cart.
30th Sept 1996 – OK – better than he was – a little sensitive this morning (stole apples) – happy in self
1st October 1996 – abscess in RF – vet thinks laminitis again
November 1996 – OK again
6th January 1997 – fine at present
21st Feb 1997 – OK but not brilliant – sore feet on and off – add Graphites
11th April 1997 – fine at moment – feet trimmed every 3 weeks – walking very well
25th May 1997 – very well – better than for 2 years – turn out with muzzle
30th June 1997 – fine – no worries
2nd Sept 1997 – very well, no problems
10th October 1997 – very well – brilliant – no sign of laminitis since April – started last year with new hay – that time again now, so becoming worried
2nd December 1997 – doing fine
3rd February 1998 – Monty really great – wouldn’t know he’d ever had laminitis!
8th April 1998 – doing very well – no problems
6th May 1998 – fine – no worries
3rd August 1998 – very well – no problems at all – no signs of laminitis at all – well and happy
6th October 1998 – very well – no worries at all
3rd November 1998 – no lameness but white line separation
24th November 1998 – sketch of foot sent – recommended clean up diet again – homeopathic Silica
15th December 1998 – OK – no problems – crack in hoof growing out – farrier well pleased with progress.
23rd February 1999 – very well – no worries
30th April 1999 – fine – no worries
29th June 1999 – very well – no worries at all
1st September 1999 – Fine – no worries
16th November 1999 – brilliant
2nd February 2000 – Monty very well – no worries
12th May 2000 – fine – no worries – hooves look good – nicely shaped – not splitting – moving well – bright & happy – been fine for 2 years now
23rd February 2001 – slight colic just before Christmas – fine since
13th June 2001 – very well at present
6th September 2001 – very well
12th February 2002 – he’s fine
12th June 2002 – still doing well
30th September 2002 – he is very well
6th June 2003 – bit of ‘stiffness’ – suspicious – increase rate of homeopathic treatment
5th August 2003 – Still well in himself but good days and days of ‘stiffness’
2nd September 2003 – been more tricky this year but fine again now
16th October 2003 – walking on roads again and fine
16th January 2004 – fine – no concerns
23rd March 2004 – doing well – no lameness
30th June 2004 – fine
30th September 2004 – fine
17th December 2004 – fine
4th April 2005 – doing very well
16th June 2005 – fine no worries
3rd October 2005 – foot shape deteriorated in August – farrier detected evidence of slight laminitis – kept in and now becoming worse – increased homeopathic medication
4th October 2005 – Local vet came out – thinks not bad at all or already improving – ‘owner’ thinks increased medication helped straight away. Very slight digital pulse
12th October 2005 – still tender but vet not concerned
31st November 2005 – not too good at the moment – was much better – relapsed since eating fallen leaves – moving around but ‘stiff’
25th November 2005 – ticking along well
20th December 2005 – doing well – walking well – riding again
9th March 2006 – doing very well indeed
28th April 2006 – OK
9th June 2006 – Not affected – had to change farrier, as current one not coping with his feet properly
28th July 2006 – absolutely fine
19th October 2006 – slightly pottery – ‘owner’ thinks being over-cautious but wants to be careful – will be in touch if needs help.
This case illustrates the need to be very watchful for recurrence of laminitis (watching esp. for slight ‘stiffness’ of the fore quarters), for ongoing very diligent foot shaping, dietary vigilance (and suitable foods only). It shows that cases of serious and chronic laminitis can be managed, even long-term, with homeopathic input and without drugs. It also shows the need for regular contact, so that homeopathic input can be modified in the light of new developments.
First seen: March 2003, with X-Ray pictures.
History: Accident in stable ~Feb 2002.
Seemed sore in right shoulder for ~ a year, then to vet – x-ray – arthritis hocks – poor prognosis – injected hocks for arthrodesis – didn’t regain soundness – x-ray front feet – navicular – regular injections of triamcinolone into navicular bursa, with hope of ‘holding things for about a year’. Feb 2003 navicular found to have deteriorated.
Homeopathic treatment started on 11th March 2003. (Calc. fluor. & Ledum)
By June, off ‘bute’ and improved over when seen. (prescribed homeopathic Actaea)
Went to stud August 2003. October reported well. Confirmed in foal in late October.
February 2004 ‘very good’ – reduced medication.
Foaled August 2004.
Seen again, before transit to France – very well, bit thin, lost muscles in hind quarters – possibly spinal arthritis. Not lame. (prescribed homeopathic Guaiacum, Phosphorus and Calc. fluor, herbs etc.)
26th January 2005 – reported very well indeed – in transit to France – running round like a Spring Chicken – absolutely sound – still needs a little more weight – hopefully will achieve that in more ‘native’ climate – will keep in touch.
First seen: 3rd January 2006
History: Cauterised 18 years ago (for possible ulcer) – cloudy spot on right cornea – clouded more over the years – last 3 – 4 years much worse – Maxitrol Neomycin/Dexamethasone/Polymyxin – August 2005 became much worse – swabs & tests found nothing.
Examination: ‘Polo-shaped’ cloudiness – clearish in middle – flared badly (AVMC assessment: prolapsed Descemet’s membrane – deep punctate ulcer) – copious glutinous discharge – ‘bute’ holds it a bit and non-painful (indolent therefore) – inkish area of blood vessels at 5 o’clock.
Right face required adjustment
Vaccine in October – a factor in sudden worsening?
Discuss effects of ‘bute’ & Maxitrol
Warned of exacerbation as homeopathy awakes the currently dormant healing process
Prescribed homeopathic Merc. sol. & Silicea
Report 11th January 2006: came off ‘bute’ & started remedies Friday – OK to Sunday – Monday eye closing – not so comfortable – more blood vessels showing in bottom ½ – pinker/fleshier-looking
16th January 2006 – more improvement – ulcer calmed down & crater smoothing over – happy & eating well
23rd January 2006 – looking good – white area no longer looking like a Polo – lots of extra blood vessels there – much happier & more comfortable – stiffness as not working (add homeopathic RRA)
31st Jan 2006 – still looking good – white area improved – progress slowing now – eye looks very bright
24th February 2006 – thinks things are moving on
27th February 2006 – things looking very good indeed
5th May 2006 – much better than was – still not as good as would like – plateau – cloudiness less dense but more diffuse
Prescribed homeopathic Aurum met
12th June – possibly as good as gets – enjoying life – no discomfort at all
Wizard’s eye was in grave danger of perforation and loss, in January. The condition had become indolent (i.e. no active healing processes at work), over a number of years. Homeopathic intervention appeared to awake the long-dormant healing processes and the eye was saved, with a good degree of vision. It is worth noting that, with homeopathic management, we have never had reason to resort to surgery for corneal ulceration, in any past case, however severe.
AP, AST, GGT, Bile Acids, Insulin and Cortisol high.
History: Recurrent laminitis in Spring and Autumn. X-Rays taken and very gloomy picture. 14th November vet advised Danilon and that, with liver and lameness and possible Cushings, quality of life was possibly too poor and outlook too grim, for continuation.
On Founderguard, Happy Hoof, Haemolytan, AcP, ‘Bute’ and B12 injection and been advised to add Danilon.
18th November 2006: visited near Chard, Somerset.
‘Owner’ very nervous of letting him out of the stable – understandably very cautious about changing diet etc., but persuaded very necessary, for hope of survival, as current diet and supplements not suitable. Bedded on shavings – advised change. Advised on exercise, grazing, feeding, herbs for nutritional and medical benefit.
Performed chiropractic manipulation (left pelvis, neck, jaw, shoulder), acupuncture.
Prescribed homeopathic Silica, Glandular sarcode and Hypericum.
Advised up-to-date X-Rays – they showed serious rotation and confirmed the external appearance of ‘too much foot’.
22.11.06 – very different pony
27.11.06 – breaking out in mild sweats, from time to time.
09.12.06 – revisit – no manipulation necessary, repeat acupuncture – all very positive changes observed – much happier, more interactive, more active and agile.
18.12.06 – reported still becoming more sound – long coat falling out.
28.12.06 – reported more lame, possibly as result of foam-type insert in feet.
29.12.06 – revisit – setback, possibly from frost – prescribe Agaricus and Secale.
04.01.07 – reported considerably better – wants further visit.
12.01.07 – seems to be doing well – getting better and better – thinks he’s sound – starting to walk out on road.
29.01.07 – Absolutely amazing – galloped down the field at the weekend – no ill-effects from recent foot trim – increasing exercise as cannot control him now.
02.02.07 – thinks belly larger although otherwise he’s fantastic – just been trotting down the drive.
14.02.07 – been biting his flank, as if uncomfortable – discussed on telephone – may be of concern – watch for obvious signs of pain – moulting heavily.
27.02.07 – doing very well.
09.03.07 – revisit – ‘spectacular’ – trimming last Friday – slight soreness in Right Fore, since – ‘been grand though’ – has to be dragged away from home – trots home!
28.03.07 – doing well – abdomen still swollen.
30.03.07 – noticed abdomen reduces after dose of Sarcode, so going to give daily for a while.
27.04.07 – seems fantastic – very happy – still ‘feels’ hard ground but boots help that.
01.05.07 – setback – may be colic – worsened during morning – local vet out but had improved by then.
02.05.07 – much better today.
03.05.07 – much happier – stronger – sounder.
04.05.07 – sound.
05.05.07 – revisit – seems very good indeed – farrier apparently impressed – vet who visited for colic asked what medication he was on, as looking so good.
During July and August 2007, he has experienced a degree of setback with some lameness, especially after foot-trimming – however, he keeps very well and cheerful – his feet are now in excellent shape and the ‘white line’ is reappearing in proper form.
03.09.07 – was doing really well and 95% sound – did a couple of hacks when at his best – still looks wonderful and spirits much better than at outset – increased homeopathic input again.
05.09.07 – considerably better again.
26.10.07 – doing very well – sound – farrier is doing little and often, which is suiting him much better – full of beans and very strong – launched into a canter yesterday – however, looking thin – added homeopathic Natrum mur. to his medication.
07.11.07 – excerpts from e-mail: His feet look lovely, and we only take the minimum amount off his sole each time his feet are trimmed (approx every 3 weeks), as I figured this may help him stay sound and it has – I even rode him the day after trimming last week. …….. his zest and enthusiasm are endless ………. he has changed behaviour since I have ridden him more, he is calmer and much more affectionate, he almost looks a better shape too! ……….. his coat is thicker but no more long fluffy hairs, and some of his old markings have reappeared! (There is a fuller version of this lovely report in the testimonials section).
06.11.09 – (various reports in interim) – “He’s fantastic – having 4 hours of grass per day – doing really well – please resupply pills.
This case illustrates how the early stages of treatment of chronic, severe laminitis, with foot deformity, can be a little nerve-wracking but that progress is generally positive. The complication of Cushings makes the long-term outlook a little less favourable, in his case, but he appears to have done extremely well so far. Also, he is nearly 30 years old and is very happy.
First visited: 9th May 2006, in West Midlands, with a chronic ‘skin problem’.
History: Started problem in about October 2003 – scratching belly, neck, ears – blood sample for allergies multiple positives found – Boett Blanket.
Prescribed homeopathic Ledum, Arsenicum & Graphites
22nd May 2006 – reported “seems a lot better – itching improved – skin healing – very pleased”.
7th June 2006 – seems a lot calmer – still rubs – very well in self – drinking lot less – all sores healing – will try without rug, soon.
Added Euphrasia drops, as watery eyes not clearing.
30th June 2006 – eyes cleared nicely – generally looking very well – vet insisting on booster for influenza – discussed by telephone – recommended not, unless required for competition rules.
26th July 2006 – frightened to relax régime until Autumn.
10th August – marvellous – very pleased – eyes started watering again, two weeks ago – cleared well again, with repeat of Euphrasia.
8th January 2007 – really well – much calmer and better in herself.
21st May 2007 – “doing really well (now well into the season for this problem).”
The early part of 2007 (April) was extremely warm. Despite this, Sophie has done well.
25th July 2006 – Called out to ‘chronic laminitis’ – laminitis and significant pain for seven months.
Visited at Arborfield, near Reading.
Moving very awkwardly/reluctantly, hind legs held beneath abdomen, to take weight back.
Been on long-term box rest.
Very blocky and upright feet.
Toe had been getting a bit long, so went for natural balance shoes, then Cytek.
Knows things have gone badly wrong over last seven months, so seeking new approach.
‘Bute’ twice daily since January!
Reduced to once daily in May but back up now.
Had been on 3 ‘bute’/day, when at worst.
No X-Rays had been taken – front walls taken off – very high heels – divergent growth lines – was badly ‘slippered’ before chiselling of toes.
Glands up – normal for him.
Diet: Top Spec Anti-Laminitis/Happy Hoof/Soaked Hay/Apples/Bran – wholesale changes required.
Manipulated wither & right pelvis (yes, had been ‘odd’ on right hind, long-term) – manipulated right temporo-mandibular joint.
Spoke to farrier & discussed approach.
Advised in detail on bedding, more suitable feeding, exercise, foot shape, medication and herbs for nutritional and medical benefit.
Prescribed homeopathic Agaricus / Quercus / Juglans
4th August 2006 – quite good – only on remedies approx. one week – reduced ‘bute’ to once daily – 2/3 hrs grazing per day – comes out of box tentatively then movement quite pleasing, once ‘gets going’.
14th August 2006 – ‘bute’ down to ½ daily – much better in self – changed diet completely, as instructed/guided – still sore but nothing like what would expect with so little ‘bute’ – out for 3 hrs/day and moving pretty well.
4th September 2006 – absolutely brilliant! ‘Owner’ very excited – has had no ‘bute’ for 2 wks except for just when farrier trimmed – walking very well – farrier has let heels down quite a lot – very happy in himself and ‘owner’ well pleased.
19th September 2006 – very good progress except when without remedies for 5 days last week – OK again now and very cheeky – much more the pony they knew before.
13th October 2006 – ‘owner’ thrilled – able to ride twice weekly – copes very well.
9th November 2006 – absolutely brilliant – last time farrier saw him he was so pleased he became all choked up.
2nd January 2007 – continues to be well but struggled a bit since last trim – as approaching anniversary of laminitis onset, hoping not a setback.
7th February 2007 – ‘ticking along just lovely’ – thrilled – he’s amazing.
28th February 2007 – continued to improve and hacking out at weekends with no problem – thrilled – under no illusion that he’s cured, though – management remains strict.
13th April 2007 – doing really well – brilliant – had a little blip after last trim, for 10 days – OK again now.
16th May 2007 – had a tough few weeks with the hard ground but seems to be back on track now.
13th September 2007 – Had a brilliant summer with him – sound as a pound – even done Pony Club.
15th October 2007 – been going really, really well, then did worm egg count – accidentally gave overdose of Equimax, about ten days ago – six days later began to be ‘footy’ and now really sore. In response we stepped up the homeopathic input.
25th October 2007 – sound again now.
This case illustrates the sort of result that we have come to expect of laminitis cases (even when very chronic and very severe), when treated holistically. Foot shape, exercise, feeding, bedding etc. are all absolutely vital to hopes of success. However, each case is very demanding of ‘owner’ compliance and diligence/vigilance. It is never certain, from the outset, that there will be a successful outcome. There is also the threat of recurrence, if vigilance relaxes or if the patient is revaccinated or otherwise treated with strong drugs.
First seen in March 2000 – had suffered Cushings for about two years – chronic laminitis, winter time too – white line separation, bruised sole – very large crest – suffers ‘asthma’ (COPD) and eczema.
10 years previously, had been blistered for tendon trouble and box-rested for 18 months. Since then, ‘asthma’ and strong fear of vets.
Large belly, wispy and long coat, classical ‘fat pads’ over body, typical of Cushings.
Was devoted to ‘owner’s’ sister’s horse, that died of Cushings disease. Had to be sedated, as so disturbed when that horse died.
Bottom of peck order.
Prescribed homeopathic Natrum muriaticum.
Homeopathic Silica added, in May 2000, on account of stubborn ‘thrush’. (N.B.: This is not the only homeopathic medicine that may be able to treat thrush).
Chronic foot infection problems in June 2000 (possibly because Silica promotes the rejection of infected or necrotic material).
Big improvement in feet and comfort levels, by July 2000.
Pus in foot in April 2001. Cut out and poultice.
Later in April 2001, farrier reported no white line separation.
Steady improvement in posture and gait, during summer 2001.
Reported as doing very well, at intervals during 2001.
March 2002, reported as losing weight badly. Blood sample revealed liver problems, probably secondary to Cushings.
The bowel nosode Gaertner was prescribed. Diet was reviewed.
Reported as brilliant on 2nd April 2002.
Reported as gaining weight well, in June 2002.
Reports, up to and including September 2003, say doing very well.
14.06.06 – Called out to ‘lame, uncomfortable when walking’ – this turned out to be an understatement – had worsened a lot, since call – almost immobile – massively over-fat – typical horse for EMS (crest, blocks of fat etc.) – very ‘pottery’, could hardly move.
Prescribed homeopathic Prednisolone 30, Hypericum 3, Graphites 30, Juglans nigra 30
Report 22.06.06 – Improved lots, moving much better, really pleased – thank you – will report further 7d unless worried earlier
Report 29.06.06 – Looking very, very good – sound when walking and trotting – seems much happier all round and all the lumps and bumps on his skin have softened – advised start walking in-hand.
Report 10.07.06 – Doing really well – riding him again – coping very well – shoes off – managing well without – all fatty lumps have dispersed nicely and he looks in good condition – will carry on and keep in touch.
11.08.06 – Farrier levelled feet again – much better – bucking at end of lead rope – will get under saddle again, now.
15.09.06 – Doing well.
Post Script – seen in Spring 2007, with an acute asthma/COPD attack – no sign of laminitis – responded well again, to homeopathic intervention.
Chance’s case illustrates very well that conventional pain-killing or anti-inflammatory drugs are not necessarily required, even in acute severe laminitis. The ability of the healing stimulus of homeopathy to relieve pain via healing is a source of constant pleasure.
First seen 7th February 2002 – curly coat developed over the preceding 18 months, puffy over eyes more recently – always had respiratory problems (COPD?) – laminitis developed in last month (day after vaccination).
Prescribed homeopathic Pulsatilla, Hypericum and Glandular Sarcode.
By 25th February, reported fine and being ridden with no problems.
Reported as almost too lively, by 11th March 2002.
Reported on 24th June 2002 as having a bout of laminitis – restarted full homeopathic régime.
By August 2002, all had settled well again and she was grazing a full day.
On 4th October 2002, the puffiness above the eyes was reported as having worsened. Homeopathic Quercus robur was prescribed.
17th October 2002, puffiness had subsided.
In November 2002, she was reported as very well.
There was a report of some ‘footiness’ in January 2003 (the anniversary phenomenon is not uncommon and we have no information on whether the vaccination was boosted at this time).
In February, March and April we received reports that she was fine (best she’s been in a long time).
In June 2003, she was reported as ‘brilliant’ and having ‘lost all winter coat’, with ‘no laminitis’.
Cushings Syndrome and chronic Laminitis very often go hand in hand. While the track record of homeopathy in laminitis cases is excellent, we do not expect a full cure of Cushings. However, this case shows a very good response.
Big Mac – a 9 y.o. Miniature Shetland gelding – Laminitis & Sweet ItchMac was a ‘rescue’ from Southall Market.
He was first seen by AVMC on 20th August 2002 – suffering from severe chronic laminitis – keeps lying down, despite strong anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug input – very up and down but never good – mostly on ‘bute’ (permanently) but also onto Quadrisol (vedaprofen and propylene glycol) when bad, as he was at this time – it was not producing the required relief.
He was also suffering concomitant ‘sweet itch’ symptoms, with extensive and severe itching, scabs and raw, weeping sores on his wither, on his rump and along his back. It was severe each summer but steadily worsening, each season. He developed laminitis after the steroids (cortisone), given for the sweet itch.
He was unwilling to move and very ready to lie down. His foot shape was a disaster area, with severe dumping and obvious signs of chronic laminitis. He had been slimmed down but that was not helping. The family, who had rescued him six years earlier, was very distressed. They felt that his life was now ‘horrible’, with confinement, itching and foot pain.
Homeopathic treatment started: Sulphur, Hypericum. Diet changes were instituted – also given Probiotic. Foot trimming methodology was discussed with the farrier.
29th August: Incredible recovery! Different pony – 20 minutes grazing daily – walking very well – only had a week of medication, so far.
2nd September: Still very itchy – feet still sore but improving – walking much better – pulse in fore feet reduced – more comfortable, happier.
16th September: Generally happier and in less pain but skin broken out badly – only slightly sore feet.
17th September: Laminitis still improving – ‘bute’ now only every other day skin not improving.
2nd October: Very well – laminitis improving – still very itchy.
4th October: Skin worse – laminitis still improving – stop Sulphur.
7th October: Walking is brilliant – skin now improving.
9th October: Still improving.
24th October: Brilliant
21st March 2003: Starting to become stiff and tender on feet – no remedies since November 2002. Restart remedies.
9th April: Improved well again – not itchy.
28th April: Tiny bit sore on feet.
12th May: Worse on feet again – discuss grazing – grass growing deceptively fast, despite very short appearance of paddock – reduce grass intake.
19th May: Moving much better – much happier in himself – everyone’s much happier!
28th May: Laminitis really improved but itchier again – rubbing all day – revert to Sulphur.
4th June: Feet worse again, walking but odd gait (leaning back).
6th June: No better, may be slightly worse – stop Sulphur and add homeopathic Belladonna.
13th June: Still itchy and cripply
25th June: Revisit arranged, as clearly a part of the picture is missing.
1st July (Visit): Not too bad but clearly laminitic – itchy with no sores, some hair loss, scurfy crest. Add Graphites.
7th July: between visit and remedies arriving, became worse – now improving slightly but immobile – add Bryonia 1M.
18th June: Improvement – seeming more ‘stiff’ than ‘laminitis’.
30th July: Still not good – did improve quite a bit but now back to being ‘stiff’ – OK when gets going on softer ground.
4th August: Arranged to be kept near AVMC, for a while, to try to see what is wrong, to prevent good improvement this year.
7th August: Trimmed feet at livery – stopped Bryonia and Graphites.
12th August: Revisit livery – definite improvement – weight good – skin good.
20th August: Skin good – weight good – very good on feet. Planned to return home, with deep discussion on foot trimming, more exercise, less grass. Arranged to speak to farrier again.
11th September (home again): very pleased with him.
8th October: Everything going very well
7th June 2004: Doing brilliantly well.
30th June 2004: Fine – no worries.
7th August 2004: Doing very well indeed.
2nd September: Feet fine but starting to itch again and been given steroids again – start homeopathic Arsenicum.
29th September: Did improve, now worse again – stop Arsenicum.
1st October: No further improvement – homeopathic Caladium.
18th October: Did improve, now worse again – stop Caladium.
22nd October: No improvement – homeopathic Graphites.
22nd November: Stabilised – stop remedy.
24th October: Worse – homeopathic Psorinum.
12th January 2005: Slight scratching only every now and then – very happy, alert and enjoying life.
4th March 2005: Still happy and enjoying life.
6th April: Laminitis flared – had colic twice, last month – had been running around, prior to this – supposes grass growth and drugs for colic may have upset the balance – adjust homeopathic régime.
11th April: Doing quite well – still a bit sore but definitely improving.
25th April: Worse again – not as bad as previously (6th April).
29th April: Really, really well – almost back to old self – walking well and getting up to mischief.
16th May: bad again – discussed management, grazing and medicine routines.
20th May 2005: Pleased with how things are going, again.
27th June: been up and down – due a foot trim, which usually helps.
1st August 2005: Bit pottery but reasonably OK – will try boots.
31st August: Doing OK.
31st October: Doing fairly well – really good phases and some dips – overall coping very well.
This case illustrates very well how difficult it sometimes can be to manage grazing, foot trimming and medication, for a steady improvement. Foot shape has proved especially important for this patient (see August 2003). It also shows the need for regular contact, so that homeopathic input can be modified in the light of new developments. The skin condition appeared to worsen, as the early improvement in the laminitis progressed. It is not very rare for horses and ponies to develop laminitis after injection of steroid (cortisone).
Referral letter April 2001:
Please would you examine this horse with regard to nodular disease, in your capacity as a homeopath.
The horse has suffered from severe nodular disease since January 2000 and, despite a considerable amount of investigation and treatment, has only shown a moderate improvement in that time. The treatment has included:
Parenteral: potentiated sulphonamides, phenylbutazone (‘bute’), potassium iodide, sunflower oil.
External: careful management and cleanliness, extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
First seen for homeopathy on 9th May 2001. Given in sequence, according to the signs given in reports: Thuja – Tub. bov. – Lapis albus – Sycotic co. – Silica (August) – great improvement – OK all gone by September – stopped remedies.
Relapse: two lumps October 2001 – restarted remedies (Sycotic co. and Silica)
By November, only one tiny nodule left.
May 2002 reported 100% when requested visit for a lame horse.
Winston – 21 y.o. Welsh Section D gelding – Head shaking (headshaking or head-shaking), COPD & itch.
First seen: 22nd May 2007 – Severe breathing difficulty for last 2 – 3 years. Initially worse in summer but now all-year-round. Not been ridden for 6 months, as so bad. His head shaking was now creating difficulties, showing some improvement with a nose veil. He also had a very itchy skin (allergic dermatitis – itchy horse). He had been a competitive driving horse, before he became ill. He had also been away for dressage training, several years previously. In the past, he had suffered laminitis twice, for four months on one occasion.
The first prescription (Calcarea carbonica and Sabadilla) failed to help him. He was given Bryonia and Pulsatilla on 12th June. By 4th July, significant improvements noted. On 19th July, his breathing was reported as ‘brilliant’ but he was still a bit itchy. On 30th July, he had been ridden several times (for the first time in 7 months), with no problems. On 15th August, “Can’t believe it! Riding him and even tried a short canter – breathing still fine – slight itch but well under control.“
Winston’s case illustrates very well how three apparently unconnected conditions (head shaking, COPD and skin allergy) may, in fact, share a common source. In his case, it would seem likely that his immune system had suffered a shock or disturbance, from which it had failed to recover. The skin should invariably be the last sign to disappear, for which we are still waiting (although we have improvement in that, too).
The exciting story of this 1991 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and runner up in the Grand National of the same year, is told in Jenny Pitman’s ‘The Autobiography’, published by Partridge in 1998. His response to natural medicine and his resultant performance have slipped into legend. His mother’s record of Mark Pitman also winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle that same year, on Wonder Man, with a broken pelvis and treated by (veterinary) acupuncture is part of that legend.
Daily Telegraph report with quotes: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/1991/03/15/shoaks15.xml and at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/1991/03/15/shscot15.xml
Grand National World: http://www.grand-national-world.co.uk/gnw/the_race/tales/garrison.html
Obituary: Garrison Savannah has sadly moved on (2005):
Presented 25th August 1993, with chronic stumbling over a five-year period, leading to worsening and eventual navicular diagnosis, at Newmarket, in 1992, confirmed by X-ray. Homeopathic treatment started in August 1993.
In October 1993, he was reported as not pointing his toe, moving more freely and behaving ‘more like the old Nicky’. In November, he was reported as sound. We have received regular good reports of his ongoing soundness ever since then.
In August 2000, the report was ‘very very well, brilliant, it’s a miracle’.
In December 2000, we received a Christmas card again. It reported ‘with many thanks for a healthy and happy horse’.
Updated by Christmas Card – 19th December 2005 – 21 y.o. now & younger every year!
Updated again 22nd December 2006 – Christmas Card – another great year – still full of enthusiasm at the age of 22!
14.10.07 Reported seems fine – please re-supply medication.
18.12.07 Annual Christmas Card – still going strong at 23 – will always be grateful.
10.12.08 Doing well – please resupply medication
19.12.08 Annual Christmas Card – still happily and healthily living out and pulling rider’s arms out!
09.07.09 Please resupply medication.
This is very good news, 16 years after the treatment started and 15½ years after he went sound. In the light of good news from many such cases, we expect over 90% of cases of distal limb degenerative diseases, such as navicular syndrome, to heal and go back to full work.
Annual Christmas cards since then – latest December 2011 – Nicky still doing well.
Presented April 2006 with the complaint of head shaking (headshaking – head-shaking). Her condition had not been helped by the use of a nose veil. She was unable to perform as a dressage horse.
She was treated with acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic manipulation, LASER, sinus massage (lymphatic drainage) and aromatherapy.
In May 2006, at a subsequent visit, she was reported as improving well.
In June 2006, the report was “Doing very well”.
In July 2006 the report was: “Brilliant – well pleased”.
During 2007, she continued to require occasional help with her sinuses and acupuncture but did very well indeed. In fact, her ‘owner’ opted for regular acupuncture visits, during the year, to keep her on track.
We received a letter on 16th November 2007 “Thank you for all your help with Z—- this year. It’s been a very successful one for her.”
Head shaking is a very tricky condition to treat but we fortunately meet with success in the majority of cases. The combination and variety of techniques and therapies employed is designed to correct as many underlying aggravating causes as we can detect.
Presented February 2005 – large urticarial lesions all over his body – had always been a tendency to allergy but worse over last 4 to 5 years and disastrous during 2004. The photograph is from 2004. He also exhibited bad head shaking (headshaking, head-shaking). He was given homeopathic Thuja and Natrum muriaticum in February 2005.
In May 2005, he was reported as showing no sign of the urticaria, although there was very slight head shaking.
In June 2005, with the warmer weather, the head-shaking returned with a vengeance. His homeopathic prescription was changed.
In July 2005, there was still no urticaria and the head-shaking was much reduced. He was very rideable.
In August 2005, he was reported as only showing very minor head shaking during strong sunshine (no urticaria).
We have received regular positive reports ever since (time of writing December 2007).
Tammy was presented to us on 1st November 1993, with chronic and very severe laminitis. She had been hospitalised at a specialist equine laminitis care centre, where she had suffered bilateral front wall resection because of pedal bone rotation and had bilateral flexor tendon desmotomy (tendon cutting), four months previously, which allowed rotation of the pedal bone upwards.
She was in a great deal of pain (worsening over the previous two months), despite high levels of NSAID drugs (2 sachets twice daily) and could hardly walk. She would spend most of her time recumbent. She had been sent home to Yorkshire after a long stay at the clinic, since they said that could do no more for her. The ‘owner’ was concerned about Tammy’s fitness to travel, but had to take her, nonetheless. She decided to shorten the journey vastly, by bringing her to us instead of back to Yorkshire.
When she arrived, she could only walk with extreme difficulty. She was showing signs of Cushings Disease / Equine Metabolic Syndrome. We were in two minds about euthanasia but decided, since she had been through so much, that we would give her a few days to see if we could help. Had there been no response, euthanasia would have been the only option.
She went through a temporary crisis as she came off the long-term anti-inflammatory drugs but then, under homeopathic and herbal therapy, staged a steady and remarkable recovery. This was the worst case of laminitis we have ever attended. It was not clear, until the New Year, that she was going to recover, although early progress was quite rapid.
She went home in late January 1994 and returned to gentle jumping, better than anything we had expected. Our last report of her, of a very favourable and positive nature, was in December 1996.
This case illustrates the ability of natural medicine to stimulate healing, even in a deeply chronic, deforming, destructive and severely painful condition, in which one would normally expect a sad outcome. The ability of natural medicine to control pain, to support the system, to stimulate healing and to stimulate remodelling of deformed structures is widely underestimated and, sadly, many horses and ponies are put down, before this avenue has been fully explored. ‘Owners’ are often surrounded by so much negative opinion and lack of hope that they understandably lose hope. Perhaps Tammy’s case and the other laminitis cases on this page can give more positive messages and give grounds for reasonable hope.
First seen 22nd July 2008, in Stourbridge. He had suffered laminitis four years previously but sweet itch had started in February 2008. Steroid injections had helped for three weeks but the problem had returned. A second injection failed to help.
We gave him homeopathic Graphites following the first visit. This was unsuccessful. We prescribed homeopathic Mercurius in August. This appeared to help.
A report was received on 22nd June 2009 – Really good – hasn’t rubbed at all this year.
Solo – Welsh Section D gelding – Navicular with subsequent fracture, skin disease, cough (COPD), sweet itch etc.
This is very much a summary, as 13 years of reports and many different homeopathic treatments over those years have built up a huge file.
First seen September 1996 – aged 11 years – Diagnosed with navicular syndrome.
He was reported as very well, up to February 1997, when he had a galloping session in the field and fractured the pedal bone.
April 1997 – vet not hopeful that it will heal; speaking of euthanasia.
June 1997 – putting weight on bad foot.
8th August 1997 – leg very swollen, itchy heels, vet thinks possibly mite infestation (given homeopathic Graphites & Nosode).
26th August 1997 – All swelling gone.
January 1998 – Sound and riding.
March 1998 – thrilled with him.
October 1998 – doing very well – no problems – still on homeopathic treatment for the navicular.
December 1999 – Done two dressage tests – came 1st and 4th!
January 2000 – Another dressage test – 1st.
17th August 2000 – Asked for help with COPD (homeopathic Bryonia).
29th August 2008 – cough better – very well.
August 2001 – moving wonderfully.
4th March 2003 – sores on legs (homeopathic Apis and Graphites).
20th March 2003 – fine now.
17th June 2004 – Sweet Itch (homeopathic Apis & Graphites combination).
1st July 2004 – Remarkable improvement in Sweet Itch – not scratching at all – very pleased.
17th August 2005 – more Sweet Itch (homeopathic Mezereum).
20th July 2006 – started feeling the foot again, a bit (advised increase the frequency of the maintenance dose).
2nd August 2006 – Fine again now.
13th December 2006 – In fine fettle.
23rd May 2007 – X-rays of hind legs show fetlock arthritis. Advised change to a more natural diet and changed pill regime.
18th June 2007 – Huge improvement – can’t get over the difference – can see your face in his coat – fabulous.
22nd August 2007 – doing fine.
29th September 2008 – lame in the navicular foot – increased pills again.
30th January 2009 – doing really well – no sign of any problem at all – looks really well and working well.
7th May 2009 – will try without homeopathic pills.
4th June 2009 – required Danilon (NSAID) – started back on homeopathic pills.
10th June 2009 – Doing well and back to normal.
12th August 2009 – Doing very well again (now 24 years old).
This horse was first seen on 17th May 2011. He had a cluster of sheath and groin sarcoids. One troublesome one had dropped off after an ‘over-the-counter’ homeopathic medicine but had left an unpleasant wound that would not heal. It was a potential fly problem with summer around the corner. A very large and worrying sarcoid was still causing problems.
Homeopathic treatment was commenced forthwith.
On 6th June 2011, we received the following report: “Jumping off the ceiling with joy – absolutely amazing – the large sarcoid rapidly grew to three times its size, started bleeding then suppurating and looked terrible. It then started to die back, then yesterday came off completely – very cleanly, no bleeding. He only had three or four doses of remedy.”
We received this very welcome letter on 24th July 2012:
I just wanted to update you on my horse’s progress following the treatment for his sarcoids.
As already reported to yourself, the large, problematic sarcoid came away within 13 days and 3 treatments. I cannot Thank You enough for this. . . .the ‘eggcup’ like hole it left behind ‘glued’ together within hours and has been healing beautifully. I have been flushing it with mild Hibiscrub solution and spraying with Chlorhexidine spray and it is now almost completely healed – as though nothing was ever there. I’m just delighted. . .and amazed!!! He is really well in himself and life is so much better now I am not constantly worrying about that wretched growth!!! I do have a question though about the remaining, smaller sarcoids. . . .they are, at present, small and causing no problems and have not changed either in a good or bad way. I am not unduly concerned about them since they are small fry in comparison to what we have just dealt with but wondered whether I am maybe being a tad too unconcerned! I know your advice was to leave alone now and I have, just wondered is it a case of waiting to see if any get rapidly larger again and then go through the same treatment again? If you recall there was a small wound that had been left where a sarcoid had dropped off prior to your visit, following use of an ‘over the counter’ homeopathic tablet. . .that particular sarcoid had been gone some considerable time but has never healed like the one that came away with your treatment. In fact it is now looking quite inflamed and possibly increasing in size a little. Again I wonder if I should still be ‘leaving alone’ or should he perhaps have a ‘management’ dose of the same remedy or something else you might recommend. I have been able to avoid any fly contact by use of a sheath cover and also I have some breathable foam dressing that I fit over the wound and it keeps it fly free, so I am pretty sure it is not fly activity that is making it angry-looking. I await your advice on further management but once again I just want to say how grateful I am to you. That sarcoid had caused so much stress and anxiety for so long. What you achieved for my horse is nothing short of miraculous!!! We can never Thank You enough.
Seen on 3rd July 2012 – had started headshaking mid-April (incidentally had vaccination booster March).
Commenced Acupuncture course and homeopathic medicines on 3rd July
12th July, old sting site on head came up in a lump – owner hoping it’s a good sign.
17th July – second Acupuncture session – “lot happier in self and taking part in proceedings“
27th July – “Rode him yesterday – only a couple of very minor shakes – amazing” – 3rd visit arranged for Acupuncture for 31st July.
O****** – 16 y.o. TBx gelding – Headshaking
First seen for headshaking on 13th June 2012. Acupuncture and homeopathy given.
21st June – may be improvement
26th June – second Acupuncture session.
2nd July – “no signs of headshaking for over a week“
6th July – “no sign of headshaking at all“, so 3rd Acupuncture not arranged.
16th July – “doing well – no sign of headshaking.”
27th July – “very well – no sign of headshaking.”
This horse has therefore not been given the usual 3rd Acupuncture session.