Using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Therapy to treat a Haflinger mare with Sweet Itch, Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Equine Asthma

By Lieselot Czvek DVM


Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy were used to treat a Haflinger mare that suffered from Sweet Itch (SI), Equine Asthma (EA) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). The skin problems were tackled by starting with allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) but this was discontinued one and a half year later due to the disappointing outcome. The EA was treated before with a bronchodilator and corticosteroids without satisfactory results. The EMS was treated with a biguanide-type of drug and slight changes in management but also without gratifying results. The horse received four sessions of dry needle and/or laser acupuncture in combination with Chinese Herbal Therapy that was started after the first treatment. The goal was to improve the labored breathing, energize the horse, normalize the urination frequency and volume, normalize the water intake and diminish the itch. After the first treatment there already was visible improvement and the signs kept on improving until the last treatment five weeks later. Prognosis is follow-up sessions will be needed to obtain a good quality of life and to keep the horse healthy and balanced as long as possible.

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