Alternative therapies are a growing interest for horse owners. It can often take a combination of traditional practices plus alternative therapies to yield the desired results.
Spinal Manipulation, called Chiropractic Health Care in humans, is a drugless method of heath care. Animal chiropractic care is a relatively new field that has great potential for dealing with many animal health problems. Most people associate chiropractic care only with back problems. This is a misconception. Chiropractic care also deals with the nervous system that is housed inside the spinal column. The spinal cord carries all the nerves that go to every organ in the body. These nerves exit the spinal column through areas between vertebrae. When the vertebral bones are misaligned, even very slightly, they affect the nerves and the flow of nervous energy. Chiropractors call these small misalignments “subluxations.” A chiropractic adjustment is aimed at correcting the subluxations and restoring the proper functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Treatment consists of spinal re-alignments which restore the normal position and movement to the spine reducing the pressure on the spinal nerves. Chiropractic care works to eliminate the cause of the problem and not just simply treat the symptoms.
A subluxation can be caused by any outward trauma to the body, such as slips, falls, accidents and blows. Sometimes these accidents are major and sometimes they are minor. Poor posture or an abnormality in the limb can cause animals to twist their bodies, much like we do, creating muscle tightness and often times subluxations in the spinal column. Active, athletic animals can experience subluxations from slips or falls during performance and play. Horses may subluxate from a poor fitting saddle or heavy, out-of-balance rider.
In most countries, states and provinces Chiropractic Care performed specifically on animals is considered a procedure that only licensed veterinarians with specific certification in animal chiropractic care should administer. A veterinarian is in the best position to evaluate an animal’s health and then to determine whether an animal is likely to benefit from a chiropractic treatment or whether it’s problem requires further diagnostics, medical, surgical or no intervention. Dr. Mende is one of the regions only Certified Animal Chiropractors that also specializes and practices on equine patients.
This was a particularly tall horse!
Mesotherapy is designed to control pain by the injection of homeopathic and/or anti-inflammatory agents into the nerve endings in the skin. It stops the pain cycle for up to a year per treatment and relieves a wide variety of conditions of primary back and trunkal pain in the horse.
Mesotherapy is performed as an in-patient procedure at WCEC.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (EcSWT)
EcSWT consists of high-energy pulses to stimulate the healing response in injured bone and soft tissue. The shockwaves increase circulation in the affected area, allowing new bone and soft tissue cells to form. ESWT can be performed in the clinic or at the farm. It can be used to treat conditions such as:
- Suspensory ligament disease: proximal, branches, sesamoiditis
- Tendonitis in any tendinous structure
- Stable stress fractures
- Tendon avulsion and avulsion fractures
- Spint bone fractures
- Degenerative joint disease: hocks, pasterns, spine most common
- Sacroiliac discomfort
- Lumbosacral discomfort
- Kissing vertebral spines
- Interosseous ligament tears
- Navicular syndrome and caudal heel pain
- Plantar tarsal ligament desmitis
- Muscle strains
- Bone cysts
- Carpitis and bucked shins
- Chronic, non-healing wounds
Equine Kinesiology Taping
Human Olympians, professional athletes as well as weekend warriors have recognized the benefits of elastic kinesiology tape for years. Now this technology is available to the equine community.
Equi-Tape can be used to give support and stability to joints and muscles while at the same time allowing for full range of motion. This specially designed tape can become a valuable addition to any training program by helping horses stay sounder and train better, thereby offering an important resource in equine sports management.
This horse had Clostridial myositis. It is a gas producing bacteria that is innoculated under the skin, usually from a shot. Banamine given in muscle is famous for causing these infections; however in this horses case it was from his vaccines. Clostridial myositis is often fatal due to the rapidly toxic, gangrenous necrosis the bacteria causes. This horse is lucky to have survived, thanks to rapid and aggressive therapy, and also because the injection was in his butt and not his neck. The vaccine company was contacted immediately about the reaction and is picking up a majority of the cost of his care.