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Ask the Veterinarian/Bone spur in hock


I have a 6yo AQHA mare that has a significant bone spur in her hock.  I have an xray if you are interested in a picture.  I have been told about feeding Nutrawound along with Hekla Lava and Calcarea FLuiorica to reduce/remove the spur.  What are the chances that this will help?  What dosage should I be giving of the Hekla and calc fluor?  I have both in 30C talbets.  Thank you so much for your time.

Hekla lava and Calc flour are known to resolve bone spurs in different places of the body when the individual horse's quantum field is a match. That means it works for some horses and not for others. Hard to give a % for this - maybe 50%

The very best you could do for your horse is to have a homeopathic veterinarian prescribe properly and monitor the response. has a referral list and if none are near by, you can contact the ones who work by phone. With good prescribing, there is about a 95% chance of success.

It is important to have a base line of health before starting any homeopathic remedies, so if you do plan to try these remedies on your own, make a list of any current symptoms in addition to the hock spur, then see if any of these minor symptoms are present.   


Excessive fears. Remember that horses are naturally fearful and many are over-reactive, so if you think yours is more fearful than the average horse or you notice an increase in fears, this would be clue to ill health. Fears could be of large things like loud noises and big objects or very small things such as the wind blowing or a mild change in environment. Common fears you may see include those of touch, excessive stage fright (before or during shows), crowds, animals/humans coming up behind them, sudden movements, narrow spaces such as trailers. Each horse is unique, so record any fears, over reaction triggers, hyper-alertness even if you think it may be normal. As you improve health, it may resolve.
Aggression can appear as mistrust, fighting with others regularly, kicking or biting people (these all could be a lack of social conditioning and not energy imbalance). Frenzied behavior, cribbing, self mutilating (biting at their sides), stall walking or weaving (can be lack of turnout).
Withdrawn horses, loners, do not play or interact with humans or other horses, are slow to learn, lack stamina, are indifferent, apathetic, depressed, have difficulty concentrating, are excessively faint-hearted, timid, fidgety.

Many mental behaviors are a horse’s reaction to pain, either their fear of something painful happening, or that a movement or touch will actually hurt due to the pain they currently have. Sometimes you have to be a bit of a detective to determine what involvement pain has with the mental behavior. Pain itself is an early warning sign of illness, so regardless of the cause of the above behaviors, they are clues that something needs to change to improve the overall health.

Head, Eyes, TMJ, Mouth
Headaches are hard to see in horses, but by watching their behavior carefully you can see them wince with pressure, movement or activity. These are much more common than we think and often they are considered just normal.

Warts or small growths anywhere on the head, in the mouth or on the eyes. Hard or soft swelling of glands between the jaw bones, along the area between the angle of the jaw and the neck (salivary glands), or in the throat latch (thyroid gland).

Frequent or slow-healing eye ulcers, puffiness around eyes, discharges or inflammation/redness around eyes or nose, blockage of naso-lacrimal duct, photophobia (light sensitivity).

Do your horse’s eyes look like they are dull and sunken into his head rather than big and soft? This is often a sign of chronic pain or past abuse, which can be anywhere in the body. The eye is where you see it, but you have to look all over to find the source.

Temporomandibular (TMJ or jaw joint) pain is common. Since the jaw joint is located below the ears, pain around the poll, ears or the upper side of the face could indicate TMJ discomfort.  This is both an early warning sign and an illness itself. If you suspect this, you may need a chiropractor or osteopath to make the diagnosis.

Fissures/sores at the corner of mouth (these are not always from a cut by the bit), ulcers inside the mouth, bad breath, dry or very wet sloppy mouth, teeth that wear out at a younger age than about 25, gums that recede or are inflamed (ask your dentist to show you healthy gums on one horse and what is not quite as healthy in your horse).

Digestive Tract
Many early signs of ill health are found here.
Stool - Undigested food particles, bad odors, dry or too wet (diarrhea)
Stomach - fussy eater, appearing uncomfortable after eating,
General - repeated colics, gassy sounds in abdomen, sensitivity to change in weather causing intestinal symptoms. These subtle signs may indicate ulcers (common) in the stomach and/or intestinal tract or may be just an imbalance in the digestive tract.
Coprophagia (eating stool) or eating other indigestible objects (wood, dirt), craving salt can be indications of nutritional deficiencies or some other energy field imbalance. Getting diarrhea with least change of diet; obese or too thin no matter what they eat.
Parasites - Healthy horses usually can maintain a low or close to negative fecal count for parasite eggs. It is best to check fecals at least quarterly to get to know your horse's true fecal egg count. Some horses are excessively susceptible to parasites and can exhibit symptoms such as colic from carrying to heavy a load of adult worms. Some horses who appear healthy will have eggs in their stool all the time no matter what treatment is given–these are called shedders. Some horses never shed eggs. If they never shed eggs, they do not need to be dewormed ever and you can expect their gut immune system is fairly healthy. Horses that shed eggs can be helped to shed fewer eggs with holistic methods to balance the energy field, but it may not be possible to totally clear them of eggs. If the environment is too crowded, many horses will carry parasites. Read more in this article by Dr. Harman.

Drinking and peeing too much, difficulty passing urine, dribbling urine, appearing painful during urination can mean a problem with the bladder or kidneys, could mean a more serious disease or indicate that the horse needs some changes in its life to become healthier.

Reproductive issues include failure to come in heat, irregular heat cycles, poor fertility in males or females, behavior changes before, or during, heat or ovulation (nasty, or extra demanding of attention); chronic uterine infections or discharges from the vulva, stallion-like behavior in mares or geldings, lack of interest in breeding stallions or mares, bad odors around the genitals.

Mares who are not good moms - have to be muzzled to let the foal nurse, tolerate the foals but have no joy in them, barely adequate or lacking milk production.

Mild cough at the beginning of exercise, occasional seasonal cough or slight difficulty breathing. Unless the environment is particularly dusty, horses do not cough as they begin exercise. More serious respiratory disease, such as pneumonia or strangles, usually begins with a fever and loss of appetite, along with a nasal discharge. A common upper respiratory infection may also begin with a fever, nasal discharge or a cough, along with a loss of appetite. Other symptoms such as epistaxis (bleeding from the nose) in racehorses and any discharge from the lungs or nose are signs that indicate possible potential problems. While these are not the early warning signs, they can be noted more easily if you are watching carefully.

Allergic respiratory disease including COPD, RAD (and many other acronyms) coughs, heaves and asthma, any form of inflammation in the airway are all signs of an imbalanced immune system. Horses may acquire a chronic cough or allergies following a simple viral infection, but if that occurs, these are horses with an unhealthy immune system.

Back and legs
Musculoskeletal system - occasional lameness, or noticeable lameness that does not go away with common treatments, sore feet, stumbling, tripping, "slipping out behind", inability to go down or up hills comfortably, sinking down when mounted ("cold backed"), horses that are difficult to shoe--especially if the have difficulty with the hind legs. Stiffness that improves with warming up, or gets worse as they move, bucking or rearing when asked to work, slow coming out of a starting gate or box, refusing jumps or taking off and landing in an unusual way.

Arthritis with change in weather, arthritis of all sorts, tying up or Monday morning sickness, weak tendons (frequent strains tendonitis, ligament problems), break down of tendons and ligaments in older horses (Degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis, DSLD), stocking up or swelling of lower legs, splints, navicular, atrophy of muscle groups, bucked shins in young racehorses.

Horses may have movement problems such as ataxia (poor proprioception or incoordination), difficulty moving on uneven ground, tripping, unable to balance on 3 legs for farrier, difficulty lifting legs.  Much of the pain and consequently the behavior issues horses have is centered around the back or legs. Some pains are from trauma and some can be from chronic disease. Pay attention to those that are subtle and may show as behavior problems. Do not accept minor pains or rationalize them as merely normal. Of course you can't miss the violent ones such as when the horse throws you off or kicks you, trying to say that something hurts.

Behaviour issues are often thought of as mental problems, but many are signs of pain. Bucking, refusing to do certain things, turn one way, acting nasty about being saddled, or even nasty in the stall, hard to catch in the paddock, difficult to ride (trainer wants to use a bigger bit or bigger spur to "make" the horse do what is wanted. All these are usually signs the horse hurts, or has an energetic imbalance, not that they have a mental problem.

Saddle fit - Chronic back pain, non-responsive back pain (especially when acupuncture and bodywork have failed), inability to use back properly can be from poorly fitting saddles or back injuries all of which need to be addressed with holistic medicine or lifestyle changes.

Feet are an excellent way to monitor true health. Healthy horses do not have cracked feet, brittle feet, fungal infections, white line disease, crumbly feet, soft feet, flat feet, laminitis, deformation post laminitis, thrush (bleeding frog, very sensitive, deep cleft –beyond thrush), thin walls, excessively thick walls, chronic abscesses, seedy toe, bad odor without visible pathology, excessive moisture in feet, thin soles, chronic bruising, sensitive feet, sensitive to hammering in of nails. Poor shoeing or trimming can be a mechanical cause of many of these symptoms, and so must be addressed along with holistic treatments.

Laminitis (an actual disease, not merely an early warning sign) is an inflammation of the lamina (attachments inside the hoof from the bone to the hoof wall). This can be secondary to many causes, the most common one is obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or Cushing's disease. However, too much trauma from riding on hard ground (road founder), any serious illness or overeating of any foods (grain or grass) can lead to it. Permanent changes in the foot can be present, however, once healed, horses can often resume a normal life and be ridden regularly. A healthy horse may show ridges in the hoof wall from a previous incidence, but may have healed. an unhealthy horse will continue to have problems with soreness, abscesses or white line disease until successfully treated holistically.

Skin, coat
The health of the skin truly reflects internal health. Pay particular attention to changes as time goes by. Dry, dull coat or skin, bleaching in the summer (it is not natural and cannot truly be fixed with sheets to cover the horse),  itchy places, mid-line dermatitis, sores, over-reactions to insect bites, odor, greasy feel to coat, rain rot/ dermatophilosis, poor wound healing, excessive scarring, sarcoids, warts, swelling in skin, increases or decrease in sweating (anhydrosis–lack of sweating- is an actual disease), oily or sticky sweat, excessive discharges around sheath or penis. A few hives that heal in a day or two are a sign of a healthy horse (usually from rolling or sleeping on an irritating plant such as nettles). Hives that persist or recur frequently are a sign of an unhealthy immune system.
These are signs that are not specific to one area. Tumors, poor exercise tolerance, swollen glands, fail to gain weight, fail to lose weight, fat deposits (cresty necks, around tail head, top of croup, under eyes), frequent infections, any disorder that occurs after treating a condition such as a skin problem with conventional drugs, a general loss of vitality or willingness to work (do not say “Oh, it is just aging”).

Note whether there is any particular sensitivity to changes to symptoms with changes in weather, temperature, seasons of the year, wet or dry weather, and rain or summer heat. Do you see any low-grade fevers? Healthy normal body temperature for horses is approximately 98 or 99-100.5. The variation is due to the outside temperature, time of day and activity level, so a cold winter morning in the north will give a low temperature while a hot summer afternoon will be on the high end.

A HEALTHY HORSE will be well behaved and content, smell nice, eat a wide variety of foods, love a wide range of temperatures and different types of exercise, be agile and happy.  [From the Health Horse Journal ebook]

Once you have your complete list of symptoms, quantify them so you will know if they are changing. Be sure to also evaluate the most important 2 symptoms - attitude and energy levels. Sometimes homeopathic medicines cause a worsening of symptoms. This can be a good healing aggravation or it can be a worsening of the animal overall because those medicines are worsening the energetic imbalance.

I would give the remedies daily for 2 weeks (quantity does not matter- put a few pellets in the mouth, or put a few in an ounce of water then squirt a teaspoon or so in the moush], and evaluate all symptoms each week. If the horse has less energy, is edgy, or showing any negative symptoms, stop the homeopathic remedies. If doing well, continue for another 2 weeks. If that has not decreased the spurs, and caused no other symptoms, you need a trained professional. Many people who have taken my introduction to homeopathy understand the basic principles well enough to treat many more things by themselves (Maine - sept 24/25 and Maryland Oct1-2).

the Nutrawound in one of many general health building supplements. It does have many good ingredients. Again, working directly with a homeopathic veterinarian will help your horse the most, as certain types of horses do better with certain supplements. It is also very important to also improve the quality of the hay and grain. Organic hay is quite important and most pelleted foods are not good. Proper hoof trimming and being sure your saddle fits well are also keys to success. Decreasing stress will help your horse heal better, too. and are good sites of general information.  

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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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