The Natural Horse Vet Magalog

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results on seem to come back allergic to everything. Like hay, grass, dust etc. – you know, those things you can’t keep horses away from anyway. The best you can do in most of these cases is wet the hay right? Anyone have a horse sensitive to flies? Come on, horses are supposed to live with flies, not break out in sores and hives. What has changed? The answer to deworming, by the way, is to simply check to see if they even have worms before deworming. All horse don’t have worms – we check hundreds of samples in our office. TRUE, all horses are exposed to worms, but, guess what? SOME ARE RESISTANT, or so it seems! In my early years of practice we used to always check first with a fecal sample because we had to pass that nose tube and that was potentially risky business. That was a “known” risk, I believe an unknown risk is even worse. Could it be that overzealous use of pastes could be just as risky? Worse yet are daily dewormers! I have no doubt that some day we will have super worms that are resistant to everything! Daily dewormers are not helping. Paying for a colic surgery is a great marketing stategy, especially if it keeps you using drugs and chemicals, isn’t it? I know I am stepping on toes here but it may be time to reevaluate. This is tough when one has blinders on and just follows the norm without question. I understand and I could be completely wrong, BUT….Understand too, that I used to make my living as a “conventional” veterinarian using vaccinations, steroids, antibiotics and other such routine stuff. How could I have made such a drastic change? Thank goodness mainstream is now changing too! For example, small animal practitioners are being advised to no longer vaccinate just by the “calendar,” i.e., yearly, but to consider the individual needs and actual likelihood of exposure. True, this is very controversial, but a real step in the right direction. Such recommendations will be forthcoming for equines as well, but my concern is that all the fear about the “new diseases” will greatly hinder this coming. A major equine publication just last year quoted “Looming Disaster with Our Current Deworming Practices” citing such concerns as chemical toxicity and the resistance factor I already mentioned. But then another major equine magazine said garlic was potentially toxic because they didn’t know the difference between an onion and garlic! So, go figure!


Bottom line is, it is our responsibility, not the industry’s in general, to do what is right for our horse. Everybody has their own agenda. In the later Garlic article, by the way, if you questioned it, you were referred to a major university toxicology hotline. It cost $45 for a consultation. While you waited for the veterinarian, the recording attempted to sell you a book on Natural Toxins in horses. I paid the $45 for a search on garlic toxicity – never had they had a reported case, plus, with ALL their research material at hand, they could not find one substantiated reference to garlic toxicity –Onions, yes (5 pounds), Garlic, NO! For your listening pleasure, you can hear my recorded conversation on our website at The $45 was worth it and it did go to a good cause I am sure, but I didn’t buy the book. I apologize for being so sarcastic here but Horse and Rider just blew that one in my opinion. Such a shame for such a good magazine! So we have talked about vaccinations and deworming – what about these “non toxic” chemicals? You know the kind for flies and such, that you, too, breathe each time you spray them or spot them on. Sure these substances are “nontoxic” but what about subtoxic? After all, “toxic” is the amount of the chemical or substance that is needed to kill an animal or person. What about the subtoxic effects that might increase viral and bacterial infections by weakening the immune system “function,” i.e. lowering the white blood cell count, slowing white blood cell movement, destroying the mechanisms the white blood cells use to locate and destroy virus and bacterial cells, etc.? What about lowering production of the essential immune system regulator interferon or weakening or damaging antibody production? One such chemical on the market today is 65% permethrin. You can’t use any amount on you and you sure can’t use malathion, lindane or even furacin – that yellow stuff for wounds - but it is OK for equines! By the way, PLEASE read the label on furacin – it has carcinogenic warnings all over it. Again, I used to use it by the gallons. So please understand I am not being critical, I guess I am just trying desperately to spread the message that “if there is an alternative, find it and use it.” And if you can’t find it...Keep looking! Please...we as practitioners don’t heal anything, none of us do, the best we can do is trigger the body to heal itself. It is as simple as that!

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