Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wednesday, October 24

Did not get the video done, but *Red continues to show improvement. We are now up to the full ration of Nutrient Buffer.

Thursday, October 25

Got the video completed and wait until folks see the difference! Because *Red was already showing improvement before the VitaRoyal supplements arrived I cannot credit them entirely. I will say that there is a change in him, as I see a softness in his eyes that was not there before and I think that is the raised Magnesium levels. However, I believe that the acupuncture treatment and just plain old time are what has allowed him to get better. There is no doubt that this Stringhalt was brought on due to injury, as if it was toxins I doubt we would have seen such a vast improvement this quickly. Anyway, I will continue with the VitaRoyal protocol as there is no reason to stop using it. The video is at:

Friday, October 26

Today was beautiful and *Red was feeling good. The Canola Meal arrived today and I mixed together the “Hi Pro” feed of: 25 lbs of Linseed Meal, 12.5 lbs of Canola and 6.25 lbs of stabilized Rice Bran. He gets 1-1/2 lbs of this along with his oats, his EPS and Nutrient Buffer.

Saturday, October 27

Everyone is unhappy. It is a nasty rainy day, but despite the weather, *Red is looking more and more like “his old self”

Sunday, October 28

*Red seems almost normal now. This morning over our coffee Chuck and I talked about the fact that the diagnosis “Stringhalt” is used to describe the behaviours seen rather than the cause. In our experience, *Red’s Stringhalt was NOT caused by ingesting toxins in certain plants but by injury. I’m guessing that for most horses who develop Stringhalt due to injury, the ability to over come the diagnosis is much greater than those who have developed it because of ingestion of toxins. One would think that there would be separate diagnoses for separate causes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wednesday, October 17

The temperature outside this morning was 32F and *Red’s was 97.2! *Red seem slightly more irritable this morning but I figured it was the change in outside temperature. I eliminated the BOSS from his feed, but made no other changes. He is still on Bute.

Thursday, October 18

The temperature outside this morning was 41F and *Red’s was 97.6; so indeed it seems that something has caused his basal metabolic rate to lower. The thing I find odd is that typically with a lower temp and therefore a lower metabolic rate, the weight of the being will increase. *Red; however, is still as slender as he always was and still as energetic. Today I eliminated the ABC+ but will hold the rest of *Red’s feed as is until one of the ordered items arrived. So for now he is getting at each feeding: ½ pound oats, ¾ cup linseed meal, ¼ cup rice bran, 1 oz of Equi-Shine, 2000 mg Vitamin E, ¼ cup freshly ground flax, and one scoop of Uckele’s Bio-quench for the B vitamins. He is still on Bute.

We filmed him again today and he has already improved!

Friday, October 19

Food the same. *Red does not seem as agitated as before. Still on Bute through today. The supplements have not arrived. I called the feed store and the Canola Meal is still not in.

Saturday, October 20

Morning food the same, but Linsey’s package containing the Hi-Pro EPS and the Nutrient Buffer arrived. I read the directions and was glad to see that I could mix just Linseed meal and Rice Bran without the Canola meal. So I will start him on that. For his supper this evening he got ½ lb of oats, 1 lb of Linseed meal, 1/3 lb of Rice Bran, 2 scoops of the Hi-Pro EPS, and 1/3 cup Nutrient Buffer. I mixed it all with about five cups of water. He HATED it! Although the Nutrient Buffer didn’t smell to me, when I spoke with my friend Michelle, she said that it was the NB that her horse had most objected to. So in the morning I’ll give him only the EPS and see how it goes.

Sunday, October 21

Both feedings had no Nutrient Buffer in it and he slurped it right up! One thing that caused me some chagrin was that I read on the NB label that there is “preservative” in it, although it doesn’t say what preservative it is. I will have to email Linsey to find out as I do not like the idea of him consuming preservative.

Monday, October 22

Added just a dollop of the Nutrient Buffer each feeding and he ate it up. He is doing well.

Tuesday, October 23

Added about two dollops of the Nutrient Buffer today and again, he ate it. So far so good. I was able to get the two videos we have done of *Red up onto YouTube. To see what he was like on 10/10/07 go to: and for his movements eight days, on 10/18/07 go to:

We will do another video tomorrow if it isn’t raining.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Friday, October 12

Randy, from Burlington Equine, came today. He agreed on the Stringhalt diagnosis, but felt that because the onset was so very sudden that it was injury related. He felt that this was positive; that it meant *Red could be rehabilitated. He felt his spine and hips and did some small chiropractic adjustments, but nothing huge. Then he did acupuncture on *Red’s left leg. The points he stimulated were: 1. Stomach 36; 2.Gall Bladder 34;
3. Bladder 40; 4. Gall Bladder 44; and 5. Stomach 45. *Red was fine during insertion and stood there quietly for a couple of minutes. Every so often Randy would reach to one of the needles and gently twist it. Suddenly, *Red exploded into activity. He began kicking that leg and trotting around and around me. He moved so fast that I got dizzy! I had to stop and just allow him to continue circling me but transfer the lead from hand-to-hand. Just as suddenly, he stopped, and stood still with his head down, as if he were sleeping. He stood like that for almost ten minutes. Randy said that often when doing points on the extremities that the horse will behave that way, so he was not alarmed. Again, *Red exploded and this time the kicking was with both legs, he bucked, he double-barreled, and he trotted like a wild horse. This time, because I was prepared, I was able to observe him and his trot was almost perfect. The left leg moved forward, with only a slight more upward motion than usual. Again, Randy felt this was a good sign.

Randy left me with a list of things to do, and alternative treatment options if they do not work. To do is: 1) increase his Vitamin E to 5,000-7,000 IU per day; 2) increase Selenium to 1 gram per day; 3) increase Magnesium to 5 grams per day; 4) topical anti-inflammatory rubbed into gasken twice a day (like Sore-No-More, or other arnica); and 5) continue Phenylbutazone, 1 scoop, twice a day for seven days.

Treatment options are: 1) Steroids for 10 days as an anti-inflammatory; 2) Phenytoin, an anti-spasmatic drug; and 3) Surgery.

He also recommended finding out about any herbals or homeopathics that might help with inflamed nerves.

I also spoke with Kelley this evening and she recommended a few herbs: St. John’s Wort, Passion flower; Valarian. She also recommended increasing his B vitamins. She will do more research.

Saturday, October, 13

I have increase *Red’s Vitamin E to 4,000 IU per day and am also giving him a scoop of Bio-Quench because it has extra B Vitamins. I am searching for a source of them on-line. He is back on the Bute. I did place an order with GP Direct where I get my Vitamin E, for a Vitamin E/Selenium and Magnesium.

Today I noticed that *Red took off in his pasture and behaved just like he did during the acupuncture treatment. He would race around at a trot and then stop and kick and kick with both legs, although most of the time it was his left hind.

Sunday, October 14

*Red is much the same although he seems somewhat more resigned and less irritable. Guin has been massaging in the Sore-No-More twice a day. Again, he took off a couple of different times, circling the pasture and then kicking.

Monday, October 15

He is the same as yesterday. Tonight I got a call from Linsey McNeal. She had *Red’s Profile in front of her. She would like to work with me and *Red and thinks her protocol can help him.

Here is what we are to do:
Change his feed to a mixture of Linseed Meal (25#), Rice Bran (6.25#), and Canola meal (12.5#) mixed with the EPS which is a combination of vitamins and minerals. He will get 1.5# of this mixture a.m. and p.m. and I am to top dress each feeding with 1/3 cup Nutrient Buffer. I can add as much oats as it takes to get him to eat it and mix it with water to make it a “mash” type texture.

No vaccines
No Deworming
All the grass hay he’d like
Stop feeding beet pulp, black oil sunflower seeds, Cocosoya oil, alfalfa and the other supplements I already give him as she says the EPM will contain all he needs.

She also wants me to track his morning temperature for 3 days, then just once a week after that.

And she recommends getting our water tested and then filtering it. I hope to test our water, but the filtering will have to wait.

She also wants to know if he’s ever been vaccinated with the Rhino (herpes) vaccine and if he presently has little red and/or white spots inside his lips.

While I intend to try my best for this, I have to admit that there is a large part of me that is a skeptic. What bothers me most is that Linsey referred to the vitamins and other supplements as well as some of the feed stuffs as “junk” and yet I know from my experience as well as from others’ that their horses do very well on them. I know how to read labels and try always to choose those that have little fillers like wheat middlings, soy hulls, and the like. For me, don’t label something “junk” and not prove to me why you say it is so. I know that there is a lot I can still learn, but give me the tools, don’t expect to have me follow you based on your professional certification.

I especially have a very high “bovine manure” detector and all my inner bells and whistles tend to go off when someone says “Oh, buy MY things to make it all better.” If I had not heard from several other people that following Linsey’s program worked for their horse/s then I would not agree to this.

Tuesday, October 16

Well, I guess I’m on my way to becoming a believer. I took *Red’s temperature this morning at 7:30 a.m. It was 42F outside and his temperature was 98.2. Just to be sure, I took *Suncatcher’s temperature as well. He is on virtually the same diet as *Red, about the same size, but is 5 years younger. His was 99.6.

I have stopped adding the Cocosoya oil for *Red and no one is getting Alfalfa pellets anymore. I had already decided to stop adding those to the feed and increasing the Linseed Meal I already feed to balance out the protein for them. I intend to eliminate the BOSS tomorrow, then the ABC Plus on Thursday. I’ll hold all the rest of his supplements the same until Linsey’s items, and the Canola Meal are in.

Today I noticed that *Red spent some time kicking but I didn’t notice him running around like the past 3 days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

*Red Running Star’s bout with Stringhalt

What is Stringhalt? Many folks have heard the word, but exactly what does it entail? A horse with stringhalt, when walking, will hyper-lift one or both back legs (as if to kick their belly for flies). It is as if the message from their brain to their leg/s goes into overdrive. The nerve that controls the lateral digital extensor muscle misfires and causes the exaggerated lift.

Additionally, the lift causes a shift in the normal walking cadence and although the horse eventually adapts to this, at first it is as if they need to relearn walking.

Why does Stringhalt occur? The causes are considered “unknown” although in the United Kingdom and Australia it is known that eating some plants can allow Stringhalt to develop. Here in the United States, it is most often the result of injury. Because the muscle lies on the outside of the leg, a well placed kick can cause inflammation of the nerve resulting in Stringhalt.

*Red’s Stringhalt developed on Saturday, October 6, 2007. Chuck had fed lunch hay a bit after noon and all was well. When we arrived at about 5:30 p.m. to feed supper he had Stringhalt. It had rained that afternoon and so we assumed that he had slipped. Because he was otherwise fine (ate, drank, bright eyes) we left him with his pal *Beau to see what he was like in the morning. At this time we knew little about this disability.

The next morning he was the same, so we brought him up into a stall. Kelley Robie, of Horsetail Herbs, is trained in herbalogy, energy bodywork, and is also an Animal Communicator. She has worked on *Red before and was in the area so I asked her to stop in. Kelley got that he slipped in the mud. But why would he have gone onto developing Stringhalt when another horse would not have? This was our mystery.

Sunday evening Kelley called me after reading through her herbalogy books and said that the plants that had been indicated in the UK as causing Stringhalt actually prevented the absorption of magnesium (so causing a deficiency in magnesium). She recommended getting him on more magnesium and said she would continue to research.

Monday, October 8, 2007.

I called Burlington Equine to have Dr. Randy Frantz come out. He is a vet and also is a chiropractor and acupuncturist who has worked on *Red before. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it out this way until this coming Friday, so I set-up the appointment anyway.

Then I called our local vet, Dr. Tom Stuwe. His new partner, Alyson (omgoodness I’ve forgotten her last name!). She came out and confirmed the Stringhalt. She said the best case scenario was that he would get over it and the worst was that he would need to have the tendon cut in that leg. She promised she would do some more research and get back to me. In the meanwhile, she had me start him on Phenylbutazone for three days. I told her that we would try every other means at our disposal before having him operated on because once cut, it cannot be uncut. She understood.

I have also contacted Linsey McNeal from VitaRoyal and have filled out her Horse Profile form.

This evening, Alyson called to tell me the results of her research. She confirmed what she had already told me but said that some positive results had been found by 1) using a low carbohydrate diet; 2) increasing his Vitamin E and Selenium; and 3) acupuncture. She could not find anything relating increasing Magnesium.

Tuesday, October 9-Thursday, October 11

No real change in *Red except he seems more resigned with his predicament and less angry/frustrated. His appetite remains good. Guin has taken him for short walks. On Wednesday, the 10th we did a video of him to show his movement so that we can make comparisons better. We’ll get that loaded up onto YouTube as soon as we can.