I went away for a few days to visit a friend, so had to ‘leave’ my ponies in the paddock 24/7. Normally they are on ‘their’ PP Track 18 hours per day and 6 hours in the Candy Shop (green grass), to limit their green grass intake. I had no one to look after them, so thought ‘Oh, they will be OK for three days on the grass’. How wrong I was on this, but had to find out later, ‘the hard way’..
I came back home, checked the horses and all seemed OK.
Next morning I went to see the horses and my Highland pony ‘Pippin’ was absolutely lame! I never had a lame horse in my whole life! I was shocked, freaked out and experienced every emotion under the sun you can imagine…
I got Pippin out of the paddock and slowly walked him into the stable to check out his leg/hoof.
After removing 1cm3 of mud and water from his leg and hoof, I could finally see that he had developed a white line separation on the medial side of his right front hoof. Cleaned that up, rasped the wall flat and below the sole level, so there wouldn’t be any active weight bearing on that part of the wall, so no further white line separation
I still don’t know how the separation could develop, I keep my horses hooves trimmed so tidy and nicely, every week I trim their hooves.
There was definitely NO flares at all on the medial wall of that hoof which could have acted as a lever force…?!?!
Anyway, nothing was visible that could have caused the lameness, so I felt the hoof and it was a bit warm, but wasn’t sure, with all the water and mud and horrific weather condition around.
My sense was that it was an abscess. Pippin wasn’t pointing the toe, but how he walked, and I have seen tons of horses here with abscesses lately (my local vet said he treats 5 horses per day with abscesses at the moment), so I start to have a ‘feeling’ what an abscess looks like and how the horse moves with one.
So here is the treatment plan for abscessing and laminitic horses with HOMEOPATHY, for anyone who wants to use it, if it will ever happen to your or your clients horses.
I took Pippin off the fresh grass immediately and started soaking his hoof 2X per day with warm water and Epsom salts.
Also I gave him Homeopathics, the remedy is called ‘Hepa Sulfuris 30c’. This remedy is the best for pushing the abscess OUT / breaking
through, to open it up. It is VERY strong stuff, but the best you can do, to get the process going from the inside.
You give Hepa Sulfuris 3X per day. The best is to get it in liquid form.
You get a syringe, fill it with clean water and drip 7 drops of the remedy into the syringe. Never ever touch the pippete of the little bottle or the homeopathic liquid or pills, you will contaminate the homeopathy and it won’t work anymore.
Also you never give homeopathy while feeding the horse garlic, it is contraindicated.
You open the horses mouth (well, try that with a Highland pony, all they do is want to eat the thing…) and syringe the liquid over the tongue. Hold the mouth close and let the remedy ‘sink in’.
The membranes of the horses mouth will take up the homeopathics and will go immediately into the blood stream and start working from there.
Most people who know a bit about homeopathy will tell you to administer the remedy ‘Silicea 30c’. This remedy helps with any situation were inflammation and puss is happening.
BUT most people don’t know that you only give ‘Silicea’ AFTER the abscess had opened! So, get this remedy too, but please only give it to the horse AFTER the abscess has found a vent out and the
puss is running.
Also you give the homeopathic remedy ‘Arnica 200c’, this is to help the horse (or human!) with any physical injury. It is the BASIC remedy for any hurt happening to any body, human or animal. You should always carry it (in pillule form) with you in your handbag or when riding out on a trail ride.
So I gave this Arnica to Pippin 2 X per day, 6 pills in a carrot.
‘Arnica’ is OK with ‘Hepa Sulfuris’, but don’t give them together at the same time, a few hours apart is best.
I also gave him ‘Bachflower Rescue Remedy’, for his emotional distress he was in. It really calmed him down.
Anyway, so I treated him this way, homeopathics (Hepa Sulfuris, Arnica and Rescue Remedy) and epsom salt soaks.
I only hand fed him, soaked Lucerne hay and straw for 1 hour in water(pour the water off afterwards, wow, you see how much sugar is in there because the water is just brown and smells of molasses!) and gave him a mix of Speedi-Beet, Pryde’s ‘EasiFibre (soyhulls) and Copra.
I know grass hay would be much better, but there is NO grass hay available in our area.
What is really important is that your abscessing horses need to eat Copper.
Did you know that it is very likely that horses who suffer from abscesses are Copper deficient? And that paddocks which are highly fertilized with chemical fertilizers keep the Copper from being taken up in your horses body?
For that you give the horse 2 heaped tablespoons ‘Rosehip’ granules over the day and 1 small heaped tea spoon seaweed meal (never give more than 3gr seaweed meal per day, otherwise the horse gets too much iodine and that is toxic).
Rosehip and Seaweed Meal are full of Copper and help the horse heal from the inside.
OK, I thought at this point I had it all under control. I released Pippin out into the paddock with his grazing muzzle, to encourage movement, to encourage blood flow into the hooves, to encourage
healing the damaged tissues.
Pippin still didn’t point the toe and he actually put weight onto his sick hoof, he was ‘just’ limping clearly. So his healthy other foot didn’t have to massively work to compensate for the other hoof. Good, I thought.
When I got him back into the stable yesterday lunch time to soak his hoof, I started to feel the hoof and it was really warm. ‘Great’ I thought, the abscess is close to breaking out, yippiee!
Then I thought, well I should check the other hooves too….
And here is a lesson for you!!!!! Never check just one foot, the one who is lame…
As I was feeling the other hooves I started to realize that the other (healthy) front hoof was warm as well… (panic set in!)… and both front hooves were warm at the coronet band… (more panic)… hind feet were cold..
But then I started to feel the pulse on the inside of Pippins fetlocks, and it was fast and throbbing… and worst: on ALL 4 feet, even the ‘cold’ hind feet !
His look was glazy and he felt very stressed and in pain. Yes, I had to admit it to myself: my little Pippin pony must have Laminitis !!!!!
I locked him into the stables (with company) and raced to the telephone. From all I have read, urgent action has to be taken, to prevent the laminitis turning into founder, which can happen within hours!
So, called the vet, who advised not to panic (ha ha ha, how easy it is to say that…) and he thought that the ‘healthy hoof’ was warm from compensating for the abscessing hoof.
Not to worry, he would come next morning and check out my pony.
But the truth was that Pippin was actually still putting heaps of weight on the sick foot, even cantering up the hills, so the compensating foot couldn’t be THAT sore from carrying all the weight. So, the vets theory went out the window for me.
My gut feeling said that this was NOT OK, so called my Homeopath. She told me to immediately, which means NOW, get 2 remedies which should be administered ASAP to a laminitic horse:
– Belladonna 1 M (1M is the highest potency, something you take
when you survive a plane crash…)
– Aconitum 30c (also called Aconite)
You give these two remedies together (again, in a syringe, in liquid from) over the horses tongue 6 X over 3 hours (so every 30 minutes).
This is a full on program, very challenging to say the least, but it works, believe me!
Both remedies are a must for any kind of inflammation and feverish conditions (in horses and humans). As homeopathy works, it always first makes the symptoms worse, as the body starts to mobilize its internal reserves, and then the body heals from the ‘inside out’.
Homeopathy always brings the illness OUT in the open. Initially it can be quiet shocking, but the healing happens fast after that and it lasts.
My vet said if my pony would suffer from laminitis he would give him ‘Bute’ (Phenylbutazone). Well, that is a pain killer and necessary in some cases, but it ‘drives’ the illness ‘inside’ the body. And then it will come out later somewhere else.
That is why I prefer homeopathy, because it supports the body’s self healing powers.
So, I gave Pippin these two remedies for his laminitis, and he started shaking. His whole body was shaking, like a person who has high fever. I rugged him and kept him out of the hailing rain. His buddies always at his side. This poor little fella, he was riddled with fever. It was hard for me stand by his side but I did.
After a few hours the shaking stopped, his eyes got clear and he looked a different horse.
I called Cynthia, and she was so incredibly supportive. She said everything I was doing was right, and that I shouldn’t put the pony out over night with a grazing muzzle on (he tends to strangle himself with it) , but to lock him into his yard (which was (and still is) a big pool of ankle deep water and brown mud, actually more of a flowing river…). She said this is perfect.
Wow, at least something is ‘perfect’ in this awful situation!
So, Pippin and one of his companions were put into the mud bath yard over night, and guess what: Pippins feet were cool this morning, the cold water had drawn out all the heat (inflammation) from his hooves and he now is hardly lame anymore !!!!!
Pippin will be off grass for a while, and then only allowed grazing for an hour or so. I don’t want to risk anything like this ever again.
I hope he will keep going on his uphill curve and get better every day. I know he will. He is a strong spirited horse.
I learned from Cynthia, that abscesses can actually be reabsorbed into the hoof and never break out. All you will see after a few months will be some rotten hoof horn, like Seedy Toe, where the abscess has been. It will then grow out.
My vet also said this morning (I called him and said that Pippin was much better and that he didn’t have to come and check him out, I didn’t mention the homeopathy, because my vet always thinks I am a bit crazy and ‘left wing’ and ‘Hippi’ and God knows what…), that an abscess can come out without actually being visible. He said that no
big hole has to appear and no puss actually has to come out. It can be a very small, invisible passage, where some thin liquid drains out, never to be seen by the human eye.
OK, so that is mine and Pippin’s story. I hope you can benefit from our story, if you ever happen to have a horse with abscess and/ or laminitis.
By the way, my vet said that often abscesses and laminitis go together, and that the laminitis goes unnoticed, because everybody is focusing on the abscess… (ahhh, really, that must have been me!).
So please always check ALL your horses 4 hooves for warmth/heat and the (throbbing) pulse, whenever any lameness is present. You never know, it might be that your horse is suffering from laminitis !