Alternative medicine has recently become more widely accepted by people everywhere. Equine acupuncture, herbal medicine, and alternative therapies have given veterinarians additional options for non-invasive treatment plans. Pain relief without using drugs with potential side effects is one of the advantages of equine acupuncture. Therapy is also aimed at treating the underlying problem.
Alternative medicine is very rewarding, but does not replace conventional veterinary medicine. Horses are protected from disease by vaccinations, corneal ulcers are treated with medication applied topically to the eye, and many wounds need sutures and antibiotics! But when horses suffer from back pain and hip pain, there are limited options for treatment with conventional medicine. This is where acupuncture can be very beneficial. There are also a number of FDA- approved herbal treatments for horses that provide less invasive treatment for
various conditions. For example, there is an herb for itchy skin that has none of the side effects of steroids.
Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with traditional therapies. For example,when treating a horse with laminitis, the horse can receive x-rays, anti inflammatories (Bute), +/- shoeing changes, +/- feeding changes, +/- icing, stall rest with deep bedding, and acupuncture for pain relief.
A combination treatment plan is ideal, which incorporates both Eastern medicine and conventional Western medicine.
In Chinese medicine, individuals are classified based on personality and the treatment plan can vary depending on where they are grouped.
What personality is your horse? (Click to find out!)
Remember, not all horses will fit under just one category and therefore they may have a combination pattern.