Welcome to Dr. Madalyn Ward’s Online Center for Holistic Horse Care

Veterinarian Madalyn Ward provides information about basic horse care, horse hoof care, and treatment for equine founder in horses. Dr. Ward is a horse chiropractor specializing in foundered horses, horse nutrition, equine acupuncture, treatment of equine health problems and healing. Through her blog and newsletter, Madalyn provides additional advice on horse supplements, equine nutrition, laminitis, and horse and mule health.

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Holistic Horse Health: The Buzz From the Barn

Madalyn on horseMadalyn Ward, DVM shares her answers to specific holistic horse care questions from clients.

Q - Is coconut oil good for horses?

A - Coconut oil is great for most horses. I would offer it and see how your horse likes it. Nice thing about foods is we can let the horse tell us what is right for him.

Q – Also my 33 year old POA has been acting sore footed again. I have been having kind of a hard time getting her over it this time. I was thinking of trying the bute less products, or the cetyl m, but don’t know about either one. Is there a long term pain reliever or any other supplement that you could recommend to help her with soreness?

Also, I tried the stance coconut oil, and really like it- was giving it to my other mares as well, but it has some corn starch in it. Do you think it’s okay for my POA to take it, since she has had founder issues in the past?

A - Have you made any changes to your pony’s diet such as a new load of hay? Laminitis is so often diet related and even a little extra sugar can be the problem. I do know some good pain formulas such as AniMotion but make sure there is no extra source of sugar in the diet. Extra iron in the diet can also be a problem and you can see this when you have a lot of weeds in the pasture. Iron interferes with absorption of other minerals and this can contribute to insulin resistance and foot soreness. I do not know if the corn starch in the coconut oil would be a problem but I would sure check with the company and see how much is there. Just to be on the safe side you could stop feeding it until your pony gets past this laminitis episode. I am a huge fan of chia seeds as a fat source. They not only have a wonderful balance of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids but they also have plenty of protein and minerals. Chia is in the mint family and it seems to aid horses in digestion. I feed 1/4 cup/1000 pounds but you can feed more if needed.

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