Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Homeopathics and Third World Medicine

For years I have been fighting a never ending battle against ignorance.....and I think I'm losing. I don't practice third world medicine and yet I have several clients that sometimes give in to the dark side and use roots and herbs on their horses ( fortunately not many). On the surface Homeopathy sounds so appealing....it's natural, safe and best of all "effective" . Unfortunately there is very little science involved and more and more "fear".
I was recently confronted with a quasi new one...the noxious field...danger. This one has some old in it , such as the "high tension power line" fears of the past, and some I haven't heard before.
The dreaded "Geopathic noxious energy"

What are geopathic noxious energies? These are noxious earth rays that come where underground water veins cross; locations of earthquake fracture faults, underground voids (caverns or hollows) in the rock structure and certain deposits of coal, oil and minerals."

Fortunately for you , they sell many products just for these noxious energies. Not only that, they sell products for anything you could possibly imagine that could be noxious to your horse. This one site was called down by the USDA because they were selling products that were supposed to vaccinate your horse against disease. They have since had to change these claims. The really bad thing about this is that people were using these instead of REAL VACCINES that provide immunity. Again this all stems from fear and ignorance. We as humans fear what we don't understand and sadly there are some that would use this for financial gain.
We recently had to deal with two horses that were "treated" with a detox compound and both ended up hospitalized for colic. While there may be som
e beneficial component to certain natural compounds there are definately toxic ones....thats why they call them "poisonous plants". I also have a problem with anything I take or give to a horse that doesn't have a dosage......ie. how much of what am I giving, and a spoonful, scoop,packet,sprinkle or squirt is not going to get it for me.
If you search the net for your disease dujour you will find all kinds of charlatans out there hawking all kinds of miraculous cures, such as Gallium nitrate for Navicular disease.These use well designed web sites with testimonials and pseudo-science to get you to buy their products. Some are even run by Veterinarians, using their degree to lend an air of authenticity to their claims.
I was once told that the reason that such treatments exist is that for many diseases and pains there just aren't many effective treatments available....leaving the door open for those that prey on the suffering .
They even offer an Emergency Kit....complete with ...get this ...Belladonna . For those who don't read Shakespeare ...it's also known as DEADLY NIGHT SHADE( all for a paltry $169 )My advice is this.....be a skeptic.
Seek out opinions from several specialist in that field. Search out scientific articles that are reviewed by professionals. Don't give anything to your horse that sounds to good to be true or has the words....detox....cure....homeopathic......or anything written in Chinese on it.
In the words of the x-files...trust no one.


Anonymous said...

I think it is a shame that Dr. Weldon is condemming the use of Gallium Nitrate as a possible treament for navicular disease. To date there are no significant remedies for this affliction-- other than returning the horse to its natural barefoot state-- which can take many, many months-- and is still being researched as the best way to go. Since conventional medicine relys on bute-- which can cause liver damage with prolonged use-- and isoxoprene-- which has been shown to do nothing to relieve navicular symptoms-- I think the prescription of these medicines is as unjustifiable as it gets. With no other options available-- save bar shoes which can eventually aggravate navicular with contracted heel syndrome-- what is a horse owner to do? Not try something new or unconventional that could possibly work? It seems to me that a navicular horse owner has nothing to lose by trying gallium nitrate. And, it is a natural compound that can be purchased from companies that have nothing to do with horses-- thus, the gallium nitrate 'charlatans' can not benefit financially by selling gallium nitrate to horse owners, unless the owner chooses to purchase it from them. I would urge Dr. Weldon to not disuade navicular horse owners from trying gallium Nitrate until he has proven with proper research that it is as useless as isoxoprene or as damaging as bute. Perhaps gallium nitrate can really relieve certain horses with navicular and reverse the process in certain horses showing early stages of the condition as it has been researched (by Dr. Eby)to do. Also, some posters have mentioned the failure of gallium nitrate to work on their navicular horses. This should not disuade others from trying it either. No mention was made by the posters as to how advanced the navicular condition was in their horses nor do we know if the administration of the gallium nitrate was done in such a manner as to benefit them. Therefore I believe that it is up to horse owners to read up on gallium nitrate and conventional medicines and treatment and decide for themselves if they should try gallium nitrate or not-- without it being so swiftly dismissed as a crack pot idea.

Anonymous said...

I sure am glad that I am FAR away from the Jacksonville area! Almost appalling that a group of "Equine Associates" would allow one of their practitioners to blog about something he clearly is totally ignorant of. Likening herbal medicine and homeopathy to "Third World Medicine?" You have to be kidding me! The line about Belladonna....PRICELESS. Not only are you showing that you have no insight into what homeopathy is or how remedies are produced, you are also showing that you are indeed without regard for supplying the public with researched opinions and will boldly dispay your own ignorance. Aside from the fact that you obviously haven't done your homework on silly voodoo, swamp medicine (LOL) - you appear to have ignored a good deal of the historical aspects of conventional medicine, since a good deal of the medicines prescribed today are in fact based on purified herbal extracts or were originally developed directly from said source. To be honest, your post just reeks of a practioner who is soured by the fact that clients may be turning to alternative remedies when your prescribed ones have failed. As an equine professional it is highly irresponsible of you to post an opinion so strong without one shred of understanding in regards to the subject matter. I suggest you take your own advice and research things prior to using your "authority" in an attempt to scare people away from looking outside the good old clinic's orders. You have built a house with no foundation, therefore it is easily crumbled.

Anonymous said...

I have a 21 year old Quarter Horse - has been lame since he was seven years old - I had two operations performed on my horse plus special shoes and every joint medication available plus adjustments to his entire body - I contacted a man named George who sold Gallium Nitrate for horses - he spoke to me for a good hour and recommended that I not only put my horse on the Gallium Nitrate but also on Wells Pride Fish Oil - my horse and I are now taking Dressage Lessons and he is totally totally NOT LAME!!!!!!