The Horse

MAR 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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26 March 2019 The Horse | Joyce Harman, DVM, owner of Harmany Equine Ltd., in Flint Hill, Virginia, is one veterinarian committed to the practice of CAIVM. She's certified in acupuncture and chiropractic and has completed advanced training in veteri- nary homeopathy, nutrition, and herbal medicine. "If you're looking for a local practitio- ner, find one with extensive training in the modality you're interested in," she says. For help finding a qualified holistic vet- erinary practitioner, the AHVMA provides a "Find a Vet" link ( holistic-veterinarian) to get you started. When Should Vets Offer CAIVM? In the case of CAIVM, both owners and veterinarians owe horses the utmost care to maximize quality of life. "The best medicine is whatever works on that day and is the least invasive," says Harman. "A horse suffering colic due to a twisted loop of bowel obviously requires surgery. However, for many chronic problems in horses, the least invasive and most suc- cessful treatment is CAIVM." Regardless of how you ultimately choose to treat your horse, every patient should undergo a complete physical exam by a veterinarian first. Only then can the horse's care team consider the best treat- ment option, be it using CAIVM, Western techniques, or any combination thereof. For example, does your horse always seem to have cracked quarters of the hoof wall? Sure, you can take your barnmate's advice and start supplementing with a hoof product containing biotin and me- thionine. That's a natural, complementary therapy that can't hurt, right? Not neces- sarily, our sources say, because there are other reasons for having chronically cracked quarters, such as poor conforma- tion or even back pain altering how the horse bears weight. In real life, inappropriate application of holistic care can delay the treatment of the underlying problem. If the hoof is cracking because of a functional issue that needs to be addressed, for example, no amount of biotin will fix it. Alterna- tively, if the foot appears balanced and the veterinarian notices no other issues, such as hoof capsule distortions, during a complete physical exam, then biotin supplementation might very well be indi- cated, as long as it's a quality product. "What makes a good holistic veterinar- ian is realizing when to use what," says Ben Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a Texas-based practitioner and veterinarian for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Asso- ciation who is also licensed to practice acupuncture. HOLISTIC HORSE CARE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? What makes a good holistic veterinarian is realizing when to use what." DR. BEN ESPY

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