Archive for the ‘Horse Health Problems’ Category

How To Improve Circulation in Your Horse

Posted on: February 18th, 2018 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

It’s easy to forget how important something as simple as proper circulation is for your horse. Good, strong circulation means that oxygen and nutrients are delivered to every cell in the body. It also aids in various body functions such as speeding up recovery time after an injury and reducing arthritic pain. Here is our guide on how to improve your horse’s circulation. 

Improved Vs. Increased Blood Flow

The circulatory system is relatively closed: the amount of blood in a horse’s system is what he’s got for life. So, think of any adjustments to circulation as “improving” rather an “increasing” it.

5 Ways to Improve Your Horse’s Circulation

Exercise! What holds true for humans goes for horses as well. The best way to improve circulation is to get that heart pumping through regular exercise, thereby ensuring good blood flow to all of your horse’s tissues and organs.

A good grooming that removes dirt, dead skin cells and shed hair improves blood flow to the skin. Result? A healthier, shinier coat.

Reduce stress. When your horse is relaxed, his spleen actually enlarges. This allows for more efficiency in cleaning red blood cells; the spleen’s main function. So keep it mellow between exercising: brushing, massage, bathing, and free reign in the pasture are all good ways to reduce stress and offer other benefits.

Cooling your horse down post-exercise or on hot days keeps him regulated and blood flow optimal. If your horse overheats, the vessels in his skin and lungs tend to enlarge which draws blood from other, more necessary functions, such as the brain and major organs.

Maintaining lungs, heart & spleen with the Leg Saver. Making sure that the internal circulation system is healthy is essential for improving stamina and blood flow. Our guide to increasing stamina with the Leg Saver focuses on treating the lung and heart ting points, which will help improving circulation to the necessary areas, reducing pain while increasing endorphins. Regular maintenance with the Leg Saver is a great way to keep circulation up like this.

 

How do you keep your horse relaxed and his blood pumping in optimal conditions? Share with us in the comments!

The Best Exercises for Recovering Horses

Posted on: February 4th, 2018 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

When your horse is recovering from an injury, it can be a long road to full recovery. It’s crucial to remember that baby steps are key, as is regular treatment with Leg Saver’s waveform therapy designed to speed up the healing process.

Here are three type of training exercises you can do with your horse recovering from injury to help re-stabilize his spine and limbs through engaging specific muscles. Rehabilitation exercises are meant to improve muscle function, athletic performance, and most importantly; reduce risk of future injury and back problems.

Recovery Exercise #1: Mobilization

When completing these exercises with your horse, ensure he is well-balanced, even standing against a wall for support. Start with small movements, hold, and repeat the session 3 – 5 times daily.

Rounding

Use your choice of bait, perhaps a healthy crunchy carrot, to entice your horse to flex his neck. He must stay straight as he bends chin to chest, chin to knees, and chin to fetlocks.

Bending

Bend chin to girth and chin to flank. Engage the horse’s pelvic and abdominal muscles by getting your horse to bend his chin to hind fetlocks, as well.

Extension

Encourage your horse to stretch his neck as far as possible after rounding and bending.

Recovery Exercise #2: Core Strengthening

Before you exercise your horse, begin with these two motions:

First, apply upward pressure starting between the chest muscles. Then, slide your finger slowly back along the horse’s chest muscles, lifting the shoulder blades and the back. Second, apply firm pressure at the top of the spine, and move forward with pressure until you reach the bottom.

Recovery Exercise #3: Balance:

Repeat these balancing exercises 3 times daily:

    • Activate the muscles which support the chest by applying pressure to the middle of your horse’s chest, causing him to rock backward.

    • Activate the pelvic muscles that help balance your horse by gently pulling the horse’s tail to one side, then the other.

    • Activate fore- and hind-limb muscles by lifting one limb at a time while pushing gently on your horse’s shoulder or chest to rock his weight slightly.

It’s always best to consult with a trained physiotherapist before starting any exercise program with your horse. Take your horse’s cues when it comes to what they’re ready for, otherwise you could re-injure him. It’s important to keep an eye on your horse’s diet during this time, as eating habits are another sign of health. For more on how Leg Saver can help speed up recovery time during this process, see here.



Resources:

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/34482/rehabilitation-exercises-from-the-ground

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/36459/rehabilitating-sport-horses

How To Treat Shoulder Pain in a Horse

Posted on: January 27th, 2018 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Before you jump into a treatment routine to help your horse overcome his shoulder pain, it’s important to understand what’s causing the pain, and what type of injury it could be. Then, along with regular Leg Saver therapy, there are several other natural methods you can try.

How to Accurately Diagnose Shoulder Pain in a Horse

Shoulder pain in horses is often misdiagnosed as such due to the similarity of symptoms. For example, severe pain in the foot-pastern-ankle area can be misinterpreted as shoulder pain due to restricted forward leg movement; or rather, a shortening of the stride. In turn, shoulder muscles will tense involuntarily.

Look for these signs of true shoulder pain:

  1. Swelling of the shoulder joint
  2. Pain under pressure on the shoulder area
  3. The horse swings his leg in an arc rather than straight up and forwards
  4. Restricted leg movement and unfinished strides

Types of Shoulder Pain in a Horse

Shoulder dysplasia (where the socket is too shallow for the ball of the joint) can lead to dislocations, and arthritis in more severe cases. Arthritis can also develop from bone disease in cases of abnormality between the bone and cartilage. Cysts will form and the cartilage becomes brittle, eventually resulting in arthritis. Soft tissue injury is another common source of pain for horses.

How to Treat Shoulder Pain

Cold and Heat Treatments

Cold packs should only be used in cases of obvious heat and inflammation of the shoulder. They can also be used after exercise. Warm up the area with a heat treatment prior to exercise and periodically throughout the day.

Gentle Stretching

Once the initial inflammatory stage is over, start with a heat treatment and then move on to light stretching exercises. They can also be done as a warm-up before more strenuous exercise is planned.

Leg Saver Ting Point Therapy

Our electro therapy treats inflammation at a cellular level, effectively shortening healing time.

 

That is one of the most important things to remember: when treating shoulder pain, as with all injuries, it’s important to monitor your horse closely. If you are familiar with what “normal” looks like for them, you will be able to anticipate injury sooner and apply healing methods quicker. If you have any questions regarding how Leg Saver therapy can help treat your horse’s shoulder pain, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

How To Treat Common Hoof Problems

Posted on: January 6th, 2018 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Prevention is key to avoiding hoof problems that can turn into long-term health issues. Paying close attention to the season and its associated conditions is the first step to anticipating potential hoof hazards.  Winter weather can especially dry the hoof wall out, so consider a moisturizer.

Other common hoof problems come with their own set of natural treatments so you don’t have to keep the vet on speed dial. Here are our most effective treatments for common hoof problems.

A Regular Farrier Appointment

Like an annual trip to the dentist for humans, routine farrier care is vital to preventing hoof problems and catching more serious ones before they reach that point. Consider shoeing for different weather and footing conditions. Every six to eight weeks from the time your horse is one month old is a good place to start.

Regular Shoeing Treats: Laminitis (inflammation), Navicular disease

Apple Cider Vinegar

Strong hooves are essential to a healthy horse. A regular dose of diluted, raw apple cider vinegar applied to picked-out hooves keeps them strong. The enzymes promote circulation, which in turn stimulate hoof growth.

ACV Treats: Thrush, White Line disease

Liquid DMSO

Liquid DMSO, also known as dimethyl sulfoxide, is a substance used by many farriers and has many medical applications. While some believe the substance can be harmful, it has proven effective in the treatment of horse hoof problems when applied correctly and can encourage healing and growth.

Liquid DMSO treats: Hoof infection, stimulates repair

Leg Saver

Our holistic Ting Point Therapy targets inflammation to treat lameness and accelerate recovery time and hoof growth – up to half an inch of growth per month!

Leg Saver Treats: Laminitis, (inflammation) Joint problems

Heel support and regular trimming are also important to maintaining good hoof health. Keep in mind that all of the treatments listed above are meant to help, but may not cure the problem in its entirety. Always consult with a professional if a problem persists. Contact us if you have any questions about the diverse range of issues the Leg Saver can treat.

Are You Feeding Your Horse Properly?

Posted on: December 31st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Food is your horse’s foundation; his fuel for exercise and a healthy immune system. A proper feeding schedule and the type of feed you give him are just two of the elements needed to ensure a healthy, balanced diet to keep him in top form. Read on for our top tips to feed your horse.

One Feed Does Not Fit All: Every Horse Is Different

A horse’s size, exercise routine and breed all play a role in feeding requirements. For example, if your horse isn’t turned out to pasture for the majority of the day, he’ll require more hay than one who’s grazing all day long. Keep in mind that with grain, less is more. Start with a small portion and increase to your horse’s needs. If the number of races your horse does changes, their food ration will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Change Feed and Feed Schedules Gradually

Consistency is key to a good feeding schedule. The feed should be given accurately and if the type or ration size changes, ensure it’s done incrementally. Sudden changes can lead to colic or founder. Routine is paramount to your horse’s health!

Don’t Fuel Right Before or After Exercise

Try to feed your horse either an hour before, or an hour after you ride him. If it’s race day or a strenuous training session, make it closer to three hours before or after. A horse’s lungs have less room to work if their digestive tract is full, causing them to exert more energy. Exertion also diverts blood flow away from the digestive organs which can slow gut movement and enhance the prospect of colic.

Water Often and Provide Plenty of Roughage

Provide your horse with 5 – 15 gallons of fresh, clean drinking water per day. Nothing is more nutritious and beneficial to his organs, coat and general well-being. Aside from water, high quality hay or pasture should make up the bulk of your horse’s calories. If your horse is more high performance, add grain as needed.

An Additional Note on Feeding:

We would like to note that feeding processed food such as pellets or sweetened foods can be dangerous.  We have tested a number of these and found many contained mould or other toxins. Be mindful of what you feed as it can be harmful over a period of time.

We’ve also found that adding Apple Cider Vinegar to a horse’s diet has numerous health benefits as well. We’ll be shining the spotlight on this superfood later this month, so check back on our blog soon!

Happy New Year from the Leg Saver team!

What Are Ting Points?

Posted on: December 22nd, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

What are Ting Points, and how do they affect a horse’s performance? Company founder Gary DesRoches was introduced to these acupressure points during the early days of Leg Saver through the book VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURE: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine. In it, a chapter written by Dr. Are Thoresen DVM of Norway on Ting-Zone Therapy inspired DesRoches to design the ever-evolving and improving protocols that are crucial to the success of Leg Saver.

Equine Ting Points

In traditional Chinese medicine, the meridian system is a set of 12 major pathways throughout the body through which energy, or “qi” flows. Ting Points are the acupressure points above the coronary band of the hooves that relate to the beginning or end of these organ meridians.

How Ting Points Affect Your Horse’s Health

Once you get to know where your horse’s Ting Points are, you can use them as a good gauge of his health. If a Ting Point is warm to the touch or swollen, chances are a sudden health issue like a respiratory infection is occurring. If a Ting Point is cold to the touch or sunken in, your horse is most likely suffering from a chronic condition such as arthritis.

Ting Point Therapy

Leg Saver has helped ease arthritic horses, along with other chronic conditions like lung bleeding, bowed tendon repair, check ligaments, hoof lameness, stifles, hocks, OCD, whirl bone, TMJ, poll and shoulder problems. Its unique waveform combined with Ting Point Therapy has been the key to rehabilitating performance horses globally for the past 15 years.

We are in good company: practitioners around the world endorse Dr. Thoresen’s Ting-Zone Therapy, and Leg Saver’s unique waveform technology is continually improving upon these protocols to become an industry favourite for treating performance horse health issues.

 

Want to know more about Leg Saver? Read our full story here, and try it today.

 

5 Ways To Ensure Your Horse Is Ready For Winter

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Horses are fairly self-sufficient creatures. These majestic animals need very little preparation for the impending cold snap. Their coats thicken to provide extra insulation as the weather chills, so all you need to do is ensure you’re properly stocked up with the right supplies and a well-appointed barn, and your horse will be happy all winter long.

The Right Food for a Healthy Winter

Winter Feed should consist of quality forage combined with grain. Ensuring hay is provided regularly will help your horse maintain his inner furnace, as digestion is a primary way he generates heat! Consider using a Slow Feeder so your horse has a consistent supply. Installing a heated water bucket will encourage regular hydration and keep the digestive flow moving. Giving him a daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar also has numerous health benefits and, as always; stay away from added sugar and molasses.

Keep Up with Hygiene

Establishing regular check-ups for healthy teeth allows your horse uninterrupted comfort for eating and drinking, an important task they must keep up during winter months to maintain caloric intake and for warmth. Healthy hoof growth is also important, as are regular brushings to keep the mane and tail from matting. Check under their blankets periodically for signs of rubbing.

Prep the Barn for Snow and Pests

Make repairs and fortify the barn for colder weather with ample time so you’re not stuck fixing a leaky roof in the snow! Keep an eye on the feed for mold, which is common in winter, and keep it in sealed containers to avoid attracting small creatures looking for a warm winter hideout. Even blankets and tack can make attractive nests, so keep them in sealed storage.

Create a Run-In Shed or Run-Out Paddock

When the weather gets frightful, seeking shelter is your horse’s first instinct. Ensuring they have easy-access to one is the best thing you can do for your horse in the winter months.

Use Leg Saver Maintenance Therapy

The other #1 way you can help your horse brave the elements is to use Leg Saver therapy on a regular basis. By keeping infection and inflammation at bay, Leg Saver allows your horse to function at his best and work his hardest when he is able to exercise in the snow, and maintain optimal conditions when he can’t. Learn more about Leg Saver wave form therapy here.

How To Spot Equine Laminitis

Posted on: November 8th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Equine Laminitis. You may have heard the term or even be familiar with this very painful condition. At best, it can cause permanent structural damage in your horse’s foot on a microscopic level that leads to permanent lameness and repeated infections. At worst, this separation of the laminae from the hoof wall to the coffin bone causes the latter to rotate downward and even puncture the sole of the hoof.

The Signs of Equine Laminitis

A good farrier can tell you. They know the signs; the most obvious: when the outer hoof separates from the inner hoof. But how can you spot this potentially fatal hoof disease? Watch for these red flags, even before signs of lameness have set in.

Abnormal Behaviour

How will you know? It’s often a guess, deduced if the horse is limping or laying, or favours a particular hoof by not putting any weight on it. He may shift his weight more–or even less!–often. Is he shortening his stride? Exhibiting a “bounding” pulse? You may only feel the difference in his behavior when you’re riding him. Then, it becomes a matter of diagnosing whether it’s founder, the more common navicular syndrome, or laminitis. At this stage, you’ve caught it early.

Severe Symptoms of Laminitis

Increased temperature in the hoof for a prolonged period of time (when it’s not that hot outside!) can indicated trauma in the laminar tissues. Abnormal hoof shape or rings, which take months to grow, are another indicator that Laminitis has set in. Another indicator is the white line where the sole and hoof wall meet. It’ll take a month or more to widen and spots of blood can appear, which mean laminae are most likely hemorrhaging and well in the infection zone.

Knowing what’s normal for your horse is the #1 way to assessing when such conditions as Equine Laminitis are setting in. Using the Equi-Stim Leg Saver ting point electro therapy is your next step to ease suffering and attack infections. It will kill the bacteria to stimulate good blood flow in the hoof; an area that is one of the most difficult to diagnose and treat on a horse. Leg Saver has helped countless horses grow ⅜ – ½ inch quality hoof growth per month, and maintain good hoof health for years to come.

 

 

How To Ease the Top 3 Health Issues of Older Horses

Posted on: August 11th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Aging is just a fact of life, and in your horse’s case, it means the same as for the rest of us: joints may not be as supple, internal systems can break down and be less effective, and it’s important to keep an eye on daily functioning to ensure your horse isn’t showing signs of illness.

The top three to look out for are arthritis, heart murmurs, and Cushing’s disease. We’ve also got a few tips on how to look after older horses and ease their discomfort. This will keep them as healthy as possible between vet check-ups.

Arthritis in an Older Horse

While incurable, arthritis can a natural part of a horse’s aging process. With proper care, it can be managed. Swelling around the joints, lameness, stiffness, and reluctance to move forwards are all possible signs of arthritis. If you are concerned, have your vet confirm the condition with flexion tests and an x-ray. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or in more serious cases perform surgery to remove cartilage.

What can you do? Use Leg Saver equine therapy to help with the inflammation. You can also provide daily turnout time to keep your horse moving and joints loose. Adding a daily joint supplement can help, and regular gentle massages with a professional can also help ease the pain.

Heart Murmurs

A heart murmur is the result of a leaky valve that results in the rapid filling and expulsion of blood from the heart. For older, less active horses, it won’t mean as many complications as for a competitive horse. Signs vary from tiredness, loss of appetite, to increased temperature, respiratory and heart rates. Or there may be no signs at all, only your vet confirm a heart murmur with the use of a stethoscope, followed by an ultrasound or electrocardiograph.

What can you do? Check your horse’s heart rate on a regular basis, avoid stress by keeping him on a daily routine, and ensure his weight is kept in check to avoid excess strain on the heart.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), Cushing’s Disease is caused by the lack of secretion control of hormones ACTH and cortisol. This happens when the hypothalamus suffers nerve degeneration. Watch for increased thirst, tiredness, weightloss, if your horse suddenly develops a curly coat, and fat deposits cropping up on their neck and above the eyes. Call your vet to take a blood sample.

What can you do? While incurable, there is medication to keep your horse comfortable. You can also work to keep his weight regulated, his coat clipped to ease sweating, and regular dental care is important. Vaccinations and de-worming should be on a regular schedule as well.

The key to these three health concerns is really knowing your horse: what’s abnormal, and what keeps him comfortable. And as always, if in doubt, call your vet! Do you have any more tips on how to look after older horses? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

How To Remove Inflammation in Fetlocks

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

The #1 cause for lameness in horses is inflammation of the fetlocks. These metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints, commonly referred to as the “ankle” area, are particularly susceptible to swellings known as “wind puffs”, “wind galls”, or “road puffs”. Critical to a horse’s movement, the dynamic fetlocks are also very sensitive. Leg Saver Therapy will restore balance to lame and compromised areas, and will also remove inflammation in fetlocks quickly.  Signs of Compromised Fetlocks.

When dealing with fetlock and ankle issues, generally the problem is in the rear; whether it be the hocks, whirl bone, sacroiliac, hamstrings or something else. However, when the horse changes its gait for any reason, it places tremendous stress on the front legs. This shifting of weight to the front legs is the cause for most front lameness including the tendon ligament and joint problems. Rear end problems must be addressed before you can achieve front end soundness.

Swelling: Wind Puffs

Wind Puffs are one of the most irritating problems as the horse is not lame, but the puffs are prevalent enough to cause an issue. Wind Puffs are a result of rear end pain issues. If not treated immediately, they will become much more problematic in the future.

How to Prevent Permanent Damage

If you want to avoid permanent damage to the joint, begin by applying poultice on the joint regularly. The Leg Saver will kill any arthritis in the fetlocks and thicken the synovial fluid for smoother functioning of the ankle area. If no chips or internal fractures are present, the Leg Saver will ensure positive results.

Check out our video on how to remove inflammation in fetlocks or read more about Leg Saver Therapy here, or contact us with any questions!