As a young horse, Raina really enjoyed playing exuberantly in her field, earning a muscle tear at age 4 and a low limb contusion at age 5. Both injuries required stall rest, cold therapy and NSAID support. Raina really missed her pasture friends during stall confinement, so I entertained her by rotating stall toys, developed a program of core building and stretching exercises and put her on a natural supplement to prevent ulcers. Despite these precautions however, Raina developed symptoms of an ulcer after her second injury. She was treated with a 28 day course of GastroGard which improved her symptoms. Although Raina was clearly feeling more comfortable not all of her discomfort resolved. After chatting with colleagues and researching the literature, it seemed hind gut acidosis could be the culprit which GastroGard does not treat. As a precaution, I removed all supplements from her diet. Interestingly, each supplement she had been fed, contained high levels of soy bean oil, a known food allergen in humans. Her diet was reduced to 1 pound of Triple Crown 30% per day, soaked with 200 mls of organic Aloe Vera Filet juice, used to treat IBD and other inflammatory conditions in humans. Please note that large doses of Aloe should not be fed long-term, as some studies suggest it may increase the incidence of intestinal tumors in rodents. I also reduced her pasture by 60% and kept it mowed to a short length. This eliminated the need for a muzzle which stressed Raina. These measures cleared up her remaining symptoms.
After each injury healed, I developed a reconditioning program during which she received regular chiropractic care and myofascial release therapy to support her recovery. I’ve had a long-standing interest in combining holistic and conventional medicine. In 2006, I had the good fortune to attend the USDF Symposium featuring Ingrid Klimke and Dr. Ina Goesmeier, a classically trained veterinarian, accomplished Grand Prix dressage rider and certified acupuncturist/herbalist. I included a link to Dr. Goesmeier’s website which provides information you may find interesting.
Last summer I could feel Raina becoming increasingly more uncomfortable in her lower back. Given that Lyme disease is so prevalent in our area, she was preliminarily screened for Lyme disease using the economically priced SNAP 4Dx test used to detect 4 tick borne diseases, including Lyme disease, in dogs. She tested positive, so a second blood sample was sent to Cornell for confirmation using the Multiplex test. The results showed elevated OspC protein levels, an indicator of early infection. Thankfully Raina responded well to a standard course of Doxycycline.
While the road has been bumpy; the Lord has been steadfastly faithful in bringing forth healing and for that, I am truly grateful. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 15:7
- Video showing core building and stretching exercises
- Reconditioning guidelines following a lay-up
- Dr. Ina Goesmeier’s web site
- Diagnosing Lyme Disease
- Information on the Snap 4Dx Lyme test (Idexx Labs)
- Information on the Multiplex Lyme test (Cornell)
- Information on GastroGard
- Information on Aloe Vera juice