Acupuncture is a long standing medical practice from China which helps the body maintain a healthy balance by using needles to stimulate particular points on the horse, which are concentrated with nerve ending, immune system components, and small blood vessels. Every horse is an individual and their responses to acupuncture range from complete relaxation to hyperactivity depending upon their level and cause of imbalance. Most horses respond in 1 to 3 treatments. Results are often greatly improved when acupuncture is used along with herbals, food therapy, and chiropractic care.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
The Chiropractic Adjustment of a horse consists of high velocity pinpointed thrusts at key locations along the spinal column and limbs which ATTEMPTS to return joints suffering from a decreased range of motion back to their normal range of motion. This realignment or adjustment allows the body to move more freely which in turn allows for better conduction of nerves, increased circulation, decreased healing times, and better performance. Note Attempts is italicized. The the length of time a horse has been compensating for the lack of full range of motion in a joint will determine how close to normal the joint can be returned. Each animal is an individual and is treated as such. Though two horses may receive the same treatment their response to treatment may be greatly different based on their differences (ie. discipline, old injuries, age. etc)
Vaccinating your animal allows the body to develop a defense against a given virus, bacteria, etc. It does not prevent your animal from becoming infected but it does help limit the duration and severity of disease, most often to the point that clinical signs do not develop.
What is Coggin’s?
The Coggin’s test was developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins in the 1970s to test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) known commonly to horsemen as Swamp Fever. Horses in the state of Tennessee are required to have a Current (within the last 12 month) Negative Coggins Test in order to be trailered or shown. The virus is spread by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies. Symptoms include recurrent fever, weight loss, an enlarged spleen (felt during a rectal examination), anemia (due to breakdown of red blood cells), and swelling of the lower chest, abdominal wall, penile sheath, scrotum, and legs. Positive horses are infected for life. They must be branded, kept at a research facility, and quarantined at least 200 yards from other horses for the rest of their life. Due to the limited availability of quarantine facilities and the decrease in quality of life due to being isolated from the herd, most owner’s elect euthanasia if their horse tests positive.
What is Colic?
Colic is a broad term used to describe abdominal discomfort in the horse. The underlying cause can range from gas build up, to a twisted piece of intestine, to kidney stones, etc. Signs include decreased appetite, tucked abdomen, looking back at their sides repeatedly, lying down and getting up repeatedly to name a few. If you suspect your horse of colicking contact your veterinarian immediately. Based in a physical exam and the severity of clinical signs they will be able to give you a better idea of the likely cause of the colic episode which will determine the best treatment plan to follow.