stimulate the flow of the energy and thus break down whatever blockages there
may be. Homeopathy subscribes to the idea of healing substances being diluted
and mixed together to be added to the feed. These substances may either be
naturally occurring medicines in herbs and plant materials, or they may be more
potent mixtures. Chiropractic treatments include adjustments to the joints and
spinal columns, while herbalism
is the art of using available plants to distill from them their medicinal
Probably the best example of alternative medicine working for the good of a
horse is lameness. While western medicine is not excluded as a treatment option,
it is complemented with acupuncture, chiropractics, and also massages to help
the animal get better quicker.
Lameness is one of the conditions that may have
a plethora of causes, some of which may actually work together to amplify the
condition. Arthritis in the hocks causes changes in movement that will translate
into muscle soreness of the lower back; this in turn changes the motion of the
animal which then results in the animalís shifting more weight to the limb
opposite the affected side. Because this limb is now overtaxed, it will soon
become stressed, resulting in lameness, which will then cause the horseís owner
to take it to the vet. If the veterinarian simply looks at the affected limb,
she or he will not notice the other series of events that led up to the lameness
and thus the treatment will be ineffective or only temporary. Yet if the
alternative medicine practitioners are also aiding in the animalís recovery,
they will be able to help the vet trace the lameness back to its true root
causes, thus leading to a treatment of the hock. Within the confines of the
diagnosis the vet will be able to notice the arthritis and prescribe appropriate
drugs for healing and pain management.
While it is true that conventional or alternative medicine would have taken care
of the problem eventually, the combination of the two expedites the healing
To many the idea of homeopathy is also fraught with images reminiscent of
Macbeth, yet if you take a closer look at western pharmacology, you will notice
that much of it relies on the lessons learned from herbal medicines. There are
of course situations where homeopathy will shine, such in the case of a horse
suffering from laryngitis. Its breathing is rough, the breath quickened, and the
sound you will most likely hear from the affected animal is a snorting sound.
You can easily treat this animal wolfís bane, but if you are not completely
certain that this is the correction remedy, you might do more harm than good.
Yet if you are dealing with a homeopathic practitioner who is also well versed
in veterinary medicine, you will actually see a must sped up road to recovery
for your animal.
Veterinarians themselves are beginning to recognize the value of alternative
medicines. Allergies are a tough case that almost always benefits from
alternative styles of medicine, while respiratory diseases rooted in immune
problems are also known to be helped with the means of homeopathic attention.
Herbal remedies may be applied to arthritis and flu, while acupuncture is useful
for race and performance horses. A word of caution is of course necessary: there
are still no governing bodies for this kind of medicine, and for this reason it
is imperative that a horse owner should not chase the latest fads but only
consider accepting innovative alternative treatments from trusted and
recommended individuals. Additionally, do not try to spot treat a variety of
problems, but begin any regimen with a baseline physical examination.