I’ve blogged a lot in recent months about how I’ve struggled to treat my new thoroughbred gelding’s anhidrosis diagnosis. It was a difficult and expensive summer where we’d take one step forward only to to take two steps back.
I tried just about any remedy you can think of to treat my horse’s non-sweating condition with little results and unfortunately little relief for my big gelding. I talked to a half-dozen vets about his condition, seeking advice and affirmation that was I was doing everything that I could for my horse, who was dropping weight and clearly suffering through the hottest months of the year.
We did eventually get him to start sweating again. As fall weather began to drop the unbearable temperatures here in Florida, my gelding Mikey finally began to feel some relief. He doesn’t huff away in his stall anymore with that exhausted, glazed-over look in his eye. He doesn’t need two enormous fans running in front of his stall either. But I worry that this is only a temporary break, and that once the temperatures start to rise again, we’ll be right back where we started.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my everyday vet, during one of the lowest points of Mikey’s suffering. It was the first time a traditionally trained DVM told me to believe in the treatment of a holistic vet. My vet said there was nothing he could do to help Mikey and that I should give it time and trust in the vet I had paid for acupuncture treatments and Chinese herb supplements. He said it was my best shot of getting my horse on the mend.
I’m a journalist by trade, and as such, I tend to make most of my decisions, especially with my horse, based on evidence and facts. When traditional medicine and medical study-backed supplements wasn’t doing the trick, I turned to a renown vet in our area who treats horses from a natural and holistic approach. She’s revered like a celebrity in the area where I’m from. Every horse person I know has a story about how her touch fixed this horse or cured this ailment. I had nothing left to lose, so I gave it a try.
This vet was able to get Mikey sweating in just one acupuncture treatment. She told me it would take weeks of work to reset his system, and along the way, we discovered a few other underlying issues we think contributed to his condition.
My horse’s diet changed as a result. We are more mindful of what we’re putting into his body now, and what kind of “output”, or effect, it could have on his overall health. Instead of using the usual suspects slew of supplements, he’s on a mix of Chinese herbs for his lungs and to keep his gut cool. I also purchased all-natural, organic electrolytes and probiotic support which seems to be aiding in my horse’s road to recovery versus using the usual commercial stuff you find on the feed store shelves.
I never thought I would make such a turn in my thought process to treating my horse. I don’t buy in to the natural organics in the grocery store very often, but it’s hard to turn the other way when it’s the first thing I’ve seen make a noticeable difference in the behavior and overall health of my horse. I’m still a newbie to all this, but I’m learning a lot. Anecdotally of course, but I can’t deny that this new way of thinking isn’t helping my friend feel better.
Here’s a video of my horse getting back under saddle, after many months off due to his condition: