What to do with so many options out there? When you or a horse takes a trauma there will be heat, inflammation, and probably bruising, which will attract calcium and other heavy metals in the body that will settle in the injury site. These can inhibit full healing potential. So, finding what is needed to reduce these is the first step. You will have to decide if you do this before or after the wound cleaning, or while you are waiting for your Vet to arrive.
Bute injectable can be fast acting for immediate needs. Usually paste or tablets you can get from your Vet ahead of time and most horses might show you how much they do not want that in their mouth! My gelding could hold it for hours in his mouth, so I started mixing it with a little molasses mixture I used for Electrolytes called DynamiteÒ Dyna Spark. All my horses loved this all natural liquid electrolyte.
The Bute won’t work if the horse does not swallow it! You may also be able to get a flavored powder form that some horses will eat with a cup or so of grain. Just ask your Vet what they recommend in your area.
I found that for years I was confused as to when to use Bute and when to use Banamine.
I learned the hard way not to give oral Bute to a horse that is showing colic symptoms or has been diagnosed with stomach ulcers. Bute can make a sour stomach even worse. This is when I have been told to give Banamine which comes in a liquid injectable form as well as the paste syringe tube. In the past I have had the injectable in my fridge for emergencies. You can give it orally; everything depends on the speed you want it to work. When you watch your Vet give it IV (in the vein) you can see a reaction in your horse in just 2-3 minutes. It’s that fast! In my experience orally takes a lot longer. I most certainly did not feel qualified to do an IV injection, so I always chose the safer slower method while waiting for my Vet to arrive.
Other things I have learned; Bute is for acute inflammation as well as for bone pain, while Banamine is more for soft tissue, muscles, and the pain from gas and bloating.
I have been told by some professionals that if a horse is lame and you want to learn a little more about it, Bute helps relieve symptoms more if bone related and Banamine helps if muscle or soft tissue related.
How much is too much? You can go by label instructions, but I have always used my Kinesiology yes/no answers to find how much and how often the particular horse I am helping needs it.
There are many products in the holistic field for helping to relieve pain and inflammation (hot, throbbing pain).
The list would fill up many books and already has.
I start giving my horse MSM right away. You can be find it at your local tack/feed stores. I really prefer the purity of the DynamiteÒ MSM that I order online and always have in my feed room. You can use your muscle testing to find the right one for you, as there will be many to choose from.
Personally, I start with a high loading dose like 2 scoops am and 2 pm for severe injuries, or you can follow label directions.
What does MSM do in the body? I’ve been told it helps to relieve inflammation and helps connective tissue repair faster. I have been happy with the results. On a severe injury, whether I or my Vet has administered Bute or Banamine, I start my horse on MSM and continue to give it until the horse is sound, or the healing process of the horse’s body seems to have completed.
Long term MSM consumption might affect how the horse’s body can assimilate Selenium; something you might want to look into more or contact a professional about.
Yucca, a natural desert plant, can be something your horse needs as well. I have found that it has helped with older horses that need long-term relief in their body. You can follow label directions or ‘muscle test.’ You will find Yucca, as well as MSM, in most joint supplements.
Homeopathic Arnica works most excellent internally, as well as externally, and can be found on the label of most homeopathic remedies for wounds and skin issues. This can be found for internal consumption at local health food stores or online.
Turmeric is also another great product many swear by.
When I was doing endurance riding of 50 miles or more in a day, I used the Release spray and Sore No MoreÔ on my horse and myself and a few other products. I used to do the 50 mile a day multiday rides; same horse and rider for 100-200 miles and finished all 4 days of Death Valley on my favorite Arabian gelding ‘Tiki’. This is what has given me all the hands-on bodywork and wound care experience of helping my horses to be the best that they can be. When you are 37 miles from camp, and no horse trailer is coming to get you, and you have no cell phone service, you better know how to help your horse or yourself get back to camp.
There are many other exceptional products out there. Just use your yes/no to find the right ones for you. And guess what? You do not need to have it in hand to get your yes/no. That is your left brain telling you that you have to touch it to know. We are all connected in the universe, like cell phones. You can look at the product on a website and ask if that products vitality is over a seven and then ask if it is the right one for your horse or yourself.
Yes! It really can be that easy, and that is just one of the things we go over in my hands-on workshops that are taught globally.
Some preventative measures like joint supplements, if you are competing on your horse, would be an excellent idea. I love the DynamiteÒ Free n Easy joint supplement and fed it to all my endurance horses as a preventative. Once a joint is dry and not functioning well, breakdown is occurring. It is better to feed the joint supplement before all the hard training and competing. Preventing an issue is much cheaper than treating an issue.
Icing is another way to help the inflammation/pain response in the body. Inflammation is nature’s way of telling the horse to not use that area. You can find reusable ice packs in the local CVS or Right Aid or other pharmacy-type stores. You can also order them online and it is always good to have them in the freezer, you don’t need to make up ice bags which melt and create such a mess.
This is very good for inflamed areas, and the reason cold-water hosing of wounds was first introduced. You need the cold therapy, but you do not need the polluted water from a garden hose going into the cells of the body. As kids, we used to drink from the garden hose. It had a funny taste, but in present day it is not something I personally choose to do, so why would I put pollution into the cells of the body that are already in trauma?
Icing is also good for the ‘Laminitic response’, which is a horse becoming sore on both front hooves and not wanting to walk. You can google what causes this, or ask your Vet. It is a very serious condition, and should be addressed ASAP! Sometimes this can get so bad that the horses’ coffin bone will rotate, or worse, drop down thru the bottom of the hoof!
When your horse is having this issue, ice therapy can be beneficial. You do not want the hooves standing in cold fresh water as the hoof will soften and expand, which is detrimental to coffin bone placement and what is going on inside the hoof. But, wrapping icepacks (that will not leak fresh water) around the hooves can help the horse be more comfortable, and help to bring the inflammation down.
In my personal experience, Laminitis (founder) happens when the body cannot detox well (liver and kidney stress) or handle extreme physical or environmental stresses well. Many years ago, we were told to cool the horse out and only let them have small sips of water as too much all at once could cause a ‘founder’. At an endurance ride, I saw a mustang founder on all four hooves. I was told it was because the surface they competed on was so hard. This and other environmental stresses, like getting into too much grain or green grass, can be other stressors to the body’s system that might cause a horse to founder. I have seen horses ‘tie up’, founder, and/or colic after a vaccination clinic, caused by many body stresses, when all the shots are given on the same day. Vaccinating and sedation to float teeth is also not the best choice, as my friend did that, causing her horse to have abnormal heart arrhythmias for life her Vet said. Sadly the Vets told her if she rode him he could drop dead under her. All this caused from vaccinations and dental work on the same day. The horse had gone thru a rigorous pre purchase exam weeks earlier and had none of the symptoms till the fateful day of over exposure to chemicals in the injections. She chose to do the ncd2 detox protocol of 3 bottles at 10 drops 2 x a day with some other healing modalities and has helped her horse recover from some of the symptoms.
Every horse event that I have been to where a horse has ‘tied up’ I have walked up to the owner and asked “did you worm or vaccinate in the past 3 weeks”? They always said yes…. What could be the connection? The toxic poison chemical wormers we buy at feed stores, or the vaccinations which have cancer causing agents in them as a preservative, can stress the liver and kidneys so much, that the horse cannot effectively handle the stress of the event, causing lactic acid to build up at the event, and there you go—a horse that has ‘tied up.’ What are the symptoms? Usually hard tight hind end muscles, horse not wanting to move and urinating dark like the color of blood. A lot of damage is going on inside the horse when this happens and Vets usually do Banamine and hang IV drip bags to help flush the system and help hydrate.
I have a YouTube one-hour clinic video on chemical stresses and how they can affect your horse.
As far as pain management goes, there are so many things out there you can buy; magnets, life wave patches, photon therapy, cold laser therapy, electrical stim units… and the list goes on! Sadly, most are addressing only the ‘symptom’, which is why the same areas need to be worked on each week. You are not addressing the key issue, which is the cause!
What does this mean? If someone had borrowed your shoes to wear and had dragged the outside heel off, so that every time you took a step, your foot was not landing correctly, and, if you went on a long hike (the equivalent of how we ride our horses) you would experience leg or joint pain the next day. Well, this is what our horses are experiencing on a daily basis.
So all of these supplements for pain, and all of these modalities are great, as long as you address what caused them. This is why I have a lot of self-help YouTube videos which go into more detail about the cause of pain. I get emails daily of people who say they ‘stumbled upon my You Tube channel and after 2-3 hours of watching videos and taking notes went out and figured out what was really going on with their horse. That is my goal to share with you how to find the issues.
So, learning to find the cause of the pain is my recommendation. This is what I help my clients with in workshops and by email. This way we are treating the cause and the effect.