We had a client call about her foundering horse the other day. She was so lost and so angry that her horse had gone “undiagnosed” since January and had now had a full blown laminitic episode. Her sweet mare had been a little lame and she was being told that her girl “pulled something”. She wishes she would have listened to her gut, but she was trusting the professionals.
That’s not even the worst part. Her vet told her not to soak the hooves in Epsom salts, or soak at all. He also told her not to use boots, but that she would need corrective shoes later on. The best part?? He told her to basically starve her sweet horse. She was told to give a couple of very small flakes of hay in the morning and in the evening, but the rest of the day she should be offered straw. STRAW?? He stated that when “she gets hungry enough, she’ll eat it”.
When she called, I explained laminitis and IR to her and also sent a follow up email with a ton of information. She ordered some herbs and was going to start feeding her hay, get boots, and soak her girl’s feet to draw out the abscesses.
The next day she called again. She had talked to a vet, new out of vet school. This guy told her a story of gloom and doom. He said that there is NO fixing a foundered horse, that once they have foundered they will always be in pain and “you can’t give Bute and Banamine to them for the rest of their lives”. He told her that there is no hope for a foundered horse and that they WILL have to be put down at some point. I cannot fathom people being told that there is no help. It makes me sad and angry at the same time. I’ve said it before; just because YOU (the vet) have no answer, it DOES NOT mean that there is no answer! Western medicine is NOT the only option and is NOT the only thing that works. Myself and hundreds of others have horses who are living proof that there IS help and other treatments DO work.
I can only hope and pray that someday, that mainstream veterinary care will begin to become more open minded and realize that if they worked together with Chinese medicine and other holistic approaches that so many more horses could be and would be saved.