Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gallium nitrate and Tildren

I've had some response to a post about 3rd world medicine and Holistics. Leave it to me to torque everybody off. It appears that there are quite a few "believers" in Gallium as a treatment for navicular disease. Gallium and a related compound Tildren work be reducing blood calcium levels.
With tildren there have been some nasty side effects discussed on the ACVIM (internal medicine) list serve. Hypercalcemia is a frequent complication associated with certain cancers and gallium has been shown to be an effective treatment for these patients, however, hypercalcemia has never been assciated with navicular syndrome. Why advise the use of a medication for a condition that does not occur. The main proponent for gallium use in the horse is Dr Eby who promotes through his website . He also is big on the use of zinc lozenges for treating colds and also thinks that the condition is brought on by aluminum toxicity. With the aluminum being absorbed through the foot from the shoe. One response that is posted here states "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." Nothing to lose? How bout time, resources and effort. I tell clients that the most expensive treatment is the one that doesn't work. You just lost money and time. "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." The burden of proof in the scientific community lays squarely on the researcher to document the how's and why's of the proposed treatment and then withstand the interrogation of other researchers as they try to duplicate the same research independently.
At this time there is simply no scientific proof that gallium works or that aluminum is in any way associated with navicular syndrome. There seems to be from time to time the thought that aluminum from cans, pots and I guess horse shoes are responsible for all kinds of illnesses from cancer to MS. There is just no....I repeat no evidence to support these claims. I'm a scientist and quite frankly testimonials just don't cut it for me. As they say in Missouri......SHOW-ME.


JimenyCricket said...

Isn't the primary effect of Tildren to inhibit bone resorption? A related effect would be, yes, to reduce the Calcium in the blood, if this were coming from excess bone remodelling.

It's not to treat the blood Calcium , but to reduce damage to the bone...which increases blood Calcium.

I'm absolutely sure you know this already, but your comment is leading and misleading. You must be a fan of Richard Dawkins.

Anonymous said...

I have a navicular horse and did use the Tildren and started Isox in January. I haven't had much luck with either remedy. Good shoes and pads seem to be the best source of relief for the horse. In addition, I've been discovering that my horse is extremely jumpy/jittery from the Isox. She's a fearful horse to begin with and I've tried cutting grain to nothing along with different calming agents. Today, I'm removing the isox from her diet. I am wondering if you have heard of any other horse responding to Isox like mine has. She also is sweating more easily. Any thoughts?

Dr Robert Folkard said...

One would have to ask the right question when it comes to any ongoing degenerative condition such as navicular.
Yes we have symptoms, that when put together create a medical diagnosis.
I would think that symptoms are a sign that the body is mounting a healing response.Thats a good thing.
If the response continues it would be appropriate to assist the body in its ability to heal from within.
So the right question would be,
what caused the condition in the first place and secondly why is the body unable to recover on its own.To treat symptoms can be a hindrance and heaps more stress on already overloaded systems of the body. Not to mention the side affects from drugs that treat symptoms.There is a place for drugs and surgery.
Emergency first aid care in severe situations is awesome and has its place to be sure.
Ever see the commercials for drugs stating that if you have a history of liver, kidney or heart disease don't take these drugs.
What does that tell you.
Back to the question, the cause.
Stress....long term, perpetual,stress.
Three types exist structural, mental emotional, and chemical/toxic stress.Any or all three will cause an imbalance in the systems of the body and then create symptoms (a healing response)
To be sure if one is affected others will be too.Initially the intelligence within the body makes an adaptive shift.Muscles tighten, the adrenal glands make hormones,and the mind goes on alert.Most energy is diverted outward to the muscles(sympathetic).Inwardly digestion and immunity slow down to conserve energy for fight or flight(parasympathetic).
If the stress is short term like a competition then the systems return to their normal balanced state.It is long term perpetual stress that keeps us and our horses in that adaptive state that ultimately overloads the systems leading to a breakdown in many more areas than are evident to us by the overt symptoms.
So if a bone is out of alignment shouldn't it be put into alignment with its neighbor and kept there till the body can heal the damage?
The bodies initial response is an inflammatory one,heat(increased metabolism) redness(increased blood supply filled with healing nutrients) swelling(increased synovial fluid for stabilization and lubrication) and pain(to slow one down for healing time)How amazing is that.
So should we stop the healing with anti inflammatories with all their side effects?
What do you do if your truck hits a pot hole and the alignment goes out and you sense that the truck pulls and if left too long you see the tires and joints wear out.Do you keep replacing the parts and let some air out of the tire to stear straight.
You get it aligned.
Navicular begins with a misalignment(structural stress) and there can be a toxic component as well such as immune complexes from a stressed leaky gut or heavy metals from shoeing or from the environment including alfalfa.
Even virus and bacteria or other toxic chemicals can cause damage to the joints especially at the end of the line, the foot. Blood tests will not give us the answer.
Then add mental stress which further tightens the muscles and tendons to the point of strain/sprain further compromising the joint.
Calcium in the blood may be there to alkaline the injured area,acid burns.
The intelligence within knows what to do to protect.
Some of us out there can test for the cause and can offer natural proven support to help a stressed degenerative animal to return to a normal balanced high performance state.Veterinary and holistic healthcare can work together for a greater outcome in my experience.
Just think of all the things that go on inside the body. 100,000 cells are replaced every minute.The lining of the stomach is replaced every 6 hours! Wow!
Enzymes and healthy chemical reactions occur every second
The body needs no interference.
It knows what to do, seek the cause of the problem remove that and support the inner healing process.Physician do no harm.
Dr. Robert J Folkard
Eqine Chiropractor
Stonecroft Equine Health and Wellness Center

Anonymous said...

I am treating my horse for navicular by elevated heel shoes, pads and isox. He seems to be responding nicely but I do catch him casting a foot out occassionally. Have you researched NaviculaSaver made by Figuerola? If so what do you think of it and would you suggest it to use. If not, is there a supplement out there that you would recommend?