This is case of laminitis with a horse called Jake. Jake is a Rocky Mountain horse.
A new boarder came into my barn for a companion for my horse, Maya. He came from a boarding situation that was a distance from where Jake's person lived. She had requested on many occasions to get him off the lush green pasture. The barn owner ignored her requests.
This was the consequences of the ignored requests.
Luckily, we caught it early on. When he arrived and came off the trailer he was already favoring his right front hoof/leg. I suspected it was already Laminitis. He was put on pasture, but my pasture's were not growing and had very little grass.
It was obvious from the size of his neck and the fat pockets throughout his body that he was overweight and all due to over grazing.
Next day after his arrival, I had a farrier appointment and I had him hoof tested. He was sensitive on both hooves. The farrier confirmed he is has Laminitis.
I let Jakes' person know the results and then guided her what to do.
1st Step - Get a grazing muzzle immediately. Then I rigged a way to block the hole so he couldn't graze at all. They don't make 'no graze' grazing muzzles so we had to continually come up with ways to block the hole or holes of the grazing muzzle. In this case it was one hole to block.
2nd Step - Referred her to someone local who is a clinical homeopathy expert, working primarily with horses and a horse person herself. She is well known in our horse community and has been doing this work for many. many years. She self-taught & home studied herself to expert level.
Jake's person contacted her immediately and she had a consult same day of contact. At his point I think one day had passed. Within 2 days she had her Laminitis homeopathy kit.
3rd Step - Start his homeopathy treatment. Which was given with Timothy or Orchard Grass hay pellets (4 TB. per feeding), 2x/day. There was 4 remedies. Each remedy requiring a certain dosage.
Homeopathy often requires giving more than 2x/day. Such as 3-5x/day. Which is pretty impossible for even the most available person, who might live right as their own farm.
So, we measured dosage's according to 2x/day.
That worked well with Jake.
Note: Because we caught it early I suggested no vet. Most times I will opt to NOT see a vet. I will ALWAYS go to someone natural minded first, if possible. More times than not it is possible. There are cases where a vet would be needed. But, personally, I would most likely would not listen to their protocol, because vet's do NOT heal, they suppress symptoms. They can offer some valuable information, diagnose, and test. But I am very careful when I would utilize them for any of those reasons.
They are best for emergencies, critical care, diagnosis (at times), and maybe some expert knowledge. That is my choice! That's the way I have been doing it for 20+ yrs.
You do what you're most comfortable with.
Luckily, Jake's person was 100% on board to go the natural way and listened to my guidance on what to do. With her knowing Jake best, and the resources I had, we made team decisions that were best for Jake. In addition to going back to the Homeopathy expert for any unanswered questions.
Below are some video's of his progress. I apologize for the quality of video. I have to do all this by myself and I am certainly not a videographer. (smile)
1st Video - May 17th, 2023
2 days after he arrived at my barn.
Notice the grazing muzzle is on and is kept on full-time.
I did not have an option to put him on a dry pasture.
This grazing muzzle is not my first choice of muzzles but it served the purpose, was available quickly and protected Jake from getting any sicker. (Talking about grazing muzzle's is another blog post).
You can see from this 1st video how sore he is on his front feet.
2nd Video - June 2, 2023
You can see he is doing much better, but there is still a slight favoritism on his front hooves.
He also would struggle going downwards. Stepping down an incline or slope or into a stall that has a down step into stall. He also didn't like stepping onto cement, he favored the rubber matts in the aisle way. Which is normal for a horse that has Laminitis. It was a good way to gage his pain and improvements.
I saw improvement within just a few days. It was small, but I could see he was improving and the remedies were working for him.
You have to look closely to see how he is still favoring his front hooves.
Video #3 - June 13, 2023
Jake is now trotting and even cantering. I saw more movement from him in the pasture and the biggest gage for me, was how he walked into a down hill step. Saw big improvements with that.
His first ride out was 4 weeks and 5 days, since treatment began.
Note: Each case will vary according to how advanced it is. If it has advanced to Founder and/or a rotation of the coffin bone, then the approach would be different. Many variable's will determine what step you should start with and how long it will take for them to heal.
It is also important that he got his remedies 2x/day. One of the remedies the Homeopathic consultant did increase. It was important to not miss a day and to be consistent with the protocol.
It won't work if you're on for a week and then slack off for a few days, then start again. It's important to know that.
Some cases may be much worse and take much longer. It all depends on your horse and the factors involved.
Next we will be working on getting Jake on a grazing muzzle where he can have restricted grass intake. So, we are going from a 'NO GRAZE' grazing muzzle to a grazing muzzle with an insert that restricts the amount of grass he is on.
I think it's also important to note that from some reason my pasture grass is not growing, or has very limited grass growth. Ever since the drought last summer (2022), this has been the result. Before the drought I was having the pasture cut on a regular basis. This year (2023) I have not had the pasture cut at all.
My Arab mare is also an easy keeper and is susceptible to Laminitis. She has not had an issue since I have had her, because I put a grazing muzzle on her after the grass gets long enough where it needs cutting.
This year, I put her on a grazing muzzle, with my no growth pasture and she was not getting any grass at all. No fiber for her diet. So, I have had the grazing muzzle off her since grazing season started, other than that brief time I put it on.
We are getting some rain lately and if that changes. I will be putting her grazing muzzle back on.
I am monitoring her to make sure there are not signs of inflammation on her body, or neck thickening, etc. So far, there has not been a need.
It is important to note, that each horse is different and each environment they are in is different.
But I would not hesitate to catch it early on. When it's too late, then there is no going back.
Once a horse has experienced Laminitis, they will ALWAYS be susceptible to it, and it can relapse much easier.
They will have to be on a grazing muzzle for the rest of their life. Or on a dry lot.