Specific Diseases and Conditions
Refer to General Conditions for the symptoms and Homeopathic
treatment of any diseases or conditions not included in these
Length of Pregnancy 340 days
Bone changes and enlargements
Veterinary diagnosis essential
equines especially those that are ridden, jumped or used for
driving etc are liable to suffer injuries and strains and to
develop bony changes in their limbs as they get older. It is not
within the scope of this section to list conditions and symptoms
in detail a good book on horses should give information and advice
on common ailments. I have listed common problems and remedies in
This condition takes place within the hoof, where the deep flexor tendon attaches to the navicular bone. It only occurs in the foreleg. The inflammation set up at this point may lead to permanent damage to the bone, causing chronic lameness.
There are three main bones at the lower end of the horses foot corresponding to the bones in the finger. The horse in effect walks on only one finger the middle one. High ringbone involves bony changes with the formation of new bone between the first and second bones. Lower ringbone affects the second and third bones.
In this condition bone takes the place of cartilage at the sides of the foot and is visible just above the hoof. It may be painful to the touch and cause lameness. It occurs mainly in the front feet.
Splints affect young horses, usually two year olds. The main metacarpal (or shin bone) is joined on both sides by two other rudimentary metacarpal bones (fingers). This fusion is a bony one and with excessive exercise on hard surfaces the inner one can enlarge and form a visible nodule or protrusion. This painful swelling can cause lameness. Plenty of rest is essential because if this swelling does not subside it may form excess bone and leave a permanent unsightly and sometimes painful mass.
The hind leg Bone Spavin
Periostitis (inflammation of the periosteum or outer skin of the
bone which leads to bone formation and fusion of the bones in the
hock. The swelling can be seen on the inner and lower part of the
principle symptom in all the above conditions is one of varying
degrees of lameness, which in many, but not all cases may show
pain or tenderness at the seat of the lameness.
dosing immediately any lameness is detected Arnica 30c dose
every hour for four doses whether the vet is summoned at once or
not. Continue dosing four times daily until improved or change to
a more appropriate remedy to match the presenting symptoms.
lameness that involves tendons and ligaments especially in acute
cases which appear worse after rest Ruta 6c 3 4 times
daily for a few days (5 10) until improved.
chronic cases, this will help to reduce the formation of fibrous
scar tissue Silica 30c dose once daily for 10 14 days
or up to three months if necessary
chronic, bony changes have taken place Calc Flour 30c dose
twice a week for 4 6 weeks continue once a week for up to three
months if necessary
Catarrh and Sinusitis
discharge which may vary from slight to copious in amounts and
watery and clear to thick and cloudy, even containing blood, in
discharge is acrid and makes the nostrils very sore Ars Alb 30c
dose once daily for 5 7 days
is present. The discharge is usually yellow in colour and the
nose is sensitive to pressure or touch Hepar Sulph 30c dose
twice daily for 7 10 days
remedy for ongoing cases with a thick string-like discharge
Kali Bich 30c dose twice daily for 5 days and repeat after a
week if required.
chronic longstanding cases with a white pus like discharge
Silica 30c dose twice daily for 5 10 days
Veterinary help should be sought immediately as any colic is a potentially life threatening condition.
who has anything to do with horses dreads the thought of colic.
This is a condition that involves pain in the intestines. The
arrangement of the large intestine of the horse inside the
abdominal cavity rather leads itself to colic. The colon is very
long and folded over in two directions, rather as one might fold a
counteract shock, fear and panic Aconite 30c give 3 4
doses at 10 15 minutes intervals as soon as symptoms appear.
early in the attack if there is a rapid, bounding pulse, sweating,
dilated pupils nd excitement. Belladonna follows aconite well
Belladonna 30c dose every two hours up to 4 6 doses as
pain, discomfort, sweating, kicking at the stomach, getting up and
down and rolling, this is one of the most effective treatments for
equine colic Colocyth 30c for severe pain dose every 15
30 mins up to 6 8 doses. Continue dosing 4 6 times daily for a
day or two if required.
if a digestive upset, possibly involving the liver, is suspected,
the animal often lies on its side and turns its head to one side
and looks uncomfortable Nux Vom 6c or 30c dose every 2 4
hours and continue 3 4 times daily for a few days if necessary
general remedy, particularly if a digestive problem is suspected
Nux Vom 6c dose every two hours for 3 4 doses then three
times daily for a day or two until the condition settles.
the stomach region appears tender or there are signs of mild colic
especially after drinking Sulphur 6c dose as above or
alternate with Nux Vom if in doubt.
Constipation with much straining and little result, passage of a
lot of wind with signs of discomfort Aloe 6c dose four
times daily until relief
knotty and dry faeces passed infrequently, leading to bleeding
from a sore rectum and anus. Passing urine may also appear
difficult Alumina 30c dose three times daily for up to 3
remedy to consider in all conditions Aconite 30c dose every
hour for 4 6 doses before moving on to another indicated remedy
is fever, sweating, excitement and a full pulse, often accompanied
by dilated pupils Belladonna 30c dose four times daily for
4 7 days u until improved
all-round remedy if the cough is nagging and worse for any
movement Bryonia 6c dose 3 4 times daily for 5 10 days
spasmodic, dry, chronic type of cough (croup) Drosera 6c or 12c
dose 3 4 times daily for several days
cough persists after an attack of pneumonia Ars Iod 6c dose
3 4 times daily for 5 10 days as required
seems to worsen during the night and be eased by having a drink.
It is noticeable on breathing in and there is wheezing Spongia
6c dose morning and evening for 5 10 days or longer if
tickling hard dry persistent and obviously painful cough
Phosphorous 6c dose four times daily until relief. For
pneumonia a potency of 200c (or higher) may well be beneficial
under the guidance of a homeopath.
Cramp (Azoturia) Set fast, Tying up, MyositiA
Rather mystifying condition often related to a fault in feeding or management. It occurs during exercise following a period of rest, while the animal is still being red full rations. There is damage to muscle resulting in myoglobinurea (the appearance of muscle breakdown products in the urine).
muscle mass over the hindquarters (gluteal muscles) are usually
first affected and appear hard like a board, and painful touch.
Sweating follows and a reluctance to move, stiffness is apparent
and the animal lies down, is restless and in great discomfort,
urine is obviously dark.
immediately whilst waiting for the vet to arrive Aconite 6c
dose every 15 mins for up to 4 6 times.
Aconite if there is fever, a bounding pulse, nervousness and
dilated pupils Belladonna 30c dose every hour for 4 6
severe cases this remedy may be used from the onset of the
condition until resolved Arnica 30c dose every 3- 4 hours
up to four times daily for 5 7 days if necessary. If not relief
from Arnica, consider one of the following.
region of the back behind the ribs is tender, accompanied by pain
and stiffness Berberis Vulgaris 30c dose 3 4 times daily
for 3 5 days
useful remedy for this condition, use if there is much stiffness
and very dark urine Bellis Rerennis 30c dose 3 times daily
for 3 5 days, but stop on improvement.
Dermatitis, Greasy Heel and Mud Fever.
dermatitis means inflammation of the skin (both the outer layer
the epidermis and the inner layer the dermis).
This is due to over-secretion of the natural grease from the horses skin known as sebum. Greasy heel is most commonly seen in the hind leg, the cause can be standing in wet or dirty stables which are not cleaned out often enough, allowing infection to creep in
becomes infected, thickened and pustules form which leads to
discomfort and possible lameness. The horse may rub or lick the
sore region, accompanied by stamping,
This is a similar condition to greasy heel but it takes the form of eczema. It occurs at the back of the heel which is extremely sore, and many horses will resent the aea being touched.
affected area is wet and the discharge is sticky rather than
Most useful in the early stages, when the affected area is still fairly dry Ars Alb 30c
daily for 7 10 days
may appear dry and roughened, but there is an oozing honey
coloured and sticky discharge Graphites 6c dose three tomes
daily for 5 10 days
infection is present, usually accompanied by an offensive smell
Hepar Sulph 30c dose twice daily for up to a week
Hepar Sulph well in a longstanding case Silica 6c or 30c
dose twice daily for 7 14 days
condition is not responding to other remedies Thuja 30c
dose once daily for 10 14 days
Diarrhoea and Enteritis
Fortunately does not occur too frequently and most cases respond to homeopathic treatment. There are a large number of remedies for treating diarrhoea and as always with homeopathy, selecting the one that best matches the symptoms presented, the more likely a successful outcome. There are a variety of causes for the condition
of fever, rapid pulse, dilated pupils, increased rate of
breathing, sweating Aconite 6c or 30c dose hourly up to 3
brown, foul smelling painless motion, usually from over eating or
from bad food. Thirst for small drinks, restless, possibly blood
in the watery stools Ars Alb 30c dose 3 4 hourly up to
four times daily
with slimy stools and symptoms of colic Colocynth 30c dose
every half hour up to six times then four times daily for 2 3
watery stool expelled like a jet from the back passage, made worse
from drinking water Croton Tig 30c dose 3 4 times daily
for 2 4 days.
thirsty and drooling, cold and sweating, blood in the motion. A
good general remedy if there is blood in the stool Merc Corr
30c dose four times daily for up to 3 4 days if necessary
due to digestive upset and possibly liver involvement nux
Vomica 6c dose 3 4 times daily for 3 4 days until improved
Chronic cases, evil smelling, watery motion, profuse and noisy Podophyllum 6c dose 3 4 times daily for a few days when required, until improved.
Veterinary diagnosis required
flu is a virus disease caused by two myxoviruses: A. Equi 1 and A.
Equi 2. it is highly contagious and spreads by droplets in the
air. It tends to be more prevalent in groups of young horses it
can spread at shows and at pony camp etc
The onset is sudden the animal will appear of colour, followed by a fever with rise in temperature, running eyes and profuse watery nasal discharge. Pulse rate may be increased. Secondary bacterial symptoms follow: purulent discharge from nose, complete loss of appetite, a dry cough and accelerated breathing. Animal appears dejected and very unwell. At this stage antibiotic therapy should be used along with relevant homeopathic remedies.
remedy first if flu is suspected, change as appropriate to another
remedy matching the presenting symptoms Aconite 30c dose
four times daily at hourly intervals.
cases where signs of fever are apparent Belladonna 30c dose
four times at hourly intervals, and if improving every four
hours(four times daily) for a further 3 5 days.
recommended remedy for human flu; useful in horses too if symptoms
are typical Gelsemium 30c dose four times daily (every four
hours) for 3 5 days until symptoms subside
symptoms plus a dry harsh cough brought on by any movement
Bryonia 6c dose 3 4 times daily for 3 7 days until
Respiration noticeably increased, short and gasping, onset of
pneumonia a possibility, niggling, tickling cough, worse in cold
air phosphorus 30c dose 3 4 times daily for 3 7 days as
A degeneration of the tissue of the frog, possibly caused by lack of pressure, wet dirty conditions underfoot.
leads to an infection showing a black, necrotic (diseased)
material, there will almost certainly be lameness
infection is apparent Hepar Sulph 6c or 30c dose 3 to 4
times daily for a few days
persistent infecctions with foul smelling discharges Echinacea
6c dose three times daily for 5 7 days
chronic cases Silica 30c dose twice daily for one week or
This may follow chronic Laminitis, when infection enters the gap that forms between the hoof wall and sensitive underlying tissues.
will be pus formation and a discharge from the white line. This
may cause lameness.
useful remedy to regenerate damage or necrotic tissue in chronic
cases is Calc Flour 30c dose once daily twice a week for 6
is an inflammation of the sensitive tissue of the foot, can be
compared to wearing shoes three sizes too small and causes extreme
pain. This sensitive laminae in the horses hoof becomes congested
with blood and very inflamed producing the symptoms of laminitis.
This occurs mainly in the forefeet, but laminitis can occur in the hind feet at the same time. It is characterised by an extreme reluctance to move, the animal leans right back and is often extremely difficult to encourage to, go forward at all. There will be heat over the coronet band at the top of the hoof and extreme pain, sweating, rapid breathing and worried expression.
condition usually follows several acute attacks, possibly
occurring several years after the initial bout. It is caused by a
reshaping of the internal structures of the foot and rotation of
the pedal bone (lowest bone in the horses foot), concentric rings
begin to appear in the hoof wall and the toe may begin to curl up
shoes should be removed as this adds to the discomfort and pain
and it is important to remove the animal from lush pasture of any
sort as this will greatly aggravate the condition. High protein
feed must be avoided and a diet of hay and high fibre feeds given.
immediately an attack is suspected Aconite 30c dose every
15 30 mins up to 4 6 doses
aconite well if there is fever, bounding pulse, nervousness and
dilated pupils Belladonna 30c dose hourly for 4 to 6 doses,
continue dosing 3 4 times daily for 3 4 days if improving. The
1m potency may be used to good effect but should be used under the
guidance of a homeopath
the above remedies well and aids the liver in ridding the body of
toxins Nux Vomica 6c dose 2 3 times daily for 5 7 days
appears to be slight improvement with first movement after
standing Rhus Tox 6c dose 2 3 times daily until there is
improvement this may take several weeks or possibly a month or
the chronic case to assist in the regeneration of damaged tissue
Cac Flour 30c dose morning and evening on two days per week
eg Monday and Thursday for 4 6 weeks if necessary.
Morning Leg (sporadic Lymphangitis)
A condition usually seen in the heavier type of horse, used to be common in the days of heavy horse transport when animals worked hard for 6 days a week then rested.
of one or both hind legs which retain fluid, the affected limbs
become painful and hot and finger pressure in the area will
produce pitting of the tissues. The lymphatic system becomes
engorged with fluid and the lymph glands may become enlarged.
swelling and discomfort Apis Mel 6c or 30c dose every 2 3
hours for four times daily for 5 7 days until improved
superficial injury is apparent with much inflammation Rhus Tox
30c dose three times daily for 5 10 days until improved
remedy may be useful if there is a tendency towards skin
ulceration Hamamelis 6c dose three times daily for 5 10
days until improved
condition persists and tends to become chronic Calc Flour 30c
dose three times daily for for 5 days until improved repeat
Topical Applications Apply arnica lotion as long as the skin
is not broken. Use Hamamelis (witch Hazel) or Hypercal lotion 2
3 times daily if skin is broken.
This is an allergic skin reaction can be due to allergens in the environment, contained in various feedstuffs or medicines
oedematous (spongy) plaques or weals appear very suddenly on the
skin, these can be anywhere on the body but mostly on the neck and
trunk. If severe may accompany depression and diarrhoea.
general remedy Urtica Urens 6c dose every 15 20 mins for
up to 4 6 doses, and with improvement reduce to 3 4 times
daily for 1 3 days if required
swelling and oedema. Skin very sensitive, worse for warmth and
pressure. Swelling of lips and eyelids Apis 30c dose every
15 20 mins for 4 6 doses, and with improvement reduce to 3 4
times daily for 2 4 days as required.
Tendons and Ligaments
choice of remedy whenever an injury of any sort is sustained, this
may be the only remedy needed for slight injuries but if no
improvement or the condition worsens other remedies will be
required according to the presenting symptoms Arnica 30c
dose three times daily for 5 10 days
painful swelling in the region of a joint, use after 3 4 doses
of Arnica to counteract the initial trauma and shock Apis 30c
dose every 2 4 hours up to six doses on the first day, then
three times daily for a few days
injury or an accident of the periosteum (outer layer of the bone)
is likely to have been torn or bruised, improved by movement of
the joint and warmth Ruta 6c dose three times daily for 5
remedy for tendon injuries especially if there is slight
improvement with first movement Rhus Tox 30c dose three
times daily for up to seven days
chronic recurring injuries to tendons and ligaments Silica 200c
dose once daily for 10 days repeat when necessary
Alternatively for long standing cases particularly in older
animals Silica 6c dose once or twice daily for 4 6 weeks
can be beneficial.
Refer to general conditions for the symptoms and homeopathic
treatment of any disease not included in this section**
The website is copyright of Lynne Wheatman 2007 - 2009
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