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Ask the Veterinarian/Horse suffering from ringbone.


Dear Dr. Chambreau, I own a horse that has a chronic lameness problem caused by bony enlargements around the articulation in her pastern (high articular ringbone). I would like to try treating her homeopathically, and have identified calcarea fluorica as a useful remedy., but I am unsure about dosage. Also I would like to know if I should combine it with any other remedies. Thankyou.

Calc fl has some keynotes of better from motion, worse damp weather, growths often after injury,
If your horse has these, then Calc fl may help. Be sure you are selecting this remedy by taking the case of your horse including all symptoms of your horse now and in the past (totality of symptoms) and not merely looking in a book that says - Calc fl for high ringbone (less chance of success).

Potency is dependent on the age and health of your horse and the concern about inflammation (part of healing) causing more damage or discomfort. Often bony growths, because they were a long time in occurring, need lower potencies for longer times. On the other hand, 200c is often a good potency for horses. You could try a liquid dilution of 30c (2 pellets in 1/2C water in a jar that is your stock bottle (this is 5th edition of the Organon). Shake 10 times to start before each dose. Give one dose and wait 3 days to see if there are any aggravations. Then try daily for 7 days (stop if aggravation of any symptoms or new symptoms appear), wait a few weeks and re-evaluate. Or give one dose of a 200c and wait a month to re-evaluate. LM potencies can also be very useful in treating chronic physical conditions. Start with LM1, maybe shake 10 times, then dilute 4 drops in 1/4C water and administer 1 teaspoon. Frequency as in the 30c.

Here is a little more detail about potency selection in general:
Potency Guidelines
  The most important part of choosing potency is to evaluate the vital force, or energy level of your patient.  Just because they can perform (run a long time, track all day, produce milk) does not mean their vital force is strong.  They need to be alert, curious, interactive, and not showing too many of the previously mentioned subtle signs of illness to need the higher potencies. An equally important evaluation is risk of death or severe debility from reaction to the remedy. If there is tissue damage such as a kidney that is not functioning, or diabetes, asthma where inflammation could cause serious problems, more care must be given. Much reading and practice is needed to become skilled at this part of the homeopathic prescription, so the following are merely brief guidelines. As a beginner it is best to stay at 30c or lower, except for seizures or very acute conditions.

The lower potencies (3x, 6x, 6c etc.) are more material, less energized and less powerful. They have a “broad spectrum” effect, and can improve the health of an animal even when not the correct remedy.  As you go higher, the improvement may cease and you need the more appropriate remedy. The higher potencies (200c, 1M, 10M, etc.) work at a much deeper level.  They are more like a laser and need to be more accurately prescribed to be effective.  When accurate, the response of the vital to the remedy can be very long lasting to permanent.

-   LOWER potency - Give more frequently. HIGHER potency - Give less frequently.
-   OLDER animal - Give lower potency less frequently.
-   YOUNGER animal - Give higher potency.
-   HEALTHIER animal with more vitality (even with one serious symptom) - higher.
-   DEBILITATED animal, especially with severe tissue changes - lower potency.
   RULE OF THUMB: start low.  You can always go higher.
REMEDIES ARE NOT TO BE GIVEN CONTINUOUSLY, FOREVER.  The owner must be reporting to the homeopath when symptoms return or new ones develop or when the overall health and vitality are not improving.

If you have to repeat 30c every 7 days, or 200c more than every 3 weeks, or 1M more than every 6 weeks, and give more than a few times, you are probably palliating or suppressing.
The liquid dosing methods will repeat remedies more frequently, still observing the effect of each dose. This can be the 30c added to water or the LM potencies. Even they will not be given forever and will only be repeated if there has been good effect.

Administration of remedies:
Hahnemann’s instructions as to dosing changed over his years in practice. The first method used was giving dry doses. This is the method that most people have used until the last 10 years and many still dose this way. Then he began diluting a pellet in water and shaking before each dose. In the final edition of his teachings (not published for decades after his death) he created a new form of dilution that was both powerful and gentle, the LM form.  It is also shaken, and then diluted before each repetition.

While many feel that dry dosing is barbaric and old, many practitioners for people and animals are still having great success with all three methods. In a google search on “homeopathic dosing” the first page was all dry dosing.

Dry Dosing:
1.   Measure out the dose:
    The tiniest granules, #10s, are the easiest to give to animals because they stick to the tongue. Pour 5 to 10 of the #10 onto a folded piece of paper.
    Any larger size, tablets or bigger globules, need to be crushed to a powder. Cut the corner off an old envelope, put in 2 pellets, fold the corner over to make a pouch, and crush with something hard on a hard surface (beware of doing this on an expensive wood table as it may dent.).
   In my practice I have been using the dry dosing approach since 1982. I have never had a negative result, then given a larger quantity and had improvement in the case, nor have I seen severe aggravations from a larger quantity. I have some clients giving 1 of the #10 granules, and some giving ˝ teaspoon. If the potency is very low (3C and less) use a tiny amount. Since Hahnemann is very specific in the Organon, I am now using the following liquid dosing or LM for most of my cases.
2.   Administer it:
    BEST: Gently open the animal's mouth a tiny bit and pour the remedy onto the tongue or any place in the mouth. Hold the mouth shut for a few seconds.  They may spit out some of the remedy, but enough will have been dissolved already. It can also be put into the pouch in the corner of the mouth. The remedy dissolves on mucus membranes.
a.   The remedy can be diluted in good water and given with an eyedropper.
b.   The crushed remedy can be put into a tiny amount of milk or cream.
d.   Food is least preferable.  If you have the correct remedy, little will inactivate it, but may make evaluation more difficult if a single dose were given a month before and there has been little response.  Wrong remedy? Inactivated? I have treated feral cats to good effect putting the remedy in the food, so it can be done. When remedies are being given daily, you can try food and if there is no response, put directly in the mouth. Rule of thumb – put in a clean mouth.
e.   For very fractious animals, like the cats hunkered at the back of the cage ready to attack, the remedy can be diluted and put in a syringe and squirted onto their face/open mouth.  
To dilute: put one dose in a small amount of water (1T to 1C) and stir or shake a few minutes. Even if not dissolved, the water has the remedy characteristics.

Split dosing:
a.   Hahnemann felt that giving the same potency repeatedly caused problems, so he recommended the following: Put one pellet of the #10 granules (I have used the bigger ones as well) into water. I use 1C at this time, he used from 4-10 ounces of water. Add a small amount of alcohol to preserve it (not needed if it will be used up in a few weeks). Hahnemann first wrote to dose the person according to weight from this bottle, shaking it hard (succussing) one or two times before each administration. Since one pellet (the dose) was used he did not consider it multi dosing, rather split dosing. Later, in his Paris case books, he showed that he was shaking the stock bottle, then adding the dose to a glass of water (I use 1/4C to 1C, depending on the sensitivity of the patient), then dosing from that.

LM dosing:
a.   Purchase an already diluted stock bottle of the LM potency from the homeopathic pharmacy. (In a practice, you may purchase the LM pellets, putting 1 #10 pellet in a 1 ounce bottle, with a small amount of alcohol (brandy, vodka, everclear) and filling with water.)
b.   Shake the stock bottle a specific # of times, take a specific # of drops and put them into a specific amount of water in a glass, stir and give a specific amount to the animal. You can change the previous parameters depending on the vital force level and degree of pathology of the animal.

General comments on remedies:
  Labels:  Only the name and potency of the remedy have any meaning on the label. All the rest is FDA requirements or pharmaceutical company agreements. Quantity and frequency are different for every animal. Remedies do not treat one thing only. Remedies never expire. We are still using remedies Hahnemann made, and I have seen the kit of remedies made by James Kent in the early 1900s. People were going to Lutyes pharmacy until it moved in 2002 or so, and requested their remedy from Dr. Kent’s kit.  If it is there and not almost used up, they can take that 100 year old remedy.  They have reported great success with those hundred plus years old remedies of Dr. Kent.  Pass your remedies down in your will.  

I would not use more than one remedy at a time because you cannot use the "follows well" charts if doing combos or multiples.

Really, for the best result, I suggest doing a formal consultation with an equine homeopathic veterinarian who can select the similimum (remedy and potency and frequency) for your horse. lists vets who consult by phone who often will do email.  

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Dr. Christina Chambreau


I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.


I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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