Jan 162016
 

Bartonellosis-Lyme Disease Horses

Bartonellosis is a gram negative bacterial infection with anyone or multiple Bartonella species. It is a co-infection of Lyme Disease. Bartonella like many other infectious bacteria utilize the immune system of the horses they infect as part of their infection strategy. If a horse has a pre existing arthritis the bacteria use the inflammatory process already occurring in the body to facilitate successful infection in any joint, the process is even easier. The inflammation present would be by itself stimulate the movement of infectious bacteria to that location. Without getting into the technicalities the bottom line is the ability of the parasite to establish an infection anywhere in the body successfully will depend on the initial immune response of the exposed host, hence the weaker or more compromised the Immune system(especially those under stress) the more likely the animal is to become infected.

Once this is established one must focus on the Cytokine Cascade that the organism produce in the body. Cytokines are small-signalling molecules released by the immune system and the glial cells of the nervous system, that are important in the intercellular communication in the body. When bacteria touches a cell, this cell gives off a signal, a cytokine, that tells the immune system what is happening and what the cell needs. Each type of infectious bacteria initiates a particular kind of cytokine cascade, that is, an initial and very powerful cytokine is released into the body, It is these cytokines, in fact, that create most of the symptoms that horses experience when they are ill.

Lyme, Bartonella and its Mycoplasma co-infections interact both in the vector that spreads them(for example a flea, tick, horsefly, spider etc.,) and then in the host they are transferred to.

The symptoms produced by Bartonella are difficult to diagnose and even recognise. As it is not always circulating in the red blood cells it can evade any testing or blood samples taken.

It seems apparent that it seems to circulate more often in the early morning, or late evening when other biting insects are at large with the purpose of re populating itself from inside the host.

The list of predominant symptoms found to date in all or some of the infected horses can be found at the bottom of this page in Symptom Check List.

The list of Bartonella symptoms successfully treated to date are as follows:

URT/LRT (Upper and lower Respiratory Tract infections) Chronic mucus,
RAD (Recurrent Airway Disease)
Spontaneous periodic heavy breathing episodes
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD / heaves)
EIPH (aka bursting)) Ruptured alveoli deep in the lungs (exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage)
Microcirculation Deficit Disorder
Lymphangitis, cellulitis (recurring) Lymphadenitis
Sarcoids
Muscle deconditioning and/or muscle spasms -Sensitive to grooming- hypersensitive, Back soreness, Top-line muscle atrophy,

Sacra Iliac problems
Poor Exercise Tolerance
Total body soreness / uncomfortable posture
Tying Up

Arthritis and Inflammation in any joints

Kissing Spines (before or after surgical intervention)
Stringhalt, Shivers, Wobbler Syndrome.
Digital suspensory syndrome

DSLD (Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease)

ALD (Anular Ligament Disease)

Foot Abscessing (chronic bacterial foot abscesses)
Laminitis
Reluctance to bear weight on sore feet (hypersensitive soles)
Thrush (Chronic)

GASTRO-INTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Leaky gut syndrome

Gastric and Colonic ulcers

 

Dr Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM

www.galaxydx.com

Veterinary Medicine Leads to Help for Suffering Humans Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM, is an infectious disease specialist at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, an adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University, and chief scientific officer. Bartonellosis is a poorly understood condition that is routinely overlooked by mainstream medicine. As a result, many cases go undiagnosed, leading to significant and unnecessary human and animal suffering and substantial costs to society. While available testing options for Bartonella have improved greatly in recent years, there is still no perfect Bartonella assay available. Even when bartonellosis is confirmed through testing, the success of available treatment options is variable, and Bartonella may establish itself as a chronic infection that requires longterm management.Fortunately for many of us, humans are not the only species affected by the genus Bartonella. In fact, much of the available research comes from the veterinary community, whereat Galaxy Diagnostics. Early in his career, he focused on vector-borne, intracellular pathogens, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever (caused by a Rickettsial bacterium) and Ehrlichia. Ehrlichia was discovered in animals decades before it was identified in humans. His attention later shifted to Bartonella due to the historical association of one Bartonella species, Bartonella henselae, with catscratch disease (CSD).The connection between the newly discovered bacterium and CSD was initially made by a rickettsiologist, Dr. Russ Regnery at the CDC, who recognized similarities between a newly isolated bacterium from an AIDS patient in Texas and bacteria visualized in lymph nodes of patients with CSD. Regnery made the first isolate of Bartonella henselae from acat and showed that cats can become chronically infected. This work was the catalyst that led Breitschwerdt down the path of unraveling the mysteries of Bartonella. As Breitschwerdt lectured at veterinary conferences about Bartonella illnesses in dogs, numerous veterinarians approached him to discuss their own health challenges, such as multiple sclerosislike conditions and rheumatoid-like diseases. Many had been sick for several years with no clearly defined diagnosis. When he started testing these veterinarians for Bartonella, his research team found that many of them tested positive for Bartonella DNA in their blood. If it were not for the translational research initially done with animals, the genus Bartonella and the disease bartonellosis would likely be even lesser known than they are today. This may be another example in which dogs truly are mans best friend.

Dr Brenda Bishop VMD

www.equineshivers.com

HOW DOES A HORSE ACQUIRE BARTONELLOSIS/LYME ?
The usual mode of transmission to horses appears to be biting insect vectors: biting flies, mosquitos, ticks, dog fleas and cat fleas. Immature immune systems (orphan foals and foals weaned too early) are particularly vulnerable as seasons change (end of summer, early fall) when many insects go into a feeding frenzy prior to onset of winter and below freezing (insect killing) temperatures. Many horsemen believe that white or grey horses are more attractive to biting insects as opposed to solid and dark colored horses. This is not exactly true, as all horses are.

 

SYMPTOM CHECK LIST

www.equineshivers.com
(How many of these clues can you recognize in your horse?)

Lethargy / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Poor Exercise Tolerance

chronic inflammation in a wide range of tissues including the brain, bone marrow
delayed forward phase of stride at any or all gaits (slow bringing the leg(s) forward)

extensor rigidity / contracted flexor tendons
subluxating pasterns and/or fetlocks
upright angles in the fetlocks and pasterns
tendency to land toe first
dragging toes / toes worn flat
hanging one or both knees over a jump
hitting jumps with one or both hind shins
subluxating patella(s) (locking stifles)
curb (ruptured plantar ligament)
tallus fracture(s)
forging (clicking front heels with hind toes)
abrasions on front of pasterns from difficulty standing up
riding “as if the hand brake has not been released”
refusal to move forward (with or without rearing)
reluctance to bear weight on sore feet (hypersensitive soles)

muscle deconditioning and/or muscle spasms

total body soreness / uncomfortable posture
back soreness, topline muscle atrophy
dropped head syndrome
tendency to travel hollow backed and high headed
skipping / cross cantering / cross firing at the canter
fibromyalgia (EFMS) *** (see “The Fibromyalgia Horse”)
grunting / moaning / groaning under saddle
diaphragmatic muscle spasms (hiccups aka thumps)
esophageal muscle spasms (choke, swallowing problems)
laryngeal muscle spasms
displaced soft palate (with or without holding the breath)
chronic intercostal muscle soreness, cramping (ribs)
shivers *** (in 1, 2, 3 or 4 legs)
rigid muscles between hips and stifles (cording)
fibrotic myopathy *** (in one or both hind legs)
“thickened suspensories”
calcium deposits in tendons / tendon sheaths
rupture of the extensor carpi radialis (in one or both forearms)
audible ‘snap, crackle, pop’ from stifles and/or hocks
cardiac muscle fatigue (weak heart valves)
flaring nostrils at rest (chronic)
spontaneous periodic heavy breathing episodes
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD / heaves) ***
dribbling urine / odd urination habits
retained placenta (uterine atony)
leaky gut syndrome
constipation /scant dry manure OR diarrhea / colitis
herring gutted OR bloated abdomen
right dorsal colon ulcers
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) ***
abundance of tape worms resistant to deworming
overgrowth of Candida in the large intestine
malabsorption of nutrients
gas colic (chronic)
epiploic foramen entrapment (seen at colic surgery)
gastrosplenic ligament entrapment (ditto)
stringhalt *** (in one or both hind legs)
neuritis of the cauda equina / polyneuritis ***
peripheral myoclonus

shifting leg lameness

lameness that shifts from front to back and/or side to side
“bridle lameness” (commonly lame on one diagonal)
frequent tripping on even and/or uneven ground
“stiff leg syndrome” (micro muscle spasms)

Microcirculation Deficits

sensitivity to cold weather, particularly cold and rain (regardless of blanketing)
absence of dapples (branches of the capillary tree)
pale mucous membranes (in mouth, pale tongue)
tendency to bleed

increased central arterial and venous pressure
thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts)
thrombocytopenic purpura ***
prolonged clotting time
exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) ***
spontaneous (non-exercise induced) nosebleeds
vasoproliferative tumors (malignant melanoma)
autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) ***

complications associated with poor tissue oxygenation

prolonged healing time (> 7 to 10 days)
surgical repair failures
wound dehiscence
fracture site non-unions
colic surgery anastomosis break-down
recurring ‘scratches’
scirrhous cord following castration
yeast-like secretions in the sheath (geldings and stallions)
low grade chronic endometritis ( mares)
overgrowth of organisms that thrive in low oxygen locales
maggots in poorly perfused wounds (Rx: desitin)
chronic thrush in and around the frogs
presence of common co-infections *** (all of these)
lyme disease (Borrelia)
babesiosis (Babesia)
protozoa (EPM in the cerebrospinal space)
toxoplasmosis (chronic)
leptospirosis (chronic)
tetanus (Clostridium tetani)
botulism (Clostridium botulinum)
“bastard strangles” (Strep equi)
salmonellosis (Salmonella sp.)
pigeon fever (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis)
fungal conditions resistant to treatment (“rain rot”)
chronic bacterial foot abscesses
brucellosis
poll evil
fistulous withers
late summer foal pneumonia (Rhodococcus equi)
Lawsonia intracellularis

quittor (necrosis of the collateral cartilage)
chronic laminitis ***
chronic exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying-up) (muscle damage and bleeding)
cording of lymphatic vessels
lymphangitis (usually in a hind leg previously injured)
cellulitis (recurring)
swollen liver (hepatomegaly)
swollen spleen (splenomegaly)
swollen joints (knees, hocks, stifles)
pericarditis (swollen pericardium)
peroneal nerve paralysis (consequence of a hind leg stuck under a fence)
radial nerve paralysis (historically linked to ill-fitting neck collars)

Head and Neck Issues

swollen eyelids
surface eye infections with tearing
random cranial nerve dysfunction

optic nerve
micro-ophthalmia (one or both eyes)
blindness (one or both eyes, normal outwardly)
ERU (equine recurrent uveitis) ***
depth perception deficits (altered spatial behavior)
preference for shade vs. bright light (sore eyes) or
refusal to move from bright light to dark shade
head shaking (photic) (Rx: guardian mask)
olfactory nerve
flehmen response (repetitive)
facial nerve
mouthiness
cribbing ***
nipping, biting, licking
chewing wood
facial nerve paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)
teeth grinding / jaw clenching
vestibulocochlear nerve
hypersensitivity to sound (for example clippers)
balance problems (in a moving horse trailer)
trigeminal nerve
pruritis (itchy head during and after exercise)
exercise induced trigeminal neuralgia

head shaking (non-photic)
hypoglossal nerve
tongue laxity
odd compulsive habits involving the tongue
hypoglossal nerve palsy

neurogenic atrophy of various head and neck muscles (masseter, supraspinatus, etc.)
entrapment of the epiglottis
recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, partial paralysis, roaring
impaired drainage from salivary glands (mainly the parotids)
choke (that does not resolve without veterinary intervention)
dry mouth or excessive salivation
megesophagus (food lodges in the esophagus) ***
goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
sweet itch (topline pruritis along base of mane and/or base of tail)
alopecia areata (aka vitilago) (hair loss around eyes and/or muzzle) ***
equine sarcoid
squamous cell carcinoma
adenocarcinoma

Endocrine / Neurochemical Imbalances *** (all of these)

anhydrosis  (non-sweater) OR excessive sweating
sudden total body hair loss
hyper-reactivity to vaccination (localized soft tissue inflammation)
delayed systemic allergic reaction to vaccination (colic within 30 days, laminitis)
severe allergic reactions to intravenous drugs
endocrinologic laminitis
food allergies
sensitive skin
callouses on one or both elbows
chronic “shoe boils” / capped elbow(s)
hypersensitivity to touch (ears, face, hind legs, blankets)
hypersensitivity to rain / bathing
hypersensitivity to strong sunlight (sun burn)
hypersensitivity to grooming tools
hypersensitivity to certain bedding
reactivity on girthing / hypersensitivity to tack
reactivity to shampoos, fly sprays, detergents, leather dye
hypersensitivity to insects and insect bites
sweet itch (mane and/or tail)
intense pruritis along ventral midline, sheath / udder

hair that stands on end in a linear pattern (along meridians)
birdcatcher spots (first documented in the Irish TB stallion Birdcatcher 1833-1860)
“skunk tail” (especially in combination with alopecia areata and/or birdcatcher spots)
neurotransmitter imbalances (neuroses)
explosive outbursts (low dopamine) (ex: bolting)
depression (low serotonin)
anger, aggression, temper tantrums
moodiness, grumpiness, argumentative attitude
changes in temperament (mild mannered to a bully)
panic attacks (fear based) (for little or no reason)
running backwards (during a panic attack)
violently pulling back while tied
tendency to kick walls, humans, other horses (violently)
tendency to dorsiflex violently and randomly (buck)
hallucinations / bizarre fearful behavior
frequent yawning (yawning resets neurotransmitters)
narcolepsy (falling asleep randomly and/or collapsing)
random seizures
proprioceptive deficits (anywhere on the body)
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

insulin resistance
cushing’s syndrome (early onset high serum cortisol)
peripheral Cushing’s
equine metabolic syndrome (EMS)
altered estrus cycles (short or long, flagrant or silent)
cystic ovaries
chronic intermittent lactation (over months, years)
prolapsed uterus and/or retained placenta (after foaling)
testicles that are slow to fully descend / cryptorchidism (linked to ill behavior)
low testosterone / shy breeders
mineral depletion  (Bartonella feeds on magnesium)

consistently inconsistent behavior from one day to the next
and/or from one season to the next
dangerously high levels of toxic metals on hair analysis
lead
aluminum
copper
arsenic
mercury
selenium
patchy sweating (magnesium +/- potassium depletion)
inability to relax (muscle twitching / trembling / prancing)
self mutilation (biting at chest)
repetitive behavior (weaving, stall walking, pacing)
neurotic separation anxiety
obsessive compulsive behavior patterns (OCD)
tendency to escape from normal horse enclosures
inability to tolerate changes in routines
shortened stride length going downhill
oxidative stress / improvement with large doses vitamin E
marked improvement with 10 grams Mg malate /day in diet

1. WHAT DOES BARTONELLA IN A HORSE LOOK LIKE ?
As a stealth pathogen, Bartonella is adept at staying under the radar of human recognition underneath a multitude of disguises. Clinical signs of a chronic Bartonella infection are mysterious in onset, appearance, severity and duration (periodicity). A relapsing bacteremia is expressed as multiple recurring deficiencies, a sliding scale of dysfunction much like a roller coaster; various system imbalances can produce polar opposite symptoms. Just like autism spectrum disorder, chronic Bartonellosis will induce a vastly different constellation of symptoms from one horse to the next. Stress is cumulative and so are the clues that reflect a lurking problem that defies description. Since the trajectory over time is toward autoimmunity, those conditions that correlate with serious immune system dysfunction (notated ***) are significant red flags in and of themselves; the presence of just a few of the many conditions listed below on this article called “Frequently Asked Questions” constitute grounds for further investigation into the possibility of chronic Bartonellosis.

2. IS THERE A TEST ?
Bartonella produces a relapsing bacteremia; some days it is floating freely in the circulation and some days not. For this reason, our chances of obtaining a positive test result are enhanced by collecting blood samples on at least 3 alternate days. The veterinarian sends all 3 samples with a completed submission form to Galaxy Diagnostics (www.galaxydx.com). Turn around time for results is 3 weeks. Galaxy uses a technology (BAPGM) that is considered the gold standard in Bartonella testing. For more information visit their website.

3. CAN A BARTONELLA INFECTION BE INHERITED ?
Yes. Evidence for transmission of infection from mother to offspring has been demonstrated in small rodents. There is growing anecdotal evidence that larger mammals (humans, horses) can also pass the infection along from one generation to the next. Much work needs to be done to elucidate this aspect of Bartonella epidemiology.

 

 

Jan 082015
 

Equine Balanced Nutrition

Your horse doesn’t run on air any more than your automobile does. Correctly fueling your horse is at the heart of good nutrition, but it doesn’t stop there. If your car is “injured”, you just replace parts. Your horse needs to repair tissues stressed by exercise or disease through nutrition, build and strengthen bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments through nutrition, manufacture red cells, fight infections, produce sweat and carry out the billions of biochemical reactions needed to burn fuel and build or repair tissues through nutrition
The human diet typically contains a wide array of different foods, each with a different nutritional profile. This helps guarantee requirements for protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are met. In contrast, many horses eat precisely the same meal day in and day out. When you buy dog food, cat food, fish food or bird food, you are buying a nutritionally balanced package. Same thing for bagged horse feed but bagged feeds are only part of the horse’s diet. Most of your horse’s nutrition comes from hay or pasture

Livestock producers, whether dairy, beef, hogs or chickens, invest considerable time and money into balancing their diets. Why? Because it pays off in their bottom line. Balanced nutrition means more milk, more meat, less disease – in short, the healthiest, most robust animals. Calories alone won’t get you there. Quality protein, adequate vitamins and carefully balanced minerals make the difference.

The equine marketplace is flooded with supplements, each designed to put this or that “patch” onto a problem that has its roots in inadequate nutrition. If your diet is correctly balanced in the first place, supplying supplemental nutrients based on what is missing or excessive in the base diet, you can throw all of those away and discover what livestock producers have known for a very long time, correct feeding doesn’t have to be expensive and it more than pays for itself.

It’s even more important for horses under stress, be it pregnancy, lactation, growth, exercise, injury, infection. Sound nutrition isn’t a cure-all or an “alternative” approach to health. It’s much more than that. It’s essential. Every function in your horse’s body depends on it.

Poor nutrition can actually cause disease but the role of nutrition goes far beyond this. Your horse’s body is made of water and “matter”. Building the body is not a once and done thing. To maintain tissues, protect from infections, repair illnesses all requires more “matter”. Your horse cannot manufacture the amino acids, fats, minerals and vitamins he needs out of thin air. They have to come from the diet.

Orthomolecular Medicine

Dr. Linus Pauling coined the term orthomolecular in the 1960s. It literally means the right (correct)molecule. With a strong background in physics, Dr. Pauling entered the field of chemistry where he was productive for the next 70 years. He worked in both organic and inorganic chemistry, becoming most interested in nutrition in the later part of his career. Dr. Pauling’s work literally brought biochemistry to life, as a 3 dimensional active and interactive system.
At the heart of molecular medicine is the concept that disease occurs when there is a
disruption of all the complicated cellular machinery and processes. Sometimes it’s a glitch in the DNA that the organism was born with, i.e. a genetically programmed-in disease. Sometimes it’s caused by an infectious organism
disrupting cellular processes. Nutritional deficiencies or excesses, and toxic substances, can also produce disease, as does trauma or the wear and tear of aging.

Also at the heart of orthomolecular medicine is that you can only maintain robust health with the “right molecules” – foods – in the correct amounts, and central to orthomolecular medicine is that the concept of taking in nutrients in amounts sufficient to prevent full blown deficiency diseases is not necessarily
the same thing as dosages needed for optimal health.
If your horse has an infection and you give antibiotics, you correct the disease by killing the cause, the bacteria. However, very few drugs actually treat disease. Instead, they treat symptoms. The symptoms of a disease are caused by the body, not something that happens to it. When you block a symptom with a drug, you are interfering with the body, not restoring it to normal function.

Are Drugs “Bad”?
Drugs are not inherently bad. They serve a purpose, and are often literally life-saving. What they are not is cure-alls. Because most drugs interfere with or block body chemistry, they all carry the risk of side-effects. If an effective drug is available and truly needed, you should not hesitate to use it but drugs should never be used lightly.
It has been suggested that when you megadose (any dose above the minimum required to prevent deficiency states is considered a megadose), the nutrient is actually working like a drug. e.g. Selenium overdosing, with toxic doses, that may be true. However, responses at less than toxic doses are not necessarily having drug effects. A few examples will probably help illustrate what I mean.

One example is vitamin E treatment for equine motor neuron disease (EMND). Equine motor neuron disease is a degenerative condition of the nervous system similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Vitamin E levels are very low in these horses and EMND was thought to be a vitamin E deficiency for a long time, but it has now been found even in horses that are on pasture, which rules out inadequate intake since fresh grass is a very rich source of vitamin E. The progression of EMND can be stopped, symptoms of severe muscle wasting and gait changes sometimes even reversed, with high doses of vitamin E, 5000 to 10,000 IU/day.ue.

The horse’s body isn’t quite as rigidly all or nothing but guaranteeing all critical nutrients are present in the needed amounts and correct balance is the starting point for both health and therapy. The balanced diet is your horse’s “floor” for health. It’s the foundation, the structure upon which you build any special need solutions.. Without it, you’re trying to build in quick sand, or on water.

Aug 172013
 

Doc1.docxArthritis in stifle pictures

Equine Arthritis-Osteoarthritis-Joint Supplements

 

To make an intelligent decision about what, when and why to supplement to help a joint problem, you
first have to understand the parts of a joint and what can go wrong with them. The outermost layer of a
joint is the joint capsule (labelled articular capsule in the diagram above. Articulation is another word
for joint.) The next layer in is the synovial membrane or synovium. The synovium is a double layered
membrane. The layer facing the inside of the joint is very thin and secretes the joint fluid (aka synovial
fluid). The layer between the joint capsule and the inner layer varies from soft and fatty to very dense,
probably depending on how hard the joint is worked. (The digital cushion in the foot is like this too;
very soft at birth, toughening up over the first year or two of life as it gets worked.)
The synovial membrane coats all inner surfaces of the joint except where there is joint cartilage. Joint
cartilage is a specialized type of cartilage that coats the ends of the bone inside a joint. The specialized
cartilage in joints is called hyaline cartilage. Joints are the only area of the body where hyaline cartilage
is exposed. In all other areas that have cartilage (like the tip of the nose, the ear or the vocal cords), it is
covered by several other layers of tissue.

 

Cartilage has no blood or nerve supply. The cells get their nutrition from the joint fluid. The hyaline
cartilage has sponge-like characteristics. When bearing weight, the cartilage compresses and fluid is
forced out. When weight is taken off the joint, fresh fluid is restored to the cartilage. This is why
exercise is important to healthy cartilage.
Cartilage gets its sponge-like characteristics from the composition of the cartilage matrix.  The matrix of cartilage is composed of water, type II collagen and the glycosaminoglycans which are chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid and keratan sulfate.

Glucosamine is the starting point for many glycosaminoglycans.

Several factors will determine if a horse is likely to have a favorable response to glucosamine,
chondroitin and/or HA. Those factors are summarized in the chart below.

Is Your Horse a Good Candidate for a Joint Nutraceutical?
Best Responders
Synovitis
Joint effusions (increased joint fluid)
Minimal bony changes (osteophytes)
Early diagnosis
Favorable response to hyaluronic acid or
PSGAG (Adequan) injections

Incomplete or Poor Response

Decreased or uneven joint space on X-ray
Advanced bone changes
Damage to stabilizing ligaments (e.g. Collateral
ligaments) or soft tissue structures within the joint
(e.g. Meniscus or collateral ligaments in the stifle)
Unresolved balance or shoeing issues
Infectious problems (e.g. Lyme)ncomplete or Poor Response

 

 

When arthritis changes are advanced as in this example,
joint nutraceuticals may slow progression, but very advanced loss of
cartilage and joint space carries a poor prognosis for return to working soundness.

HA excels in getting rapid control of inflammation. If you have a hot, acutely swollen joint go with
HA. In my experience.  I’m not convinced it has a lot of value orally in joints that
do not have an obvious inflammatory component. I have seen horses do better when switched from a
glucosamine only or mixed glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to one that also includes
hyaluronic acid,  MSM and some powerful anti-oxidents

Summary
 Glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid are absorbed orally; glucosamine and hyaluronic
acid intact, chondroitin primarily in disaccharide form.
 Glucosamine is the precursor for hyaluronic acid and keratan in joints
 Glucosamine, chondritin and hyaluronic acid all block inflammory enzymes and cytokines in
joints, relieving the suppressive effect inflammation has on GAG synthesis.
 Hyaluronic acid provides the most effective and rapid relief from inflammation.
 Glucosamine and chondroitin in combination works better than either one alone.

Other Disease Modifying Supplements

Avocado-Soy Unsaponifiables (ASU) is the most recent addition to this category. Hot off the presses
(still smoking actually) is this just published study:

Evaluation of avocado and soybean unsaponifiable extracts
for treatment of horses with experimentally induced
osteoarthritis.
Kawcak CE, Frisbie DD, McIlwraith CW, Werpy NM, Park RD.

Kawcak CE, Frisbie DD, McIlwraith CW, Werpy NM, Park RD.
Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
80523, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of a combination of avocado and soybean unsaponifiable
(ASU) extracts for the treatment of experimentally induced osteoarthritis in horses. ANIMALS:
16 horses. PROCEDURES: Osteoarthritis was induced via osteochondral fragmentation in 1
middle carpal joint of each horse; the other joint underwent a sham operation. Horses were
randomly allocated to receive oral treatment with ASU extracts (1:2 [avocado-to-soybean] ratio
mixed in 6 mL of molasses; n = 8) or molasses (6 mL) alone (placebo treatment; 8) once daily
from days 0 to 70. Lameness, response to joint flexion, synovial effusion, gross and histologic
joint assessments, and serum and synovial fluid biochemical data were compared between
treatment groups to identify effects of treatment. RESULTS: Osteochondral fragmentation
induced significant increases in various variables indicative of joint pain and disease. Treatment
with ASU extracts did not have an effect on signs of pain or lameness; however, there was a
significant reduction in severity of articular cartilage erosion and synovial hemorrhage (assessed
grossly) and significant increase in articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan synthesis, compared
with placebo-treated horses. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Although
treatment with ASU extracts did not decrease clinical signs of pain in horses with experimentally
induced osteoarthritis, there did appear to be a disease-modifying effect of treatment, compared

with findings in placebo-treated horses. These objective data support the use of ASU extracts as
a disease-modifying treatment for management of osteoarthritis in horses.

 

Boswellia needs to be mentioned because it is so commonly used. An excellent review can be found
full text here:

http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/13/2/165.pdf

Turmeric (curry) is receiving a lot of attention in human medicine the last few years. The active
components are curcuminoids (aka curcumin).

The parent herb, turmeric, contains about 2% curcumin.
In vivo studies on curcumin supplementation are promising, including one human rheumatoid arthritis
trial that found it was as effective as phenylbutazone when dosed at 1200 mg actual curcumin/day. That
would be a minimum of 4800 mg (4.8 grams) for a horse, or a whopping 240 grams (8.45 ounces) of
the parent herb, turmeric! Poor intestinal absorption and/or rapid hepatic first pass metabolism is the
reason for the high doses. Studies are underway to determine ways to improve bioavailability. For more
details on curcumin, see:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/curcumin/

Many other herbs have been suggested for use in horses with joint problems.

To date they are some herbs that are researched to have promising effects.

May 132012
 

The Negative Effects of Shoeing : Catherine Cooper Lic Ac Tcvm

Today,  there is a lot of evidence to prove the negative effects of shoeing horses.

Does your horse go suddenly lame (fracture lame) after doing a piece of work.

Is he suffering with splints.

Has your horse developed Suspensory Desmitis/Ligament Branch Injuries.

Sore Shins

Back Problems

The list is endless !!

Diagnosing Feet Problems

After many years of extensive examination of horses, the diagnostics through Acupuncture have been conclusive that horses are experiencing considerable pain in their feet.  There are no significant obvious signs or symptoms,  the horses feet appear normal.  Although this  is not the case to the professionally trained individual.  The heels are contracting, toe is too long,  the frog is necrotic etc.  I have treated these problem by increasing circulation and relieving pain through the diagnosis and treatment of Bartonella which is too in itself one of the main contributing cause due to lack of microcirculation, using specific and specialized herbal medicine and proper balanced nutrition. It was evident to me that most of these horses regardless of their discipline, were suffering from a low grade or worse laminitis, inflammation, chronic subsolar abscessing , calcification and or navicular syndrome.

This in turn creates compensatory lameness , including suspensory desmitis, splints, back pain and sacroiliac problems, jarring, etc..  These symptoms also became more evident as a result of ongoing feet problems, and although the horses at the early onset were showing no obvious  lameness, but all were diagnostically conclusive that intermediate damage was apparent.

In a given time, due to ongoing compensation from  foot pain,  all of these horses were eventually diagnosed with acute or chronic injuries by our Veterinarians.  As I have spent my whole career dedicated to treating or preventing all of the above conditions and having  results. It has to be stated that if one does not treat the underlying cause,  if  symptomatic or not, then it is evident to me that the treatments are short lived and it really is a waste of time in trying to achieve permanent results.  I do believe 95% of all lameness begin in the feet. “No hoof no horse” is indeed very true.

Concussion.

At one time, it may have been hard to prove the negative effects of shoeing,  but today, there is no longer any doubt.  Advancements in science now allows  us to see things the human eye is incapable of viewing.  We can also measure forces using instruments that leave little doubt as to the facts of the matter. The high speed videos of a trotting horse landing barefoot, and landing shod are real eye openers.  Seeing it just once you will not be able to look at shoeing the same again.  Imagine the effects of years of such concussive forces.

How do we know that shoes reduce circulation in the horse’s feet and legs?  There’s a very simple way to tell.  Feel the legs of a shod horse.  They will be cold – in many cases icy cold.  And we are taught that this is a good thing!  Now take the shoes off that very horse and feel his legs a while later.  They will be warm.  As they should be!  Aside from common sense however, thermography has clearly shown that shod feet result in cooler legs.  Coolness caused by lack of circulation.

Not only do shoes reduce circulation they also prevent the hoof  from expanding during motion. The functions of the foot in regards to energy dissipation,  the  Laminar attachments between the hoof wall and P3 (the distal phalanx  or coffin bone)  and the digital cushion – along with the respective ligamentous connective tissues have all been mentioned  as having potentially significant roles  in the anti-concussive mechanisms of the foot. Basically it is to allow the foot to expand and withstand the concussive forces of weight bearing and movement.

Dr Robert Boker DVM  PhD. states through documented research that high transient energy forces within the horses foot are dissipated via the rapid movement and  flow of blood through an extensive and tortuous vascular network of small caliber veno-venous anastamoses present within the cartilages and other strategtic regions within tissue of the equine foot. This hemodynamic flow hypothesis relies upon the biomechanical principles of hydraulic  fluid theory as it relates to the impedence (resistance) of such fluid movement that develops when it is forced to flow through small vessels. Furthermore the efficiency of this mechanism is dependant upon the individual confirmation of the cartilages and structural composition of the horse’s digital cushion.

Any dysfunction in this hemodynamic flow mechanism may partially explain the insidous lameness conditions that develop during normal locomotion of the equine athlete. Such a disturbance will result in greater transient energies being subsequently transmitted to bone and other sensitive tissues within the digit rather being dissipated by this hemodynamic mechanism.

As the unshod hoof lands the weight of the horse descends on the bony column and into the hoof.  The back of the hoof expands as this occurs accommodating the descent of the coffin bone onto the digital cushion.  The digital cushion grows thick and tough, as does the frog, thus allowing a healthy hemodtnamic flow mechanism.

Shoes, however, are rigid and prevent the hoof from expanding and causing dysfunction to the hemodynamic flow mechanism.   A horse that is shod, non weight bearing and with  foot in contracted position, then shoe is aligned and nailed on to foot.  Once the foot is returned to standing position the foot cannot then expand to withstand the concussive forces which it was designed to do.

Since the coffin bone cannot descend normally the digital cushion doesn’t get the pressure/release necessary for health and it shrinks, as will the frog in many cases.  In addition the joints articulate differently.  Over time horses will begin to land toe first, go over at the knee, shorten in stride, which in turn puts extensive pressure on the ligaments and tendons. Stress and pain will be evident on palpation initially at the medial aspect of the Suspensory and medial splint bone apparatus,   heels will contract, circulation will diminish, necrosis will develop,  and after enough time the horse will develop any of the above mentioned compensatory injuries and in time will lead to symptoms of navicular and or laminitis.

Trimming and Balance

In order to have a robust hemo-dynamic mechanism present in the foot created either by breed predisposition or by enviromental stimulation, the hoof must be prepared properly by the farrier or veterinarian . He must align the hoof wall pillars with the cartilages to maximize such a dissipating system. If this is not done properly, as in the case of underrun heals, eventual lameness problems will probably ensue.

Once proper neurological and biochemical function is achieved in the distorted or diseased hoof, many lame horses return to soundness,  both physically and mentally. The traditional horseshoe cannot work to aid in this rehabilitation.

It is also important that younger and older horses should be trimmed regularly, every four weeks.  The proper trimming necessary  in younger and developing horses in order to have a good balance for the growing bones, ligament and tendonous structures.

If flares are present they have detrimental effects on the internal structures of the foot,  stretching the white line and giving rise to poor coffin bone suspension.  This can be  very painful,  and it’s like lifting really hard on your fingernail.   Bars also need to be trimmed regularly and left level with the sole and outer hoof wall, for balance. The frog needs to be healthy and spread across the foot and towards the bulbs, this in turn supplies good and adequate blood supply to the foot…

Treatment

I do believe by educating people and making them more aware of the above conditions.  We can indeed address these problems, by treatment in eradicating all Bartonella bacterial stealth infection, natural and effective foot trimming and balancing, nutrional supplementation and a balanced diet for healthy hoof growth.

Naturally it may also be evident that some horses can indeed have conformation deformities, nutrition imbalances that may not allow them to perform without shoes,  although there are several alternative methods of shoeing  available today that can help these horses during the transition period to barefoot.

Yes, indeed one would ask .  How could I run my horse on slippery ground conditions without an accident occuring.  This is a question that can also be answered.  Horses with healthy, pain free feet, have more natural balance ,  better breakover and surefootedness,  normal head carriage.  I would also like to indicate that horses who have better head carriage will predominantely have less breathing problems. eg DDSP…

Nutrition

Yet another important factor is is mineral and vitamin deficiencies which are predominant today due to the over use of pesticides and fertiliser’s.  Our land for breeding and pastures for summer breaks for horses needing “Dr Grass”  is predominately insufficient in the required substances necessary. Our young stock have not the required mineral and vitamin balance needed to grow strong hoofs, cartilage and bone.. The older horses confined to stables should be given a balanced diet  both nutritionally and nutraceutically.  We all need to actively pay attention to this problem by assuring adequate nutrition and supplementation if necessary.

If you have the interest and time to read into The Hemodynamic Flow Hypothesis  for energy dissipation of the Equine Foot by Robert M. Boker VMB PhD.  in further research done into the structures anatomy, Physiological studies of the foot’s vascular (blood system) I have attached a direct link below..

Evidence

Yes you readers may be asking the question? What evidence is there that barefoot horses perform better, have less injuries. It is well documented that historically shoeing weakens the foot and causes hoof deformatity,  and the hard evidence is there. Can we convince our farriers to change tactics, to study more indept the detrimental anatomical changes taking place within the structures of the foot due to improper trimming and the use of shoes. Can they move forward into  21st centuary studies and research that has been done and proven to date.

Simon Earl racehorse trainer in the UK,  has the majority of his racehorses  running and performing extremely well barefoot.

Interesting Reading

  • NEW! ……Dr. Bowker’s Theory of Hemodynamics.
  • Thermographic Study of the Hoof (from EasyCare)
  • We here at Copperfield Equine Therapy now have  Dermot McCourt a registered Master Farrier, a remedial equine Podiatrist,  he has worked and trained in Saudi Arabia and also with several AANHCP practitioners in the United States. He started work with traditional farrier methods, but his career developed to working with severe foot problems – correcting damage to return horses to being sound.  He can trim and educate you on the condition of your horses feet, make necessary changes for the well being of your horse, and increase dramatically their performance…
  • For further information, and treatment,  or if you are concerned about your horses feet, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
  • Catherine Cooper Lic Ac Tcvm +353872654269

 


 

Jul 022011
 

Acupuncture in Horses

Accupuncture for Horses

Acupuncture for Horses

Acupuncture provides relief for horses from a number of conditions including lameness, neck and back pain, and digestive problems.

As with human acupuncture, the acupuncturist communicates with the horse’s body through specific acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are cutaneous areas containing relatively high concentrations of free nerve endings, nerve bundles and nerve plexi, mast cells, lymphatics, capillaries and venules. Different points contain various proportions of different types of nerve endings and different relationships to major nerves. Acupuncture points and channels are characterised as skin areas with lower electrical resistances than is found in surrounding skin and may be points of locally positive direct current (DC) potentials.

The acupuncture stimulus is transmitted from the acupuncture point to the spinal cord by afferent peripheral nerves. Several lines of evidence support this claim. If the acupuncture point is first injected with procaine, analgesia will not result from stimulation of that point. Procaine, because it is a local anesthetic, prevents electrical transmission. Further, acupuncture performed on the paralysed limb of paraplegics and hemiplegics does not result in analgesia. The most profound analgesia tents to be induced by stimulation of points overlying major peripheral nerves. From the acupuncture point the afferent neuron enters the spinal cord and follows pathways similar to those of the pain pathway.

Jun 272011
 

Horse Neck, Back, and Hip Pain:

Treating neck, back and hip pain in Horses

Keep your horses free from neck, back and hip pain

Like humans, neck, hip and back pain can be extremely debilitating for horses, but this does not have to deter them from reaching their full potential.

“Dramatic improvement can be achieved in the health of Equine athletes when treated with alternative methods,” says Catherine Cooper of Knocklong, Co. Limerick based Copperfield Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation Centre.

There are a number of treatments that can be used when seeking to reduce pain in areas such as the neck, back and hip in horses. These include Advanced Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Aqua puncture, Electro acupuncture, Pneumoacupuncture, and Injectable Prolotherapy

Procedures such as these can keep your horse performing to its full potential.

All are procedures carried out at the Centre regularly by specialists who are fully qualified to carry out these treatments.

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