Horse Health Problems



Colic is any kind of upset stomach in a horse. Since horses cannot physically vomit to emit whatever they ate that causes the stomach to be upset, any kind of digestive upset that causes colic is serious and potentially fatal if not resolved.



If your horse exhibits the following signs, he may have colic: refusal of food, constipation or infrequent bowel movements, signs of being in pain, teeth clenching or grinding, salivation and drooling, stretching the legs out from the body (a position called “parking”), pacing, nipping at or looking at his sides, pawing the ground, getting up and down often, and frequent rolling. If your horse exhibits any of these signs, call your equine vet immediately.




Gas Colic: very painful and the horse usually wants to roll, getting up and down often, in obvious distress, trying to move and release the trapped gas pockets. Generally it is not advisable to let the horse roll as it could cause the intestine to twist inside, requiring colic surgery. It is more often recommended to walk the horse. Taking him for a trailer ride on a gravel road is also something that can help.



Impaction Colic: a solid area of food or non-food item such as a piece of metal or rock that was eaten refuses to move along the digestive tract and gets stuck.


Impactions can also be caused by a large tumor, or parasite larvae re- entering the intestine through the mesenteric artery, causing blood clots and aneurisms which then block blood flow to a section of the intestine, causing it to die.




Gas Colic: Nutrient Buffer® liquid mixed with 1 tablespoon of plain epsom salts USP (NOT the scented kind only for bath salts), given every half hour for 1 to 2 hrs. or per your veterinarian's instruction. Walking and/or trailering on a gravel road.



Impact Colic: Nutrient Buffer® liquid mixed with 1 tablespoon of plain epsom salts USP (NOT the scented kind only for bath salts), given every half hour for 1 to 2 hrs. or per your veterinarian's instruction. Walking and/or trailering von a gravel road. A warm water enema can also be helpful. Stand the horse on a hill with rear end up if possible, and use a hose with just a trickle of warm water only inserted in the rectum shallowly. When the rectum fills with water and starts overflowing, walk the horse off to eliminate. NEVER use cold water or a full pressure hose as you can cause the rectum to rupture and the horse will die. Be very careful. You may have to do this several times to get the obstruction to pass.



Tapeworms can also cause horses to colic, especially in the Spring and Fall, and giving a triple dose of Strongid Paste, Pyrantel Pamoate for the horse's weight, has been found to resolve chronic colics and low grade colics, but treat the colic first and get the horse stable before worming.



Colic Prone Horses: Nutrient Buffer® liquid fed daily, with every grain meal, has been shown to be very helpful for horses under high stress situations such as racing and showing. High stress situations cause the stomach to dump more gastric acid and this can cause ulcers.




“Heaves” is the commonly used word for the medical condition known as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). This is a chronic respiratory inflammation frequently caused by an allergic reaction to airborne particles. It bears some resemblance to asthma in humans. RAO is most often seen in horses who are in their stable a lot and exposed to dust and molds from old hay and straw.


Signs & Symptoms

The signs of heaves include shortness of breath (especially after exertion), moist coughing (often but not always producing copious phlegm), and wheezing. In severe cases, afflicted horses will struggle to breathe—this is a veterinary emergency! Horses who have heaves for a long time will develop “heave lines”—a prominent bulge of muscle along the ribs.




The best treatment and prevention for heaves is to keep your horse outside as much as possible. Additionally, eliminate sources of mold and dust by throwing out and replacing old hay and bedding, soaking hay in water before feeding, cleaning out his stall frequently, and anything else you can do to reduce your horse’s exposure to airborne particles. Once a horse has heaves, he may need to be medicated for the rest of his life, and his ability to work or perform may be limited.




Case History: Luke

See Luke - the worst case of hives we ever saw, so severe all over his body, that he looked like a sack of potatoes shaped like a horse. Neutralizing excess acidity from his body's acid response to toxin, and aiding detox allowed his body to heal fast.


Symptoms and Signs:

Hives are the descriptive name for welts or painful itchy bumps in the skin as a result of an allergic reaction to something topical or ingested or even inhaled.




Many things can cause allergic reactions such as hives. Some people feel that just like humans, pollution in the air, food and water are making horses more sensitive to their environment. Common allergens include:

• Feeds and Fodders including weeds horses should not, but do eat

• Insects

• Pollen from weeds, gardens and trees

• Grooming Sprays

• Shampoos

• Fly Sprays

• Synthetics or Finishes on Equipment

• Dust and molds

• Medications or Supplements

• Chemicals such as crop sprays that may drift from neighboring fields or are applied to feed crops, and herbicides

• Stall bedding materials

• Pesticide residues and GMO grains

• Nitrates in the hay or water, as in Luke's case




Luke was found to be sensitive to the high levels of nitrates in the city water he was drinking, as many horses are. After he was conventionally treated with steroids and relapsed, he was put on Vita Royal supplements of Nutrient Buffer® H/G for buffering his hind gut to restore immune function there, where 80% to 90% of the immune system is now known to be, and Nutrient Buffer® liquid for his upper gastric area because he was also showing signs of upper gastric ulcers. If needed, Xenodetox® can be used after the hives are resolved to help detox the toxins that likely induced the hives in the first place, and to help prevent relapse.



Case History: Chelan

Cow Hocks
See Chelan, as she grew, her tripod stance stayed with her and the owner developed the habit of admiring her beautiful neck and head and ignoring the back half of the horse. The owner examined photos of her parents and occasionally visited them, trying to see a hint of this flaw in them, but they both stand beautifully square.

Cow Hocks


Signs and Symptoms

Horses with cowhocks can have uneven wearing of hooves, an abnormal gait, which can end up in permanent lameness and with chronically sore hocks, and can prove to be a very serious condition. Another way of spotting cow hocks is when the hooves point excessively outward as a result of the incorrect lineup of the joints in the leg, while the hocks come closely together. The horse stands in a tripod stance with the two hind legs close together and the front legs splayed apart. When tired, they will frequently change the tripod stance from front to back, with front legs close and back legs widened out, but still standing naturally in a tripod stance for most of the time. The have a hard time squaring up. The manifestations of abnormal way of going and standing are often resolved when the conditions causing them are resolved.



Cow Hocks and Genetics

The traditional understanding and description of "cow hocks" is the condition in a livestock animal where the back leg joints of the animal are set incorrectly. However, from our research, we have found that the muscles of the rear end respond negatively with spasms and microspasms caused by leaky gut syndrome and not genetics.


The traditional understanding is that this condition is genetic, heritable, and that the offspring of such animals will also have that trait. However, we now know that this is not the case. It might be that animals exposed to the same faulty diets or contaminated growing and living conditions will respond in the same way. We call this situation "common exposures", and so it might seem that the conformation is inherited and that nothing could be done for these unfortunate animals, but nothing could be further from the truth.


The predisposition toward one or another trait might be genetic in Nature and might not be. It, more than likely could be "epigenetic", meaning a trigger from the environment is necessary to manifest the trait. And these triggers are epidemic in today's contaminated world. "DNA genetics", as we have traditionally studied, is now known to be similar to a loaded gun, in that it takes something in the environment to pull the trigger. So, by controlling the environment the body lives in, we can control the expression of the gene. This is wonderful news! It means that no living body, horse or human, dog or cat is doomed by its DNA genetics!




Normalizing the abnormal acid pH of the hind gut, helping the gut heal from intestinal breaks caused by excessive acid, will enable the muscles of the rear end to relax, and the stance widens out. The gait improves and the chronic back soreness and weakness cause by constant spasms is resolved. Even horses who were born with cow hocks and grew up in that stance can be helped as adults when the diet and living environment is corrected and the hind gut acidity problems are addressed. Estrogen dominance from xenoestrogen toxins that are very acidic can be addressed with Xenodetox®


Learn About:

Nutrient Buffer H/G



Allergies, hives, heaves, and other respiratory problems, that often accompany cow hocks, are often resolved as well, because 80% to 90% of the body's immune system is located in the gut, and this includes humans too. Abnormal swelling and bloating is also often resolved quickly. Behavior becomes more peaceful, there is less separation anxiety, calling and hysteria, and less aggression too. Some downright mean and dangerous horses that were very difficult to work with became "pussycats" after just a few weeks with a corrected diet and supplement program. Manure was decreased, so that cleaning the stalls was easier, and feed conversion efficiency was greatly enhanced as the body was able to extract more nutrition from less feed. Less hay was needed, and that means less handling for the owner, and also less expense. With the savings in feed, hay, supplements, and vet bills from what was done in the past, the program more than pays for itself.



Swollen Tongue



Medical textbooks describe the syndrome as a tongue that appears too big for the mouth.




A tongue that is swollen, and misshapen, in the mouth is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism (in both animals and humans). Doctors often check the tongue for teeth marks indicating a swollen tongue. Here, the tongue is so swollen that it exceeded the outline of the mouth excessively.

Since the thyroid begins its development attached to the base of the tongue and then moves down the throat during fetal development, it still retains its attachments to the back of the tongue as well as other throat structures. A weak or compromised thyroid allows the tongue to slide forward and swell, causing abnormal tooth formation in children requiring braces. In horses, it can cause roaring, a noise associated with breathing. Swollen tongue and compromised thyroid can also cause choke and swallowing problems.




First, address the environmental factors that can compromise the thyroid, and eliminate them. Legumes like soy meal, soy hulls, alfalfa, water toxins like coal tars from water that runs through old coal deposits; pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals from cemeteries, toxic runoff, surface water contaminants, septic contamination, nitrates, etc. Filter and soften the drinking water. Eliminate exposure to ponds and drainage ditches.

Add Organic Iodine at the recommended dosage, with balanced minerals. Support proper basal metabolism with a non-legume based high protein feed.



Case History: Darby

See Darby, diagnosed with cushings syndrome and got worse with more frequent attacks of laminitis

Laminitis & Founder



Founder begins with heating and swelling in the laminae of the hoof, a very vascular area like lung tissue. This stage is called laminitis, and if you can control and resolve this inflammatory stage, then you can prevent the next more severe and permanent stage called founder.




The horse will try to bed the heels of the front feet. The front feet will be hot to the touch, and the horse will stand in a parked out stance in the front, extending the legs forward. They might lie down a lot. They will not want to walk as walking is painful. Founder is a very painful condition.




Founder/Laminitis can be triggered by many things: trauma to the hoof, surgical trauma, dietary imbalances, overeating, or drug therapy, high carb diets, environmental toxins, chiropractic subluxations, or infections, all translating as stress with its large production of stress hormones.


We also know that certain bacteria associated with high carbohydrate grains like corn, scavenge through the lower intestine to ferment undigested carbohydrates which the horse either could not digest or could not absorb after digestion. These troublemakers produce highly toxic and allergenic chemicals called "endotoxins" which readily affect the sensitive laminae.




Mineral oil, given by stomach tube by veterinarians, works by preventing the further absorption of the endotoxins, if the condition is new and acute, but does not help if the condition is longer term and chronic. If the condition is left for a period of time, the laminae die due to oxygen starvation from lack of blood flow, and they can no longer hold attachment of the coffin bone to the hoof wall. Later, as the hoof grows out, a separation appears on the bottom of the hoof where the dead laminae appear. On x-ray, the coffin bone, lacking proper support, rotates downward, pointing toward the bottom of the foot. If there is severe enough rotation, the coffin bone can even puncture the bottom of the foot. When it gets that bad, the horse is euthanized.

Applying nutritional principles to our foundered friends is quite simple. Reduce carbohydrates (corn, wheat products, barley and oats) while keeping an adequate supply of good quality digestible protein required for proper metabolism that is not a legume source (alfalfa, soy meal) which are well known to contain natural compounds that compromise the thyroid, and supply essential fatty acids needed for cell membrane integrity. Also added are amounts of amino acid chelated minerals according to the mineral deficiencies present in the common feeds today. Balance for the environment. These minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, cobalt, iodine and selenium are necessary for adequate production of digestive enzymes and hormones, and the amino acid chelated form is already predigested and fully absorbable by the body. Avoid added manganese and iron which are already too high in the environment. Make sure, though, that they are amino acid chelates, as all chelates are not created equal. And also include live probiotics cultures to control the balance of good bacteria in the intestine where 80% to 90% of the body's immune system is.


Equine Plus is, hands down, the best choice of feed to provide all of the needed digestible protein, vitamins, minerals and probiotics that an allergenic horse needs.


Topdressing with a 50/50 mix of corn oil and canola oil if the horse is on the thin side and does not have a cresty neck, will also give extra richness and calories without the carbs to inflame the feet if extra calories are needed for a thin horse or in winter. Use 1/4 to 1/3 cup several times per day. If the horse has a cresty neck or is on the heavy side, use 1/4 cup pure canola oil without the corn oil. No alfalfa hay, pellets or cubes either to interfere with the thyroid. Grass hay or pasture only, but if pasture, begin slowly to acclimate, as horse can handle. Many horses can never tolerate pasture again, so watch carefully. Untie® is a powerful and all natural anti-inflammatory supplement that will help the inflammation in the feet cool.


And Xenodetox® with Nutrient Buffer® will help the body detox offending toxins that might be facilitating the inflammatory condition.


Natural dessicated thyroid supplementation may also be needed, as with people who suffer allergy or asthma. A safe and effective protocol is that recommended is to start with supporting the thyroid with Organic Iodine, as we have now found iodine to be needed for health ion much higher doses than we even thought before.Another very big help to the same thyroid regulated biochemical pathways in the body are antihistamines and decongestants, and especially decongestants, used sparingly and for short terms only. The most common ephedra. Pseudephed® is the man made version and works well with antihistamine, as in Benedryl®. Using this product combo at the recommended dose per weight of the horse, often negates the use of NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories) which cause ulcers. This product combo is an effective anti-inflammatory for founder cases along with guaifenesin, a natural extract from the bark of a tree. Here is my 911 Formula for emergency anti-inflammatory help with OTC meds:


Linsey McLean's “911 Formula" for laminitic or other inflammatory attacks


You Will Need:

• Dye-free Benedryl®

• Old formula Sudafed® - the pseudoephedra that you have to sign for at the pharmacy (the new formula is worthless)

• Mucinex® (guaifenesin)

• Ibuprofen if you do not have Banamine or Bute

• Nutrient Buffer® or Vanilla Yogurt



For an average sized Horse, 15 to 16 H:


1.) Warm 1/8 cup water in a microwave to just hot, not boiling.


2.) Add 10 dye free Benedryl® caps to dissolve. Do NOT put caps in the microwave!


3.) Crush 5,000 mg /5 grams Mucinex® (do not get the additives...just the plain guaifenesin product)


4.) Crush the Ibuprofen® - 10 tabs.


5.) Chunk up 5 -12 hr time release Sudafed® - do not crush to powder as you will lose much of the time release effect that you need. Just make the pieces small enough to go through the dose syringe nose.


6.) Mix with Nutrient Buffer® or Vanilla Yogurt to dose.


7.) Dose every 12 hrs until soreness resolves.


What have we really described? Nothing more than allergy, even the fact that once a horse has had laminitis or foundered, he is more susceptible to a re-run of the episode. Once a body is sensitized to an allergenic stimulus, attacks become more frequent and often more severe.


Healthy cells can prevent harmful substances from entering them, but lack of nutrients increases cell permeability, allowing the cell less control over what goes in or out. Consequently, the body becomes more susceptible to the effects of foreign substances and toxins in the environment, which can now enter more easily.


Foods that remain incompletely digested can act as a foreign irritant. Even many harmless by-products of digestion can also be acted upon by putrificative bacteria in the intestine to produce toxic and allergenic substances. So the major goal of controlling allergy nutritionally is to increase the digestive efficiency of the body, protect the integrity of cell membranes and control undesirable bacteria, and clean up toxic exposures like unfiltered water, moldy hay and carbohydrate grains.


Stress increases the need for practically all nutrients, and persons suffering from allergies have been found to be woefully deficient in every body requirement except carbohydrate. When missing nutrients are supplied, allergies often disappear. In 1957 Antibiotic Medical Clinical Therapist, L.W. Smith documented a case of 32 allergenic children and their response to nutritional therapy. All suffering from bronchial asthma and allergic eczema, they were given generous amounts of protein, no refined carbohydrates, adequate essential fatty acids, and multiple vitamins and minerals. Most of the children recovered in a single month, and all within two monthes.

In effect, we have now tuned up the horse's digestive system as you would tune up a car to get more miles per gallon (or in this case, better feed conversion efficiency). Less is left, then, for the bad bacteria to feed upon, and excess acidity caused by stress and pain is also resolved so that the good bacteria can now have a place that is comfortable to live. If you just feed probiotics to an overly acid digestive system, the result is simply like trying to plant roses in the desert; they do not thrive and just die because the living conditions, in this case the pH, is too hostile for them to survive. Excess acidity favors the bad bacteria that produce the allergenic endotoxins.


With all this help and knowledge, the road back from founder is not nearly as rocky as it used to be.



Case History: Ollie

Cushing's Syndrome
See Ollie, Ollie’s return to health required a much longer time than the typical clinical trial period. The living location contributed, and continued to contribute, constant toxic exposures in his drinking water making it difficult to achieve a full rebound.

Cushing's Syndrome / Disease



Cushing's syndrome describes the signs and symptoms associated with prolonged exposure to inappropriately high levels of the hormone cortisol. This can be caused by taking glucocorticoid drugs/cortisone for a time; or diseases that result in excess cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), or CRH levels.


The conventional understanding of Cushing's disease refers to a pituitary-dependent cause of Cushing's syndrome: a tumor (adenoma) in the pituitary gland produces large amounts of ACTH, causing the adrenal glands to produce elevated levels of cortisol. It is the most common cause of Cushing's syndrome, responsible for 70% of cases excluding glucocorticoid related cases. However, our research has shown that a tumor is not evident in the majority of cases we have worked with. If that were the case, then simply detoxing the environmental toxins and metabolic waste products that are known to cause metabolic biochemical abnormalities and tumors of many kinds would not have been shown to be so effective as it has been, and the affected horses would not be able to remain in the healthy normal state on a maintenance program, since the tumor and its driver chemistry would still be in effect. The Vita Royal nutritional protocol has helped horses for decades to detox the environmental toxins that likely have caused these epigenetic metabolic compromises, and to provide dietary support for the body to restore normal healthy biochemistry that holds into the future.




Often there is metabolic syndrome, high ACTH, long hair that does not shed in warm weather, founder/laminitis, allergy, diabetes, obesity in most but weight loss in a small percentage. Thyroid is often involved, and high levels of estrogens and xenoestrogens are evident on specialized blood testing. These toxins are well known to cause thyroid interference, tumors and various metabolic syndromes.




The recommended nutritional program is composed of Equine Plus Feed, rolled oat groats in limited quantities if needed for extra calories in weight loss or winter temps, Nutrient Buffer® and/or Nutrient Buffer® H/G if warranted by the horse's condition, organic iodine is warranted and Xenodetox®. Over time, as the horse responds with better health, the situational supplements can be minimized and the horse can remain on a maintenance program. Xenodetox® contains standardized chasteberry extract that works the same as standard drug therapy Pergolide® but with less/no side effects that Pergolide® is known for.


Learn About:

Organic Iodine

A hair analysis is recommended to show a screening of heavy metals and any deficiencies of nutritional minerals and custom supplements can be provided by Vita Royal Products. A free consultation by our biochemist is available to guide you along. See home page for details.



Case History: Benji

Obesity in Horses
See Benji, as he got older, he began to assume the typical tripod stance with the hind legs together, (Environmental Cow Hocks") and then began to splay his front feet out for balance.

He became morbidly obese, still showing a tripod stance.

Equine Obesity


• Too high carbohydrate levels in the diet
• Too low ratio of digestible, non legume protein to carbohydrate
• High toxic body burden of xenoestrogens from chemical exposures
• Lack of exercise




Reduce the carbohydrate levels in the diet, lower the amount of hay and high carb grains, do not provide unlimited amounts of hay.


• Increase the levels of non legume digestible protein

• Increase the levels of bioavailable nutritional minerals

• Increase probiotics to aid digestion

• Reduce or eliminate use of topical chemicals and farm chemicals


Equine Plus Feed at correct amounts for body size with added Organic Iodine to help compromised or sluggish thyroid.


For horses with hormone imbalances, and insulin resistance, add Xenodetox®. to detox xenoestrogens and estrogen dominance.


If exposure to toxic chemicals is suspected, a Hair Analysis can show imbalances of nutritional minerals and toxic metals. See home page for details.

Obesity in horses not only causes weight gain but also endocrine problems, including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome the same as in humans, bone and joint problems and fertility problems.


Obesity in horses also can cause laminitis, a painful condition that often affects the front hooves. The weight of the bone is suspended in the hoof with connecting tissue forming a structure similar to a swing on a swing set. The extra weight in obese horses forces the connective tissue to tear and the bone breaks through the nail-like texture of the hooves.


Veterinarians have yet to find an effective treatment for the condition. Starvation and restriction of feeds and calories does not work very well in this toxic world, as in humans, because most of what we term "fat" is really not actual fat in the conventional terms, but a toxic body burden of storage depots for toxins that the body cannot detox, cannot eliminate or cannot process to completion. Horses that are obese look bloated, like obese humans, and the "fat" of today is actually mostly composed of water. Starvation diets of hay only, a mostly carbohydrate diet source, with no healthy non-legume protein source, will continue to keep the horse bloated and carry excess fluids in their tissues because the by-product of carbohydrate metabolism is water. Horses on a hay only diet do not get enough quality amino acids to support good and healthy metabolism. Adding Equine Plus Feed to a hay diet increases the metabolic rate, decreases the craving for carbs including hay, and aids the body in releasing the excess water weight and the toxins. Less manure for cleaning up too. And less hay to buy and handle.


By taking early AM temps we can asses the basal metabolic rate of the body. Metabolism is oxidation, so the bigger the fire, the higher the temp. Temps will vary with the full moon, barometer drops and wind. And if the temps go too low, there is an increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia/tying-up syndrome, autoimmune diseases, depression and more. Symptoms of low basal metabolism increase when temps go below 99.6 F.


With compromised chemistry these days for all living things, one of the problems that is manifesting is the inability to manufacture in the living body, the amino acids that used to be able to be manufactured easily, and in the amount needed. So that is why higher quality and quantity protein in the diet is getting the hype it is, in the human world too. So, the amount of protein in the Vita Royal Equine Plus overall diet is not higher than what was recommended some 25 yrs ago. It is the carbs that are being reduced, in an attempt to control the increasing obesity for both humans and animals. Problem is, that grains were the best source of needed amino acids or precursers, and cutting the sweet feed and grains, actually increases the carb to protein ratio in the total diet...and creates a protein deficiency. A better way is a perfected protein, lower NSC diet that horses get in the wild in the West, on native grasses, that grow short and produce larger seed heads per plant, with higher protein overall. The hays in the lush East, grower much taller before producing a protein laden seed head. Short grasses with higher protein seed head grass is really what horses evolved on. The leaves of the hay, so lush in hays of the East, are where the most sugars and carbohydrates are. So a hay diet in the East is much lower in protein than a hay diet in the West.


Hay is different nowadays than it was even a decade ago. Horses are too - more pollution means more compromised biochemistry, which means more nutritional support is necessary. More sensitive horses need something other than just grass hay. Alfalfa used to be fine to add for more protein, however it also has at least 5 known naturally occurring compounds that interfere with tyrosine binding to iodine to create thyroxine, the thyroid hormone. To make matters worse, there are also 80,000 other chemicals out there that were not there 50 years ago, that also compromise hormone chemistry too - so the alfalfa has now become the straw that breaks the camel's back, and soy has the same story.



Case History: Buddy

See Buddy, an Appendix Quarter Horse in his late 20's. He was apparently bitten by a brown recluse spider and developed an enourmous abscess.


An abscess is an infectious pocket within a bodily cavity or in the hooves. Usually, this occurs after a foreign object, such as a nail or sharp stone, penetrates the hoof or it can be on the body from an insect bite. Either situation produces the same result, a sealed or constantly draining pocket of infection and inflammation.


If your horse has a hoof abscess, he will probably hold his leg up and be hesitant to put pressure on that foot due to the pain. Your veterinarian will open and drain the abscess; you will need to follow up with medication, poultices, soaking, or whatever else he/she prescribes.



For all abscesses, cleaning the wound several times per day and detoxing the body from contributary toxins that are trying to find their way out will speed healing of "sores that never heal".


Support the immune system and basal metabolism to raise basal temps with Equine Plus Plus, Nutrient Buffer® H/G and Xenodetox®. Send us your completed Equine Case History form for a free consult and guidance. If some toxic exposure is suspected, a hair analysis is recommended. see Home Page for info. If generalized inflammation is present, add Untie® as needed.





In horses, worm eggs that are ingested from pastures hatch quickly and perforate the intestinal lining. They then begin a long-term migration through body tissues and organs, where they do their greatest damage. This migration can take 10 to 12 months as they grow and develop. They can migrate anywhere, even through the brain, heart, lungs, etc. Close to maturity, these worms migrate toward the intestine again, with many reentering through the mesenteric artery, which feeds the intestine. This perforation can cause clots and blood flow blockage, resulting in colic and gastrointestinal distress.


Larvae then finish their maturation in the intestine for another 18 to 30 days, and begin laying eggs on their own, thus perpetuating the cycle. Worms are generally only susceptible to worming agents when they are in the intestine, only after doing their damage during migration. They continually enter the intestine from body tissues, so worming for one day is only effective that day. By the next day, another batch will have entered, after the worming drug has passed through the gut and been eliminated.


Wormers are "pass through" kill. Fortunately, the larvae maturation period serves as a treatment window, since they will not be ready to lay eggs for another several weeks to a month. This is why we can come back in a month with another dose of wormer.


With the following wormer rotation program, the best use of chemical classes is used to kill off intestinal worms at the optimum time. Worm every 30 days. It's easy to remember if you think of worming with paying bills on the first of each month. Mark your calendar!


1.) A triple dose by the horse's weight of Pyrantel Pamoate known as Strongid® Paste - NOT Strongid C (another formula). This will get tape worms that are not targeted by any other wormer.


2.) Anthelcide EQ® at 1 1/2 to 2 times dose per weight (per package instructions to kill Strongiloides species).


3.) Ivermectin as either Zimectrin® or Eqvalaan® (same drug, same dose). REPEAT CYCLE, alternating Quest® for Ivermectin.


Continue to REPEAT CYCLE, alternating Ivermectin and Quest® for Step




If horses are maintained in a relatively clean environment, manure picked up or plowed under, pastures rotated, not overgrazed or overcrowded etc, then the worming recommendations can be extended to two months between wormings, but the rotation schedule and doses will still be the same.


Case History: Mason

Contracted Tendons
See Mason, at 24 - 36 hours of age we noticed contracted tendons, especially on forelimbs, with right leg deviated below the knee and very "over" at the knee. His gait was effected.

Within days (of following Vita Royal Biochemist's recommendations) he was no longer resting his hind end up against posts and such.

Contracted Tendons


When the pasterns, fetlocks, and/or knees are extremely upright or buckled forward, most veterinarians refer to the condition as contracted tendons. However, the tendons do not actually contract, it is more the muscles that the tendons are attached to. And you can see signs of contraction in other muscles in other areas of the body as well. The general biochemistry problems do not just zoom in on the legs, but that is most evident to the eye.


Signs & Sypmtoms

With newborn foals, the cause is sometimes due to malpositioning in the uterus. Too rapid weight gain may also lead to contracted tendons. The weight gain causes the heels to lower or mash down, decreasing the hoof angle, and may outstrip the rate of maturation and toughening of the horn of the hoof wall. Deficiencies of quality digestible protein, bioavailable minerals and especially calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iodine can predispose a growing horse or even a full grown adult to contracted tendons, called "adult onset contracted tendons".




Correct the diet, reduce or eliminate grains especially corn, use Equine Plus Feed with added calcium mixed with steam rolled oat groats, feed oatmeal, not common rolled oats or naked oats. Topdress with Untie® supplement and Organic Iodine if warranted. Add Nutrient Buffer® liquid as most have concurrent ulcers.


Send in a case history form to our Biochemist for a free consult and guidance. If some toxic exposure is suspected, a hair analysis is recommended. see Home Page for info.



Tying Up


“Tying up” is one of many names for exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER). Azoturia and Monday Morning Disease are some other common names for this syndrome, which can result in severe muscle damage or degeneration.




The horse will move very short and stilted or have difficulty moving at all, seeming to be paralyzed standing. Urine will be a dark brown color. There is obvious body wide pain. The entire back end is mostly affected. Sometimes they will stand with a tripod stance/cowhocks.




A blood test will show elevated liver enzymes and CPK from the destruction of muscle tissue.




There can be many causes and contributing factors, such as a sudden increase in workload, hard work for which the horse is not in condition or has been laid off for too long from training, molasses based grains, mineral imbalances, selenium deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, hypothyroidism, wet or cold weather, and genetic predisposition. Environmental toxins, xenoestrogens, can also be a cause as they are estrogenic in nature, and both upper gastric and hind gut ulcers. This can cause estrogen dominance in both males and females. Mares have trouble with ovarian cysts and hormonal shifts. Conjugated estrogen injections, commonly used at the racetrack, can cause ovarian cysts and tying up syndrome, as well as liver problems and elevated liver enzymes in both males and females.




Untie® dosed at the upper recommendation, mixed with vanilla or plain yogurt or better yet, Nutrient Buffer® liquid. This can be done again after 3 hours.


For horses prone to tying up syndrome, Untie® can be fed on a daily basis and also used to prep about an hour before work. Untie® does not give a positive test because it does not contain any drugs.


For mares with ovarian cysts, Xenodetox® is helpful given in the first half of the menstrual cycle as it will help the ovaries release the ovarian cysts. It is recommended to use Nutrient Buffer® liquid with Xenodetox® as the release of toxins can sometimes cause excess acidity and colic.