Acupuncture used in conjunction with traditional modalities may improve results on laminitic equines, a new study shows. A painful disease of the hoof, laminitis causes the laminae that connect the interior structure of the hoof and the hoof wall to die, and potentially cause the hoof capsule to detach.
Dr. Kevin May, of El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital in California, used 12 chronically laminitic horses in a study, which he presented at the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention. The horses were of various ages, breeds and levels of lameness. May ensured the horses had no changes in management, shoeing, medication or supplements during the study so the acupuncture effects could be clearly evaluated, reports The Horse.
After examining each horse, he used various acupuncture techniques, including dry needling; hemo-acupuncture, where a specific point is “bled”; and aqua-puncture, where a small amout of B12 is injected into the acupuncture point. He used a basic set of points on all horses and added in additional, specific points as needed.
Each of the 12 horses was treated twice, seven days apart; two other veterinarians performed lameness exams before and after each treatment. In addition, each horse had both objective and subjective exams completed by the vets.
It was determined that he horses had significantly lower degrees of lameness after the second acupuncture treatment; the lamenesses were determined to be significantly less when baseline evaluations to final evaluations were compared, all vets concurred.
May noted that though his study had no controls and each horse was treated differently, that using acupuncture on laminitic cases can help affected horses and can be done without interference in other treatments. More studies are needed to determine the optimum number and frequency of treatments, as well as how long their effects last.
Read more at The Horse.
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