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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28 March 2019 The Horse | TheHorse.com While Espy has spent a great deal of time training in acupuncture, he ac- knowledges that he still identifies as a "primarily Western veterinarian." "When my Western medical approach isn't producing the desired results, I reach into my 'Eastern' toolbox," he says. "I warn owners that acupuncture may not work, but if I can stick needles in a horse and potentially make it better while doing no harm, why not? If I don't, then my suc- cess rate will continue to be zero percent," Examples of when Espy trades in his Western syringes for acupuncture needles include patients with: ■ Kidney disease; ■ Back soreness; ■ Retained uterine fluid that fails to respond to medical therapy (making it difficult for broodmares to conceive); ■ Radial nerve, located in the forelimb, and facial nerve paralysis (often due to trauma to those nerves); and ■ Gastric ulcer pain causing persistent mild to moderate signs of colic, when non-steroidal drug administration could delay ulcer healing. "I can't promise my clients that acu- puncture will be successful in all or even most of these cases or not, but to me, acupuncture makes sense," Espy says. Does Holistic Care Work? Some modalities might have benefi- cial effects. Acupuncture, for instance, "releases endorphins when certain spots are stimulated on the horse's body, much like a runner's high, a horse that cribs, or a dog with a lick granuloma," Espy says. However, he admits that the scientific evidence supporting CAIVM use is sparse compared to that of Western modalities. Espy recalls one study involving mares that underwent cesarean sections but experienced circulatory disturbances resulting in kidney disease. Veterinar- ians initially treated those mares with intravenous fluids but didn't observe any improvement in kidney function. "When those mares underwent acupuncture, all the horses responded," Espy says. "Ultimately, not all remained healthy, but acupuncture may benefit kidney function." Unfortunately, holistic (or any) re- search in the veterinary field poses many obstacles: the expense of conducting the experiments and analyzing the data, the cost of feeding and housing the animals, and the challenge of having enough horses in the study in the first place to make the results meaningful. Take-Home Message Natural, holistic, Eastern, alternative, integrative, complementary, modern … pick whatever term you like. At the end of the day, veterinarians and owners are selecting an increasingly broad array of tools to provide the best possible care to the horse. As long as a valid VCPR exists and the individual providing CAIVM care is veterinary-recommended and properly trained, our sources say we can embrace any modality that could help the patient without harm. h HOLISTIC HORSE CARE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? ® Tasty Pellets! Order online at www.horsetech.com Order by phone at 1-800-831-3309 Free Shipping in Contiguous U.S. Awesome Supplements... Amazing Service! Buggzo offers an easy way to keep pesky bugs away. Our tasty pellets contain garlic, buffered apple cider vinegar, thiamine (Vitamin B ), diatomaceous earth and more! Buggzo--the original, best-selling garlic and vinegar pellets! 1 The Bugs don't even come close... Neither do our Competitors! TM

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