Therapeutic Options in the Performance Horse, AAEP 2008

 

The 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif., included a Table Topic on "Therapeutic Options in the Performance Horse." The first item facilitators and attendees discussed was the use of acupuncture point reactivity as an aid in the diagnosis of gastric ulcers in the performance horse. Several practitioners commented on the acupuncture points they use in this manner and agreed it was a valuable aid.

Co-facilitator William McCormick, VMD, discussed a study he had conducted on the use of acupuncture channel imbalance as an aid in prepurchase examinations. Conventional Western purchase exams were performed on 350 sport horses. The presence of reactive acupoints in excess was also recorded. Channel imbalance was noted in 63% of lame horses and in only 25% of sound horses. Sound horses with level channels sold significantly more often than lame horses with channel imbalances. Sound horses with level channels also sold significantly more often than sound horses with channel imbalances. It is theorized that sport horses with channel imbalance have been unable to spontaneously recover from their current level of exercise.

The discussion then turned to the various issues seen in horses used in different disciplines that can be helped with veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic, such as a barrel horse that has difficulty or refuses to turn or a dressage horse that has difficulty engaging the hind end.

This Table Topic was facilitated by William McCormick, VMD, of Middleburg Equine Clinic in Virginia, and Ed Boldt, DVM, owner of Performance Horse Complementary Medicine Services in Fort Collins, Colo.

About the Author

Ed Boldt, Jr., DVM

Ed Boldt, DVM, is the owner of Performance Horse Complementary Medicine Services in Fort Collins, Colo.

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